The past day’s demonization of the intelligence community whistleblower has been harsh. But, not surprising. Whistleblowers always face blowback.
And calls for the whistleblower to come forward suggest a lack of understanding of the need for anonymity.
Tom Mueller is author of the forthcoming book Age of Fraud. He writes in Politico that “If the whistleblower’s anonymity is revealed, that could put him or her in dangerous and uncertain territory.” Muller pulls from this thorough research to make that case.
The New York Times chose to report details about the whistleblowers identity and justified it this way:
We decided to publish limited information about the whistle-blower — including the fact that he works for a nonpolitical agency and that his complaint is based on an intimate knowledge and understanding of the White House — because we wanted to provide information to readers that allows them to make their own judgments about whether or not he is credible.
Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told CNN that Trump’s comment calling the whistleblower “almost a spy” is an implicit threat.
“He’s clearly targeting the person who’s filed this complaint that affects him seriously and is kind of laying the marker down that he wants this person’s identity and he wants to be able to follow-up on this. So absolutely a total contravention of all the protections for whistleblowers,” said McCabe, who added that Trump’s comments in front of US government employees suggests a message to others who might come forward with damaging information in the future.
“So, you have to ask, was this some sort of a message to all of those folks and indeed a message to all people serving in the government that if they step forward with complaints, they can expect the President to come after them?”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway described the intelligence community whistleblower as “more blowhard than whistleblower.”
Speaking to Fox News, she said “I don’t consider them to be spies, but anybody who leaks conversations that are classified or are of national security sensitivity ought not to be working in the government — whoever you are — and I hope you’re watching, whoever you are.”
The Onion had some fun with their piece
Approval of Whistleblowers Will Get Them Out Of Jail:
I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before they clear my name and let me go,” (Reality) Winner said by phone from a federal prison in Texas, echoing the sentiments of (Chelsea) Manning, who told reporters she expected not only to be released from jail but also to be allowed to return immediately to active duty in the Army.