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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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @kevinjonheller Someone should modernize footnote citation. And get rid of those funny hats academics wear in ceremonies.
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emptywheel One reason I insist Sony hack abt property, not speech, is bc released files are ALSO abt property: may provide better read on culprits.
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emptywheel @MicahZenko In spite of fact that said Japnese-owned company was badly negligent in protecting itself.
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emptywheel RT @MicahZenko: US will respond "proportionally" for alleged N. Korean hack of a Japanese-owned company, on behalf of a film made in Canada.
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emptywheel At Salon I argue cancellation of Interview actually an attack on property, not speech. http://t.co/WY8I1vdNyD
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emptywheel Damn! Scooped! RT @Sysparatem: bit Doglas Adams isn't it? Shoe Shops take over the World
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emptywheel Think I'll write a SciFi book about country that decides only thing that counts as critical infrastructure are the movie studios. Too crazy?
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emptywheel @ColMorrisDavis To be fair, the hackers (who may not be NK at all) blew a lot more of Sony than one movie, tho Sony was pretty negligent.
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emptywheel @MaxAbrahms Part of the problem created by Bush Admin claiming Iraq had role in 9/11. Now justifiable skepticism. @dandrezner
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JimWhiteGNV RT @Sunny_In_Kabul: CIA militias: "These are people you’d call only if you’re planning a field trip with Boko Haram." http://t.co/ozxQCHaN9K
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JimWhiteGNV RT @AdamSerwer: If you think the cops are mad at de Blasio...just wait until this Obama quote about the Garner shirts gets around http://t.…
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JimWhiteGNV “@APDiploWriter: "Israeli military says #Gaza rocket hits #Israel" http://t.co/mCiyjl2f8O” Another Iron Dome failure?
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