Barack Obama is a paranoiac with a charm-offensive grin and more whistleblower prosecutions under his belt than in all other previous administrations combined. Even a self-defensive meeting with civil libertarians on Friday afternoon about the recent uproar over the government spying upon its own citizens was held under an unnecessary veil of secrecy.
And, as McClatchy Newspapers reveals, there is now even an Obamian version of Nixon's Enemies List, called the Insider Threat Program:
Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.This goes for all federal employees, not just those in the spy agencies. In the Social Security Administration. In the Department of Agriculture. In the Education Department. Each agency of the government is turning into its own little Stasi. I am trying to imagine what kind of spying might be going on in my local Social Security office, for example. Is one worker falling under suspicion for being too sympathetic to applicants, or maybe once forgot to demand that last unit of identification as proof of existence? Or, is Obama's Insider Threat manifesto just institutionalizing the usual petty backstabbing office politics?
Actually, it's a lot worse. Because if one of your co-workers with an ax to grind snitches on you, you can theoretically be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. It looks as though J. Edgar Obama wants to raise his record of whistleblowing prosecutions far, far above the current measly seven (counting Edward Snowden.):
Government documents reviewed by McClatchy illustrate how some agencies are using that latitude to pursue unauthorized disclosures of any information, not just classified material. They also show how millions of federal employees and contractors must watch for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers and could face penalties, including criminal charges, for failing to report them. Leaks to the media are equated with espionage.
“Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States,” says a June 1, 2012, Defense Department strategy for the program that was obtained by McClatchy.And that's the gist of it, folks. Our government considers all of us enemies of the state for even daring to ask what they're doing in all our names.
I can only imagine what it must be like to work for the federal government in the Age of Obama. If you snitch on a friend, do you get a bounty in the way of a raise and promotion, or will the cheapskates just toss you some comp time off and an extra half hour for lunch? If you fail to snitch on a friend and the boss later finds you knew all about something without reporting it, is that grounds for your dismissal or even prosecution?
Working under conditions like this not only adversely affects the workers, it affects the whole working of government. Who can possibly function under such a system? Somebody will always be looking over your shoulder. Clerical mistakes, lost paperwork, nervous breakdowns will no doubt skyrocket. Morale will plummet to zero. But maybe that's the whole plan.
And it's not only blatant stuff like talking to the media that the employees are being asked to report. Workers must also alert their bosses to the personal problems -- such as marital woes -- of their colleagues -- because such issues might lead to a troubled person spilling secrets for foreign governments, or worse! They're even supposed to keep tabs on one another's reading material. One red flag, according to the government, is if someone reads the Onion and Salon. I think the latter entry in the List of Forbidden Websites must be outdated, though. It was on the Government List because Glenn Greenwald used to work there.
So I imagine that sneaking a peek at The Guardian during lunch hour at the Patent Office might land you in the slammer before quitting time.
The Obama Administration must be having conniption fits now that Hong Kong failed to cave to threats from the World's Policeman and allowed Edward Snowden to leave the country. I wonder if White House hacks are reporting on each other's mental health as they all collapse to the floor and start chewing on the rugs.