The administration of President Barack Obama once promised to be “the most transparent administration” of all time. Instead, Obama’s Department of Justice has led the most targeted campaign against whistleblowers of any president ever, charging more government employees under the Espionage Act than all previous presidents combined—almost all of whom sit in prison serving sentences up to 30 years.
As the relative slap on the wrist Gen. David Petraeus received this week revealing classified military information to his mistress and biographer proves, this aggressive pursuit of leaks does not, however, extend to the leadership of his intelligence agencies, revealing a deep seated double standard.
Petraeus is not the exception here. Current CIA director John Brennan once leaked classified details of a busted terror plot to the Associated Press yet saw no charges. Former CIA Director Leon Panetta once revealed classified details about the raid that captured Osama bin Laden to Hollywood filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow for the purposes of her film about the raid, Zero Dark Thirty, but he also saw no charges.
All three leaks were not done in the interest of the public but respectively as a political stunt, a bow to Hollywood jingoism, and pillow talk. The disregard for the criminal activity of these men, all former or current top administration officials, reveals a systemic hypocrisy within an administration failing to live up to its own standards. In order to highlight their hypocrisy, it’s worthwhile to look at seven lower government employees who shared classified information and paid a heavy price for it.