Updated: Aug 16
Question: Why has not a single 2020 presidential candidate ever mentioned the name ‘Reality Winner?’
Answer: Because they’re all afraid to face reality (not a pun).
If anyone should be awarded the Medal of Freedom, it’s Reality Winner, but freeing her from prison isn’t on anybody’s to-do list. If successful on November 3, Joe Biden will sweep all the Trump era collateral damage under the rug in a program to 'heal the nation's wounds.' Kamala Harris was adamant in demanding Al Franken's resignation from the Senate (he was later totally exonerated of sexual assault charges by a crusading woman journalist from the NY Times) but she exhibits no interest in Reality Winner, a woman who stood up for democracy at great personal risk. Are these the best candidates that a nation of 360 million can put forward? Think about it.
The arrest, conviction and 63-month prison sentence imposed on Winner over the exposure of Russian meddling in US elections points up a disturbing fact of political life in America: every candidate opposing Donald Trump in November has a ton of dirty laundry in the back of their political clothes closets. They are terrified that endorsing whistleblowers will come back to bite them in the arse.
In the run-up to November 3, nobody is arguing that Russian interference in the 2016 election didn’t put Donald Trump and his family of despicable miscreants in the White House. Thank Reality Winner for blowing the whistle on that caper. If you want to read the supposed NSA Report that put her behind bars, then please see the references following this post. Note that I have not vetted the source for the document that is circulating in the public domain.
Perhaps the problem is one of semantics, attributable to lack of education and simple self-interest. I’m talking about your favourite candidates now; you know, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and, yes, even oldie-but-goodie Bernie. I'm talking about every sitting Democratic member of the House and Senate. And I’m talking about Barak Obama, the wild card in Biden’s deck, watching Joe's back. None of these presidential wannabes, or even the former President himself, knows the difference between whistleblowers and leakers.
It’s the leakers they need to fear. It’s the leakers we ALL need to fear.
A leaker is someone who steals data and sells it for his/her own profit. Leakers are sociopaths and psychopaths, unable to empathize with others or appreciate the negative impact of their selfish deeds. I won’t repeat the historical litany of spies and traitors whose names are almost household words. But I will point out that Google, Facebook, Amazon and other media giants are leaking YOUR personal data for profit, that is, selling it without concern for whatever negative consequences might impact you personally, now or in future. The Pentagon has invited bids from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and others to lease their analytics engines complete with client data. What purpose could that possible serve? Well, I’ll tell you. The implications for you and me are far more serious than Russia-gate.
Whistleblowers are the diametric opposite of leakers. People like Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowdon, and Reality Winner are whistleblowers. The still-anonymous whistleblower who blew open the Ukraine scandal that led to the 2019 impeachment of Donald Trump earned praise from Democrats for standing up for democracy but was condemned by Republicans as a cowardly criminal. Donald Trump tweeted how such ‘traitors’ should be dealt with (e.g., shot). Nonetheless, your favorite Democratic candidates stood up to protect that whistleblower’s identity because it was in their party’s political interest to do so.
In whose political interest is it to protect Reality Winner? Apparently, nobody’s. Go ahead. Ask Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, if you dare.
Ask them if Reality Winner a whistleblower or a leaker. And if she’s a whistleblower, then why is she still in prison?
There are some important characteristics that whistleblowers have in common. First, they are generally well educated with an acute awareness of political issues in a real-world context. Second, they share a keen sense of right and wrong that is reflected in the pivotal acts of conscience that brought them under scrutiny. Third, they evidence a solid resume of service to their society before the event that got them into hot water. Fourth, they’re generally squeaky clean. That’s right. No DUIs or shoplifting convictions, no sex scandals. They’re all straight arrows. And fifth, they've all been maligned by the establishment. It's a perfect description of Reality Winner.
And that’s why politicians fear whistleblowers. While it’s trendy and politically correct to come out in favour of whistleblowing, especially where the #MeToo Movement or the anti-Trump Resistance are concerned, suppressing potentially damaging information against oneself while promoting damaging information against one’s opponent is really what the game is about. If your favorite 2020 candidate was really about Truth, Justice, and the American Way, they’d be championing the release of Reality Winner. After all, the incumbent Trump is parading convicted war criminals front and centre at his rallies. But his opponents are too cowed to take up the cause of a real American heroine.
There has been a profound change in America over the past several decades. When Daniel Ellsberg blew the lid on the mismanagement of the Vietnam War by releasing the Pentagon Papers back in 1971, Americans still had a sense of right and wrong. Like Reality Winner, Ellsberg was charged under the Espionage Act of 1917, along with other charges of theft and conspiracy that carried a penalty of up to 115 years in prison. Those charges were dismissed. Eventually, Ellsberg was awarded the 2018 Olaf Palme Prize for ‘profound humanism and moral courage.’
A more recent and equally representative example is Edward Snowden. Snowden is cast from the same mold as Ellsberg and Winner. His decision to blow the whistle on the National Security Agency in 2013 pointed up the fact that the American democracy has been deconstructed to the point where Americans are living in a soft cage, a police state wherein surveillance and control have replaced freedom. Again, the government invoked the Espionage Act of 1917 to silence him.
As Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) once observed, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Ironically, Snowden was forced to flee to Russia to avoid the fate of Reality Winner, the same Russia that Winner blew the whistle on. Perhaps Snowden’s strategy was to retreat so as to fight another day, to 'purchase a little temporary safety.' The fact is, however, that nobody across the entire American political spectrum can allow Snowden or any other confirmed whistleblower to live amongst us, because in this society predicated on racism, bigotry and greed, nobody has clean hands.
Perhaps a more apropos Franklin quotation is: “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” Franklin never heard of the Mother-of-All-Leakers: Cambridge Analytica. Instead, he was imagining himself preaching liberty from a soapbox in Washington Square and hand-setting type in his printshop. The notorious Steve Bannon's multi-billion dollar data mining firm managed to acquire all the personal data from 87 million Facebook accounts and sell it to the 2016 Trump Campaign. Like the Liar-in-Chief himself, Facebook says it's not responsible. Somebody else violated an agreement, blah-blah-blah. We have privacy laws in this country but nobody is going to jail for this one. Instead, Facebook's despicable owner, Mark Zuckerberg, is set to become the world's first trillionaire. That's one with twelve zeros.
Think about it. As we speak, every opinion you ever expressed via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, every picture you ever posted (complete with geolocation metadata), every online purchase you ever made (remember that nifty sex toy you picked up at Amazon or eBay?), your entire browsing history, even your personal health data (menstrual periods, exercise log, medications), are being sold to the Pentagon. If you don’t think this information is already in the hands of the police, then don’t bother yourself about the fate of Reality Winner.
Freeing Reality Winner is a critical test of how far down the road to perdition America has travelled.
Telephone or email your favorite presidential candidate today. Ask why they haven’t mentioned Reality Winner.
Social Media Pages
Phone Number: (202) 456-1111
Contact URL: www.harris.senate.gov/contact
Address: 112 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone Number: (202) 224 - 3553
Address: 317 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone Number: (202) 224-4543
Following is the heavily redacted NSA Report downloaded from https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3766950-NSA-Report-on-Russia-Spearphishing.html