Here’s a hint: It’s not the ACLU.
In its report, “The ACLU and Whistleblowers,” published by Human Rights Watch on Monday, that group noted that since 2001, when it first began tracking the issue of government leaks to media outlets in the United States, an average of 50 journalists have been indicted under Section 793 for leaking classified information to the media — a figure much higher than those charged under other anti-leaking statutes. In addition to being arrested and jailed during their trials (usually facing life sentences), these reporters are also denied bail or coerced into making plea bargains before any trial begins. The report’s authors note that many high-profile cases involving journalism from whistleblowing sources were prosecuted from 2001 through 2010 without convictions; instead prosecutors chose simply to drop charges due to lack of evidence or because they saw no political benefit in pursuing them further. Some ended with acquittals or hung juries; others were settled out of court after news organizations agreed not to publish material turned over as evidence against reporters involved in earlier leak investigations.
These figures raise some questions about whether Congress’ War on Leakers will result in more prosecutions for whistleblowers who provide information about government corruption but don’t want their identities revealed — which is what most did at Ground Zero on 9/11… until Bush decided he would prefer people did know exactly who was responsible for deaths at Ground Zero rather than risk someone saying something critical about his war crimes record there — even if it came