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Should Leakers of Classified Government Wrong-Doings be Punished?

Updated on November 20, 2014
Froggy213 profile image

Greg has many opinions when it comes to politics and education. He has no qualms with voicing his opinion..


I regularly read a blog that was developed by one of our Hubbers. Billybuc made the blog: Artistry With Words which is very helpful to writers. He puts many hints and tips for writers.

Billy also regularly puts writing contests that are happening. Not long ago, he put a contest that pays $1,000 for the best answer to several questions. The title of this hub is one.

I must admit, I am a bit angry over the fact that the article I wrote could not gain entry. From what I read, the contest is open to United States citizens, but it seems the website doesn't consider Puerto Rico as a part of the United States. When they wrote me back, I explained to them that all citizens of Puerto Rico are also citizens of the United States. I was answered with if they allow Puerto Rico entries, they would have to allow England entries. Huh??? Puerto Rico is nowhere near England.

Oh well; I now have a hub.

This is par for the course. I have noticed that people treat Puerto Rico as a third world country..

Well, so be it Wielding Power Publishing. I will make the answer I wrote for the contest a hub. I did put your link, because maybe some other hubbers who live in areas you accept may want to enter your contest.

Here was my answer to their question:

Bradley Manning

This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source

Bradley (Chelsea) Manning

They were both looked at like criminals. Who do I speak of?

Bradley Manning is now known as Chelsea Manning. He claims he has felt like being a girl since early in life.

Bradley leaked what is known as the Iraq war logs to Wiki leaks and was arrested and found guilty of aiding and abetting the enemy. Much of the material that Manning supplied showed wrong doings by military personnel. This resulted in Manning being sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Edward Snowden

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons.
This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. | Source

Edward Snowden

We also will look at Edward Snowden who was once an employee of the C.I.A.

He also leaked many top secret documents to Wiki.

The United States would love to get their hands on Snowden who is now in asylum. Our government would love to also put him in prison.

The Debates

Were these acts of traitors? The citizens of the United States and elsewhere debate this daily.

Instead of looking at them, we will explore something on the same aspect, but different:

Whistle blower protection.

Whistleblower Protection Act


Why Was This Act Needed?

In the 1980's, many organizations pushed for a protection of whistle blowers.

Corporations and high level managers within them had created “firewalls” to protect themselves from being discovered of wrong doings such as manipulating finances illegally, dumping toxic materials, mistreating employees, and other immoral and unlawful acts.

Something had to be done. Investigators needed people to step forward with information. Many of these investigators worked in Federal Government agencies. By creating the protected whistle blower act, they gained the trust of possible witnesses where they knew illegal activities were occurring, but they just could not get evidence. The evidence was provided by witnesses who were seeing the illegal acts, but were afraid of losing their jobs, and possibly their lives.

No Follow By The Makers

Now, the same people who created the whistle blower act want to punish the whistle blowers.

It seems the powers that be have the idea that they can break the law, but you cannot.

It is like a parent telling a child they will be punished for lying and then calling in sick to work with the biggest lie they can imagine.


No, government whistle blowers should not be punished. As a matter of fact, they should be given an award. There is a big difference in giving information out where all being done is lawful, but when the information leaked shows illegal activity, the whistle blower act should be the driving force on the outcome.

Does Bradley Manning deserve 35 years?

He did leak information that didn't need to be leaked.

That is where the questions lie. Do we punish for giving more than what was needed to show illegal activity?

When detectives are researching a crime, they get information that is not directly related, and could be sensitive to some people. These detectives are not penalized.

History could have been much different if there would have been protection for whistle blowers. Maybe someone would have stepped forward before Hitler had many Jewish people murdered. Maybe Pol Pot would not have committed the atrocities he committed.

On and on, we could imagine if only whistle blowers would have stepped up.

The Frog's Opinion

In this writer's opinion, at this point in time, the United States government is no better than the Cosa Nostra. They have used the fear of prison if you “snitch” on them, but they want you to still tell on others.

I believe Bradley (or Chelsea) should be set free and pardoned. Edward should be awarded and allowed back in the States with no fear of repercussion. Any others who would come forth with more illegal activity done committed by United States officials should be encouraged to do so.

This is my opinion, what is yours?


Do You Agree or Disagree with Punishing Any Who Leak Classified Material, Even If It Was Illegal?

See results

© 2014 Greg Boudonck


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    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      Thanks Ms Dora. No, it wasn't a new clerk, it was the person who runs the website.

      Quite sad that people think PR is not a part of the US.

      That is why I wrote this book that is doing well:

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Froggy, you make a good point, although I may not fully agree. Your article is worthy of entry into the contest.

      My beef is with the person who sent you the answer about having to allow England if Puerto Rico is allowed. That person is not smart enough to judge a contest of this nature. I hope that was a new clerk who did not yet understand.

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      Thank you for your input.

    • Edward J. Palumbo profile image

      Ed Palumbo 3 years ago from Tualatin, OR

      Anyone who has access to classified material is advised and accepts the responsibility of maintaining security of that information. Those who are aware of wrongdoing are ethically or morally bound to report or address that within the system and, despite assurances they will suffer no retaliation or damage to their career, do so with risk; however, to disclose any classified material publicly or with anyone who does not have a "need to know" is a crime, punishable under federal law. These issues are matters of trust and responsibility, not issues of individual assessment and discretion. There are different levels of classified material, based on the level of compromise or damage their disclosure would cause (e.g., unclassified, confidential, secret and top secret), but a violation at any level can impact security, cause damage or place others at risk. If an individual is unwilling or incapable of supporting that security requirement, s/he should excuse themselves from the responsibility. Anyone who does have access and is approached by someone who wants information or wishes to casually discuss issues to which they do not have access, the responsibility exists to report that. The degree of severity of a "slip of the tongue" is a matter to be considered, but a willful disclosure or breach of security is (and should be) punishable under law.