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AP Case Throws More Doubt on Obama’s Whistleblower Policies

The news that the Justice Department reviewed a broad range of Associated Press phone records in an effort to track down a national security leak is yet another indication of the Obama administration’s overzealous prosecution of leakers and whistleblowers.

In a Washington Post article on the controversy, Joe Davidson quotes the Project On Government Oversight’s Angela Canterbury on the question of whether these phone records are justified or a dangerous overreach.

Was there a public interest in the disclosure? Disclosure of so-called sensitive information is often critical to protecting the public and holding wrongdoers accountable. The government ought to be limiting prosecutions to those intending to harm our national defense. The overzealous prosecutions and subsequent silencing of those who might disclose government information undermines the legitimacy of national security claims and every open government declaration the President has made.

As the Washington Post article notes, this revelation about the government spying on the AP comes just before another round of arguments in the case of Berry v. Conyers. In that case, the government is arguing that it should be able to deem almost any government employee as “sensitive,” even if they are stocking shampoo in a commissary, and therefore allow the government totake action against workers without the full range of civil service protections generally available to the federal workforce.”

Read more in the Washington Post.

By: Andre Francisco
Online Producer, POGO

andre francisco Andre Francisco is the Online Producer for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Whistleblower Protections

Authors: Andre Francisco

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