Just how important is national security in a post-9/11 United States? Just how important is the truth? According to Robert Greenwald’s documentary “War on Whistlerblowers: Free Press and the National Security State,” the whistleblowers had facing harder times. “War on Whistleblowers” began playing on 26 April 2013 at the Music Hall in Beverly Hills.
I’ve been a whistleblower at two major international companies and I can tell you it’s never been much fun. My whistleblowing was for discrimination and OSHA violations–nothing that endangered national security. Even on a much lower level, like blowing the whistle on a rule-bending local contest, people step back and stay undercover.
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The whistleblowers include former State and Defense Departments official Daniel Ellsberg, Lockheed Martin project manager Michael DeKort, former senior executive of the National Security Agency Thomas Drake, deputy branch head for the Space and Information Operations Integration Branch and criminal defense litigation attorney Thomas Tamm.
Ellsberg was infamous for revealing “The Pentagon Papers” which he handed over to the New York Times in 1971.
DeKort objected his company’s failure to meet the contractual requirements of the C4I systems on U.S. Coast Guard’s 123 Coast Guard Cutter which was part of the Deepwater program and he did it via a YouTube video in 2006.
Drake was a key witness for two Congressional investigations for 9/11. He was the source for several articles written for the Baltimore Sun on the Trailblazer program.
Gayl was a science adviser for the Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq. When he returned he alerted the Secretary of Defense, Congress and the media to critical equipment shortages, including Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs). The vehicles being used at the time weren’t meant to provide protection for explosive devices.
The possibility of saving lives didn’t matter, but according to Gayl the Military dragged feet on bomb-proof vehicles.
The documentary also includes award-winning journalists like David Carr, Lucy Dalglish, Glenn Greenwald, Seymour Hersh, Michael Isikoff, Bill Keller, Eric Lipton, Jane Mayer, Dana Priest, Tom Vanden Brook and Sharon Weinberger as well as experts.
Since 1970s, there have been fewer and fewer newspapers and full-time paid journalism jobs are harder to come by. Having a team to investigate the allegations or to pay for a good defense attorney isn’t as easy these days and that’s why the questions this documentary brings up are particularly important.
The documentary is grim and if you can’t make it to the Music Hall to see it you can also order a DVD for free if you’re willing to host a screening at home.