Our Chance to Aid and Encourage Whistleblowers by David Swanson

By davidswanson – Posted on 27 May 2015

From www.davidswanson.org

Swanson image on whistleblowers article

We would know much less about what our governments do were it not for those who are part of our governments until something becomes too horrible for their moral threshold, and who see a means available to inform the public. What this fact says about the proportion of governmental activity that is shameful is worth considering.

Whistleblowers in general have the broad support of the public. Even their biggest enemies got into office by falsely promising to defend and honor them. But individual whistleblowers are often effectively demonized by the corporate media while being persecuted and prosecuted by the government they have assisted.

There may be something of a trend toward recognizing that Edward Snowden and Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning have done us all a service, but they remain in prison or exile or effectively under house arrest. Jeffrey Sterling followed the steps through proper channels that whistleblowers are advised they should take, and now he’s in prison, and what he informed Congress of (information critical to U.S. self-governance) remains largely unknown to the public.

Sterling’s conviction on the basis of metadata (whom he called, for how many minutes, but not what was said) also sends a message to potential whistleblowers that even the appearance of acting on their moral and legal responsibility to uphold the law could land them in prison. And of course Congress’s failure to act on Sterling’s information sends the message that “proper channels” lead nowhere.

What’s needed is a global movement that tells whistleblowers and potential whistleblowers that we’ve got their backs, that we will spread awareness far and wide of what they have risked their necks to reveal, that we will celebrate and honor their courage, and that we will do everything in our power to defend them against government retribution and misguided public condemnation.

So, here’s the plan. During the week of June 1-7, all over the world, we stand up for truth by joining in the events and using the resources created at Stand Up for Truth. (Facebook page)  The organizations and individuals behind this plan include ExposeFacts, Freedom of the Press Foundation, International Modern Media Institute, Networkers SouthNorth, RootsAction.org, and Daniel Ellsberg.

People around the world are being invited, individually or as a group, to participate in any of a series of public webcasts / phone calls with whistleblowers and their supporters. (Click the names for full biographies.)

Whistleblowing--International Week

Former State Dept. official Matthew Hoh and author and RootsAction campaigner David Swanson will be on a webcast / phone call at 9 pm ET (Eastern Time, GMT -5) on June 2nd.

Journalist, activist, and lawyer Trevor Timm and investigative journalist Tim Shorrock will answer your questions at 9 pm ET on June 3rd.

Director of media for the Institute for Public Accuracy Sam Husseini and author and law professor Marjorie Cohn will speak at 9 pm ET on June 4th.

NSA whistleblower William Binney and NSA whistleblower Kirk Wiebe will take your questions and tell their stories at 8 pm ET on June 5th.

Media critic and RootsAction cofounder Jeff Cohen and author and communications professor Robert McChesney will be up at 9 pm ET on June 5th for the second call of the night’s doubleheader.

Journalist Kevin Gosztola and EPA whistleblower Marsha Coleman-Adebayo will be on the final webcast at 5 pm ET on June 6th.

The webcasts will each last 60 minutes. To listen and type in questions, just point your web browser tohttp://cast.teletownhall.us/web_client/?id=roots_action_org and turn up your volume. Everyone is encouraged to use the webcast and to type in questions there. If you can’t use a web browser, you can phone in. Just call 1-844-472-8237 (toll-free in U.S.) You can also ask these whistleblowers and truth tellers questions beforehand or during the webcasts by tweeting them to @Roots_Action — You can even start asking questions right now.

You can also catch Bill Binney and Marcy Wheeler live in Chicago on June 2nd, and Binney in Minneapolis/St. Paul onJune 3rd, or be part of this amazing artistic creation in Los Angeles on June 6th.

Also check out the events planned for Europe with Thomas Drake, Dan Ellsberg, Jesselyn Radack, Coleen Rowley, and Norman Solomon. They will deliver this petition in Berlin. If you sign it now your name and comment will be part of the presentation.

StandUpForTruth is encouraging everyone to plan your own events, during the first week of June or any other time. Here are some resources, some ideas for what to do:

Here are some ways to get started. Like this FaceBook page. Then add your photo to it holding a piece of paper reading “Stand Up For Truth.” Or retweet this tweet. It all helps to spread the word, which seems like the least we can do.

Find an event near you, or create an event for June 1-7 or later. We’ll help you promote it.

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