Trump Administration Launches Outrageous Training Program to Ruin Leakers
The Trump Administration is Getting “Serious”
The federal government hates leakers. That is a fact that has remained true among both political parties. No matter who is in power, the goal remains the same of keeping government plans a secret and punishing anyone that attempts to divulge them to the public, even if this means having to defend things that are unconstitutional or immoral.
The Obama Administration gained infamy for its staunch anti-whistleblower position, no doubt influenced by Edward Snowden’s disclosing of the NSA’s PRISM surveillance program in 2013. As the fact-checking organization “Politifact” confirmed in 2014, Obama’s White House used the Espionage Act to crackdown on whistleblowers that gave information to journalists more times than every other presidential administration combined since Woodrow Wilson’s.
The now incumbent Trump Administration has adopted a similar attitude, though for slightly different reasons: hiding traitors. Leaks have been plaguing Trump ever since “BuzzFeed” published a private intelligence dossier on January 10, claiming that Russian officials allegedly had blackmail on him. Things have only gone downhill from there as numerous members of his Administration have had their secrets exposed to publications like The Washington Post, revealing their political or economic connections to Russia. Not only that, but whole transcripts of his interactions with foreign leaders have even been exposed to the media.
As such, Trump has grown eager to punish any person or persons involved in these public revelations, claiming that a line has to be drawn. Things have gotten so bad that it was reported on August 12 that the President was placing the blame on White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who was subsequently fired seven days later.
As employee termination has not stopped the continued leaks, the Trump Team will be trying a new tactic: human resources. In a new memo, National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster has made it clear that any one thinking about becoming a whistleblower will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. To push this idea forward, every department and agency will be required to attend a one-hour training session on illegally disclosing information to the public.
In addition to this, all attendees will be required to watch a C-SPAN video of Jeff Sessions talking about leaks as well as a literal Fox News interview featuring Executive Officer of the National Counterintelligence Executive Office William Evanina.
With White House officials declining requests to talk about the memo, two possible things seem clear: either they are fully behind this initiative or too embarrassed to talk about it.
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images
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