The actions of U.S. National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, and Washington’s attempt to bring the fugitive back to the U.S. to face espionage charges, have prompted some observers to accuse President Barack Obama of hypocrisy on the issue of whistleblowers.
As a presidential candidate, Obama repeatedly pledged to make openness and transparency a top priority of his administration. Obama promised to “protect whistleblowers,” saying that “often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out.”
“Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled,” he said.
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