Why U.S. needs to rethink whistleblower rules
June 5th, 2014
03:37 PM ET

Why U.S. needs to rethink whistleblower rules

By Dinah PoKempner, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Dinah PoKempner is general counsel at Human Rights Watch. The views expressed are the writer’s own.

Edward Snowden’s revelations, first published a year ago today, sparked a global firestorm of debate and outrage about U.S. surveillance practices, not to mention considerable wing-flapping on Capitol Hill over some exceedingly modest legislative reform. But there’s one subject that many surveillance reformers won’t touch with a 10-foot pole: whistleblower protection for people working for the government in the intelligence and national security sectors.

No legislative proposal to protect a contractor like Snowden has gotten traction on the Hill so far. And intelligence and national security workers lack the enforceable rights that other federal employees have against retaliation for calling out wrongdoing.

Worse, no one in the United States has a clear legislative defense against punishment for revealing government secrets to the public – not even if those secrets concern violations of the Constitution, international law, or outright crimes. Indeed, the heavy blunderbuss of the Espionage Act, a law aimed at punishing leaks to the enemy, doesn’t exempt those who try to alert the public to grave misconduct.


Post by:
Topics: Technology • United States • WikiLeaks
December 5th, 2010
11:00 PM ET

GPS December 5, 2010: WikiLeaks & Bill Maher

Just what have the 250,000 diplomatic cable from the latest WikiLeaks document dump proven? Nefarious backroom dealings? The secretive inner workings of the State Department? Or do these documents show that American diplomats might actually be good at their jobs?  Fareed offers his take.

And to help make sense of WikiLeaks, the financial crisis in Europe and its effect on America, we’ve assembled an all-star GPS panel. Niall Ferguson of Harvard, Richard Haass of the Council On Foreign Relations and Gillian Tett of the Financial Times.

Then, 2010 was a catastrophic year.  Devastating earthquakes led the list, but the year also brought an uptick in climate-related deaths – from floods and droughts, heat and cold, .  What’s it all about?

Next up, someone Fareed calls “one of the sharpest observers of American politics and life-in-general out there.” Bill Maher, the host of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” and one of this county’s most prominent stand-up comedians has had Fareed on his show before. Now see what happens when the tables are turned.

And finally, a last look at when nationalism, is perhaps, out of fashion.

Read the transcript here.

EXTRA: Watch a GPS greenroom interview with Bill Maher here.

Post by:
Topics: Economy • Europe • GPS Episodes • Politics • President Obama • WikiLeaks
August 1st, 2010
11:00 PM ET

GPS August 1, 2010: John Kerry, WikiLeaks, Pakistani Ambassador Husain Haqqani

The recent leak of 92,000 U.S. military documents related to Afghanistan has re-ignited the national conversation about the war there…and whether it’s worth it.

On Sunday, Fareed has an exclusive interview with Senator John Kerry – the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – to talk about the Wikileaks and, more broadly, the war in Afghanistan; about Iran and whether we should be engaging that nation; and about U.S. politics.

Then Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S. responds directly to the accusations in the war logs that his intelligence service has been colluding with the Taliban.

Next up, Hugo Chavez threatening the U.S. again. Is this a case of more bark than bite?

After that, a panel of experts featuring Hendrik Hertzberg of the New Yorker, Reuters’ global editor-at-large Chrystia Freeland, and Ross Douthat of the N.Y. Times on the Obama’s administration is handling the crises that seem to keep coming at them.

And finally, a $35 iPad?

Read the full transcript here.

Topics: Afghanistan • Economy • GPS Episodes • GPS Show • Innovation • Military • Pakistan • Politics • President Obama • Security • Taliban • Terrorism • United States • WikiLeaks