Candidate Obama’s Tribute to “Courage and Patriotism” of Whistleblowers Disappears 2 Days after First Snowden Revelations

Sunlight Foundation discovers the Obama Administration has removed access to his 2008 campaign promises from the White House website. It suggests one of the promises Obama may want to hide has to do with his support for whistleblowers.

While front splash page for for Change.gov has linked to the main White House website for years, until recently, you could still continue on to see the materials and agenda laid out by the administration. This was a particularly helpful resource for those looking to compare Obama’s performance in office against his vision for reform, laid out in detail on Change.gov.

According to the Internet Archive, the last time that content (beyond the splash page) was available was June 8th – last month.

Why the change?

Here’s one possibility, from the administration’s ethics agenda:

Protect Whistleblowers: 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. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

It may be that Obama’s description of the importance of whistleblowers went from being an artifact of his campaign to a political liability.

To be fair, Obama did extend whistleblower protection beyond that of the law last year — though he did it largely in secret.

Of course, that came at the same time as Obama rolled out an Insider Threat Detection system that seems designed to discourage anyone from speaking out … about anything.

And then there’s the issue of all the whistleblower prosecutions.

But if Obama did hide his campaign promises specifically to hide this tribute to the “courage and patriotism” of whistleblowers, then I find the timing particularly interesting. June 8 was just two days after the first Edward Snowden release (at a time, moreover, when the Guardian had reported only issues that went to lies James Clapper and Keith Alexander had told, making Snowden’s claim to be unable to go through regular channels quite credible).

Mind you, Obama could be hiding other promises. I still think promises about mortgages and homes are his biggest failure.

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bmaz @emptywheel @steve_vladeck @JameelJaffer Yes, tell him that Alex Kozinski and all of us in the 9th Circuit say howdy!
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emptywheel @steve_vladeck Be sure to emphasize that Bates will be there representing his own views, not US Courts. ;p @bmaz @JameelJaffer
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emptywheel @MicahZenko You're convinced that lesson will last until the end of his term, come what may in Iraq? @gregorydjohnsen
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bmaz @steve_vladeck @emptywheel @JameelJaffer You make covert video tape for us? Turnabout spying is only fair here I think. Goose----->Gander
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bmaz @trevortimm sent you an email
8mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @emptywheel @steve_vladeck @JameelJaffer Uh, yes! And the answer is??
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bmaz @trevortimm The remainder of the time to get to 63 months was from the other non-enhanced counts that were imposed consecutively.
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bmaz @trevortimm No, on count that was so enhanced, he was sentenced to 48 months, which is within guidelines on either level 21 or 23 offense.
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emptywheel RT @DanaHoule: Neocon football advice: sell arms to both Alabama AND Auburn.
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emptywheel @steve_vladeck Are you ON a panel with Judge Bates? Because that might be worth seeing. @JameelJaffer cc: @bmaz
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emptywheel @LOLGOP See? God was being especially generous to Sarah Palin, because he provided her with designer clothes before smiting her.
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emptywheel @LOLGOP You're assuming God doesn't like treating self-important Republicans like he treated Job?
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