John Crane, who investigated whistleblower complaints for the Pentagon for a quarter-century, and author Mark Hertsgaard talk with Democracy Now! about the stacked deck faced by would-be whistleblowers like Edward Snowden.
With Mark Hertsgaard, who details Crane’s allegations in a new book, Bravehearts: Whistle-Blowing in the Age of Snowden, Crane talks about the story of NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, and the Pentagon’s notoriously abysmal record of investigating abuses reported by employees.
Given such a record, Edward Snowden could realistically expect no action on his discovery of massive illegal surveillance of American citizens, leaving him only one sure out for exposing what he had found.
From Democracy Now!:
Part 1: Source Reveals How Pentagon Ruined Whistleblower’s Life and Set Stage for Snowden’s Leaks
Part 2: Source Reveals How Pentagon Ruined Whistleblower’s Life and Set Stage for Snowden’s Leaks
Part 3: Source Reveals How Pentagon Ruined Whistleblower’s Life and Set Stage for Snowden’s Leaks
From the transcript:
JOHN CRANE: Yes, yes. I think that in terms of when you think whether or not you should be a whistleblower, that you’re concerned about whether or not the system works. And there are various statistics out there, from the IG DOD semi-annual report, for instance, that in regard to the way the IG even investigates senior officials, over a two-and-a-half-year period, regarding senior officials in the Army, that the IG DOD received 482 allegations, accepted 10 allegations, substantiated one allegation.
AMY GOODMAN: Of 404, the Inspector General’s Office in the Pentagon, in the Department of Defense—
JOHN CRANE: Substantiated one, which is 0.2 percent. The Army, however, also investigating senior officials, under IG DOD oversight, they had 372 allegations. They investigated all 372 allegations. They had 102 substantiated. They had a 27 percent substantiation rate. So, this is a very major statistical anomaly. Why does the Army, looking at the same group of senior officials, have a 27 percent substantiation rate versus the IG with a 0.2 percent?
AMY GOODMAN: I want to go back to the case of Tom Drake.
JOHN CRANE: Yes.
AMY GOODMAN: You allege documents were destroyed.
JOHN CRANE: I don’t allege that. Documents were destroyed. Because when the IG DOD—
AMY GOODMAN: You said you don’t allege that, that in fact you know that documents were destroyed.
JOHN CRANE: Because that is what the IG DOD said. Documents were destroyed according to a standard document destruction policy. And that was a statement that they made to the Department of Justice in regard to the Drake trial, because Drake’s attorneys wanted to find exculpatory information. The IG DOD response was, it just doesn’t exist.
AMY GOODMAN: It had existed.
JOHN CRANE: It had existed, and it should have existed.
MARK HERTSGAARD: Yeah, they made sure it didn’t exist.