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Cardin wrong on whistleblowers

National SecurityDefenseBenjamin L. CardinIraqDaniel EllsbergThomas Drake

It was a tremendous disappointment to read that Sen. Ben Cardin is still pursuing that noxious legislation which will only punish whistleblowers that expose government malfeasance ("Cardin's spy bill draws anger," Nov. 25). Presumably, my senator wants to protect those in power who violate the public trust.

Surely Senator Cardin followed the National Security Agency's persecution of Thomas Drake, the whistleblower who exposed a wasteful computer system and then was prosecuted. Surely Ben Cardin knows about Daniel Ellsberg and his release of the Pentagon Papers.

All governments lie, and most engage in illegal activities. For example, the Bush-Cheney administration lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And then members of the administration undermined the career of Valerie Plame, because her husband Joe Wilson exposed one of the lies — that Iraq was getting uranium from Niger.

Senator Cardin claims he wants to protect "national security." That's ridiculous, as our government has consistently used that argument to cover up disastrous and illegal operations.

The senator would be wise to shelve this anti-First Amendment legislation and instead focus attention on other pressing matters — job creation, income inequality, 50 million citizens without health insurance or 46 million living in poverty. Or he could start investigating the illegal use of drones by our government. One hundred and seventy five children have been killed in drone attacks in Pakistan, for example.

I would support Senator Cardin if he got involved in any of the real crises listed above. If, though, he persists with this awful notion of strengthening the Espionage Act, I and other strong believers in the Bill of Rights will protest and speak out vehemently.

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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