Will Obama Prosecute the Newly Identified Second Whistleblower?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reportedly identified the second whistleblower who has been providing Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill with documents related to government watchlists.

Michael Isikoff reported for Yahoo! News that the FBI searched the home of  a federal contracting firm employee suspected of being the source of documents provided to Jeremy Scahill, Ryan Devereaux and The Intercept. Scahill, Greenwald and film-maker Laura Poitras are the editors for the adversarial journalism site The Intercept, founded in February. Isikoff says that federal prosecutors in Northern Virginia have launched an investigation into the situation.

His sources also say the Department of Justice may be reluctant to bring criminal charges against the whistleblower. The source said the U.S. intelligence community is trying to avoid any more press from pursuing whistleblowers such as Chelsea Manning or Edward Snowden. Jeremy Scahill said he was not aware of an investigation by federal officials.

The existence of a second whistleblower was first noticed in late July as a 166-page document related to terrorism watch lists was released through The Intercept. In early August another document was released, this one detailed the activities of the Directorate of Terrorist Identities, a counterterrorism unit within the National Counterterrorism Center. The NCTC is responsible for maintaining one of the watchlists Scahill wrote about.

As BenSwann.com and CNN reported,  the document could not have come from whistleblower Edward Snowden, as it is dated August 2013, after Snowden left for Russia. At the time  The Intercept only referred to the whistleblower as “a source in the intelligence community”.

A newly released documentary also confirms the existence of the latest whistleblower. Citizenfour  details the story of whistleblower Edward Snowden and his efforts to contact Laura Poitras. In the film Glenn Greenwald tells Snowden about the second source. Jeremy Scahill describes the figure as “an extremely principled and brave whistleblower”.

While we wait to learn the fate of this new whistleblower it is important to remember that the current President has continuously persecuted whistleblowers and built a reputation around a lack of transparency and unfriendly relations to the press.Earlier this year the Columbia Journalism Review reported on the U.S. dropping 13 spots in a global index on freedom. Delphine Halgand, the US Director for Reporters Without Borders, said 2013 was marked by Chelsea Manning’s 35 year sentence and the pursuit of Edward Snowden and journalists such as James Risen. 

In October 2013 the Committee to Protect Journalist released a report title “Leak investigations and surveillance in post-9/11 America”. The report covers the Obama Administrations attacks on the free press and implementation of surveillance measures that threaten free and independent journalism. Most recently, USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page stated that the Obama Administration was more “restrictive” and “dangerous” than any other administration.

If free thinking individuals want to continue to have access to information about the corporations, governments and their mutual partners, we must support independent and alternative media ventures. Controlled, contrived news programming will never be the target of the government’s attacks and censorship. Only the free media that is unbound by corporate dollars or government pay offs can succeed in reporting the unfiltered facts. It is more important than ever to invest in indie media projects, share articles, videos, and create your own media. Together we can keep the press and the people free.