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Podcast: Jesselyn Radack on Snowden, Manning, CIA, Culture of Impunity & More in War on Whistleblowers

Jesselyn Radack at protest against mass surveillance in Washington, DC, in October 2013

Nothing puts the exclamation mark on the culture of impunity that President Barack Obama’s administration has enabled like the war on whistleblowers. As whistleblowers sit in prison or are effectively living in exile because they dared to call attention to crimes, misconduct or abuses of power, some of the very same officials implicated walk freely and live with the comfort of knowing the United States government will never seek to hold them accountable.

Jesselyn Radack is one of Snowden’s defense lawyers and the director of the Government Accountability Project’s National Security and Human Rights Division. She is also a former Justice Department employee who blew the whistle on the Justice Department’s efforts to conceal the torture of John Walker Lindh, who is also known as the “American Taliban.” She has worked on the cases of NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake and CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou. She advocated for military whistleblower Chelsea Manning during her trial and has spoken up about the war on whistleblowers and how it is really a war on information that is a war on journalism as well.

Radack joins the podcast to provide an update on Snowden, mark the one-year anniversary since Manning was convicted, discuss a Human Rights Watch/ACLU report on the impact of mass surveillance on journalists and lawyers, the “Insider Threat” program and to also highlight stories involving the CIA intercepting whistleblower communications, former NSA director Keith Alexander selling classified information to companies for millions of dollars and a draconian bill in Australia aimed at preventing spy leaks.

Following the interview, the show highlights the case of oncologist Dr. Rafil Dhafir, who used his own charity to raise money for Iraqis affected by depleted uranium until the government criminalized his activity, put him on trial and had him jailed. He is currently in solitary confinement, and a phone number for the federal medical center where he is being held is provided to those who feel moved and want to urge the prison to let him out of solitary.

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."