Leaking Non-Classified Documents at Departments of Agriculture and Education Equivalent to Treason and Espionage, Official Government Policy Now Says
Labeling James Rosen a co-conspirator in espionage (working with a foreign power) wasn't some lapse by the Obama Administration.
It's actually White House policy.
Incredible story from McClatchy.
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.
President Barack Obama’s unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of “insider threat” give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.
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.
The Department of Education, meanwhile, informs employees that co-workers going through “certain life experiences . . . might turn a trusted user into an insider threat.” Those experiences, the department says in a computer training manual, include “stress, divorce, financial problems” or “frustrations with co-workers or the organization.”
Sounds like another BOLO for "Tea Party."
A very serious attitude on leaks makes perfect sense within certain parts of the government -- the military, the CIA, the NSA, the nuclear weapons parts of the Department of Energy.
But at the Department of Agriculture, Education, or the FDA? What is this except a thuggish attempt to make sure that no damaging information about government operations ever makes it into citizens' hands?
It is right that the military should be militarized. But the entire federal bureaucracy? Loose Lips Sink Ships at the Navy; do they sink ships at the Department of Agriculture as well?
Ah well, perhaps I'm just exaggerating and getting all panicky over nothing. I mean, it's not as if non-national-security agencies like Department of Agriculture -- you know, the Corn Police -- have tutorials instructing its workers how to look for traitors and spies or anything creepy like that.
An online tutorial titled “Treason 101” teaches Department of Agriculture and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employees to recognize the psychological profile of spies.
Ah. I... see.