Free Minds & Free Markets

Edward Snowden's Lawyer on the Government's War on Whistleblowers

Jesselyn Radack reveals what happens when whistleblowers go through those "proper channels" we're always hearing about.

During the first Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton denounced Edward Snowden as a criminal who simply refused to work through official channels. "He broke the laws," said Clinton. "He could have been a whistleblower, he could have gotten all the protections of being a whistleblower." 

Would Edward Snowden be better off had he gone through official channels to blow the whistle?

No way, says his lawyer, Jesselyn Radack of

In an interview with Nick Gillespie, she points to intelligence whistleblowers who came before Snowden as evidence that her client would not have been provided legal protections. "Tom Drake, Bill Binney, Kirk Wiebe, and Ed Loomis did go through the proper channels," she tells Reason TV, "and all of them fell under criminal investigations for having done so."

"For the people out there shouting that Edward Snowden should have gone through proper channels," she continues, "there aren't that many channels for national security and intelligence whistleblowers. They are excluded from most avenues available to other whistleblowers."

And when they do expose ugly, sometimes-unconstitutional behavior on the part of the government, the whistleblowers are more likely than not to be the ones hauled into interrogation rooms. 

Radack discusses Snowden's future, why she left the Justice Department to defend whistleblowers, how the U.S. government is waging a war on information, and the rising tide of whistleblowing about the military use of drones.

For more on the government's battle with whistleblowers, watch Reason TV's interview with William Binney, the NSA whistleblower known as "Edward Snowden 1.0."  

About 12 minutes.

Produced by Amanda Winkler. Camera by Joshua Swain and Todd Krainin. 

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  • Sevo||

    Once again:
    There seem to be several Snowden defense funds which suggests at least some are bogus. Does anyone know which is actually helping the guy?

  • Jordan||

    His lawyer might know, if you want to send her an e-mail. Snowden's on Twitter too.

  • Sevo||

    (scratches head)
    WIH didn't I think of that?

  • VictoriaAnker||

    I bought brand new BMW by working ONline work. Six month ago i hear from my friend that she is working some online job and making more then 98$/hr i can't beleive. But when i start this job i have to beleived her

    ••••••• ------ www.HomeJobs90.Com

  • ||

    Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do...... ✹✹✹✹✹✹

  • Hank Phillips||

    Snowden did the right thing twice. Looters and their laws have taken over America to the point that the Democrats' and Republicans' own jackbooted minions are forbidden to look at evidence. I'd like to see his critics turned over to Islamic authorities for breaking Sharia law. Turnabout is fair play, no? and "the" law is "the" law.

  • Quixote||

    Quite to the contrary, our good American authorities have understood the dangers posed by whistle-blowing in all of its forms, including "satirical emails" designed to expose the "misconduct" of honored academics. See the documentation of the nation's leading criminal "satire" case at:

  • Vampire||

    ""He broke the laws," said Clinton." And she didn't? Oh wait, anything she brushes off, or denies can't be "the law" anyway. What a POS.

  • Sevo||

    BTW, you can contact one of his lawyers through the links in the article and contribute to his defense.
    I did.

  • GamerFromJump||

    The people that really piss me off (besides those that talked of his going to Hong Kong as proof of Chinese handlers, despite HK being Chinese-in-name-only) are the ones who want his to come back and take his dungeon like a man.

    The actual criminals might want to crucify him, but he's under no obligation to climb up on the fucking cross to prove himself as "sufficiently righteous".

  • TKList||

    What makes governments dangerous? Power.

    What does government surveillance do? Increases government power.

    "You have nothing to worry about if you have done nothing wrong."

    That depends on who is defining what is wrong and what is right.

    Are political opponents doing something wrong?

    Are unfavorable news reporters or agencies doing something wrong?

    What happens when the President (any President) or his devotees, who can find out about anyone in the US, does not like someone and decides to do something about it; whether it be political or personal?

    Government officials seem oblivious that the potential for abuse from these programs is astronomical. We can not have government surveillance that in the hands of less than desirable government officials (which is most of them) can silence or destroy dissenters and political opposition.

    They are collecting everything. Which means whenever they want and to whoever they want, they can go back in time and use what they find against them.

    We already have a safe that can not be unlocked even with a Judge's order, it is our mind. Governments have not had a master key or backdoor key to our minds since the beginning of time and we as a species have still managed to survive and multiple.

    It is not about why they pass such ridiculous laws or the purity of their intentions, it is about what some future demented politician might use these laws for.


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