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WaPo: Life for Whistleblowers after revealing Gov't secrets


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After the whistle: Revealers of government secrets share how their lives have changed



By Emily WaxPublished: July 28 E-mail the writer

The former high-ranking National Security Agency analyst now sells iPhones. The top intelligence officer at the CIA lives in a motor home outside Yellowstone National Park and spends his days fly-fishing for trout. The FBI translator fled Washington for the West Coast.

This is what life looks like for some after revealing government secrets. Blowing the whistle on wrongdoing, according to those who did it. Jeopardizing national security, according to the government.



If you had your hands on big secret stuff that you felt like the public should know about, would you do it?


Sad to think that one of the guys in the article left a 150K job, lost his pension, for a life working at an arts and crafts store. IT'd be great if his "reveal" changed things, but I don't know anything about the NSA then and the NSA now to make any kind of judgement on the matter. In the end, is it worth it?



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My opinion depends on what they reveal. 


If Obama is having teams of plumbers break into Mitt Romney's campaign headquarters and his doctor's office, looking for dirt for the election, and claiming that it's classified, then hell, yes, it should be leaked. 


If the government is ignoring federal law and the US Constitution, and using covert surveillance on every person in America, then yeah, that's something that needs to be exposed. 


OTOH, to pick a different, recent, case, if some State Dept crypto guy has a year's worth of inter-embassy chatter in which the biggest news is that some State people used derogatory names about some foreign guy, behind his back?  Then no.  You're revealing classified information, (information which, at least theoretically, might allow a foreign intel agency to break the encryption we use), just so you can yell "Hey, everybody!  Look what I can do!" 


To me, the difference between whether a leaker is a hero or a traitor depends on what he's leaking. 

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