The Pentagon launched an “aggressive” investigation of leaks earlier this year that relies upon an insider threat program established and expanded under President Barack Obama.
Officials are also employing “continuous evaluation,” or total surveillance, of personnel, yet there is very little evidence that safeguards have been implemented to protect the rights of employees and ensure a chilling effect that already lingers does not intensify against potential whistleblowers.
When former FBI director James Comey retained, mishandled, and disseminated certain memos from his meetings with President Donald Trump, he violated FBI and Justice Department policies, as well as the FBI employment agreement he signed, according to the department’s inspector general. However, the inspector general did not recommend prosecution for
Local news media in Minnesota reported that FBI special agent Terry Albury was charged with violating the Espionage Act when he allegedly disclosed documents to the Intercept. He apparently pled guilty and took responsibility for his alleged actions. Albury is the second person who made disclosures to the press to
If Jeff Sessions is considering lie detector tests for leakers, it’d fit into the institutional crackdown on leaks previously championed by President Obama.
President Donald Trump’s administration is in the throes of a crisis of legitimacy and leadership, with federal government employees concerned and unwilling to stay quiet about chaos, incompetence, and questionable acts unfolding within institutions. To respond to an increase in leaks to the press, the Justice Department pledged to escalate
The frenetic political climate intensified by leaks will likely push the Trump administration to pursue aggressive leaks prosecutions.
FBI director James Comey indicated WikiLeaks remains focus for intelligence agencies and prosecuting Julian Assange for his work as a publisher remains possible.
The FBI’s effort to crackdown on leaks fits a larger trend in national security agencies, since WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden
President Trump ordered the Justice Department to look into “criminal leaks,” suggesting there would be penalties for unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
With Trump signaling he favors illegal torture, the CIA is positioned to crack down on whistleblowers who inform public of return of illegal programs.