Whistle Blower or Anarchist Insurgent?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by rawbone8, May 11, 2007.

  1. rawbone8

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    I laughed so hard when I read this article.

    The Harper government is sort of like Canada's version of the Republican political party. It seems so ridiculous that a temp worker got hired and gained access to sensitive information about how the government was planning to subvert our country's Kyoto commitments signed by the previous Liberal government.

    The spins on this embarassing episode are plentiful. The guy is milking every opportunity for promoting his political views (and his ridiculous "victimhood" spin). It looks like he's facing jail time or at the least a costly court battle. It wouldn't surprise me if a sympathetic lawyer provides pro bono services here, with the publicity involved.

    The Human Resources department must be fucking re-faced.

    Regardless of his opportunistic motives, is this kind of whistle blowing warranted? Do these inside people deserve protection from retribution if they are performing a public service?

    story posted at CBC
    Government trying to 'bully' public servants: accused leaker

    Last Updated: Thursday, May 10, 2007 | 10:27 PM ET


    A federal bureaucrat who was arrested amid accusations that he leaked a draft of the Tories' climate change plan says the threat of prosecution is "vengeful" and part of the government's bid to intimidate public servants.

    Jeff Monaghan, an employee at Environment Canada, was arrested and led away in handcuffs from his office early Wednesday as co-workers looked on. At a news conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Monaghan called it a "politically engineered raid of my workplace."

    "The spectacle of my arrest, the subsequent RCMP press release and the prepared statements from Environment Canada, including [Environment Minister John] Baird, have been crafted to bully public servants," he said.

    Monaghan, 27, also called the proposed charges "vengeful" and an "extension of a government-wide communication strategy pinned on secrecy, intimidation and centralization."

    The RCMP said they arrested Monaghan for allegations of breach of trust under the Criminal Code. He is accused of leaking details from a draft version of the government's regulatory framework for climate change. No charges have been laid and the investigation is continuing, police said.

    "An employee who violates the terms of their workplace security clearance, including the release of secret documents, may be subjected to legal consequences, including criminal charges," RCMP Supt. Stan Burke — the officer in charge of financial integrity — said in a news release Wednesday.

    Police said they received a complaint on April 17 that a secret draft copy of the climate change section of the government's Eco-Action Plan had been leaked to the media and environmentalists.

    Baird said the arrest was a signal to other government employees that leaks of information wouldn't be tolerated.
    But Monaghan, whose job was to monitor news reports about the government, said Thursday the proposed charges are "without precedent" in the extent to which they are disproportionate to the alleged offence.

    Government the one breaking laws: Monaghan

    Monaghan accused the government of using phrases such as "responsible process" and "obedience for the law" as justification for what he called a "witchhunt against the lowest-ranking temp employee in the department and possibly the entire government."

    He said it was the government — in particular, the Environment Department — that was undermining due process and legal commitments by breaking the country's obligations under the international Kyoto treaty.

    Under the government's newest plan, Canada would reduce its current greenhouse-gas emissions by 150 million tonnes by 2020, and most industries would be required to become 18 per cent more energy efficient by 2010.

    The new plan means Canada will be at least a decade behind meeting the obligations it agreed to under the Kyoto Protocol.
    Monaghan refused to answer questions from reporters after he read a prepared statement at his news conference.

    But he did say he got his short-term contract at the media monitoring section of Environment Canada through a human resources firm in order to sidestep government employment procedures.

    Drummer with punk band

    Monaghan is a member of a collective that recently opened an anarchist bookstore in downtown Ottawa. He's also a drummer with the punk band The Suicide Pilots, which has an album called Rock Against Harper.

    The band webpage on MySpace depicts a plane flying into the Peace Tower on Ottawa's Parliament Hill.


    Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said the treatment of Monaghan seems heavy-handed.

    "It looks like indeed an attempt of intimidation and this is going very very far, very very far although I have no sympathy at all for leaks," he said.

    NDP environment critic Nathan Cullen said whoever leaked the information could be seen as a whistleblower.

    "If the government has come forward and decided to break its own international commitments and an employee of the government says the government is about to break the international law — one can construe that as whistleblowing."

    The government leaks documents all the time, Cullen said. But when it comes to the environment, he said, the government has a double standard.

     
  2. burns1de

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    Thank GOD somebody agrees with me on this. This whole story is essentially built from scratch to blast the Conservatives. The little twerp exposed confidential information, which is a act that can of course be prosecuted, and now he's claiming that the CP are stifling dissent and trying to shut him up and blah blah blah. Typical rethoric from someone who spends his time critizing the system while exploiting it. Pure B.S. I hope they throw is ass in the can.
     
  3. rawbone8

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    I'm laughing at the hypocrisy on ALL sides. Government, opposition parties and the arrested guy.:biggrin1:
     
  4. SpeedoGuy

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    Interesting question you've posed, rawbone.

    I once overwhelmingly favored automatic protection for whistleblowers and leakers because I tended to admire their courage in coming forward with information despite the repercussions that would surely fall on them. Hell, I was something of a leaker myself at times.

    But over time my enthusiasm for leakers and whistleblowers has cooled a bit as I've seen some of the unforeseen and unintended damage done by leaks, however well meaning. And too often the leakers themselves have more of an agenda than selflessly publicizing an item embarrassing to the powers-that-be.

    I guess I take them more on a case-by-case basis now.
     
  5. burns1de

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    Yeah, but this guy's not a true whistle-blower - it's the draft of a speech about the Conservatives' admittedly-laughable Green Plan that he 'leaked', nothing more. It's not like he exposed an Abu Grahib-esque situation in Afghanistan regarding Canadian soldiers or anything... For an anarchist, he sure looks like a media whore to me.
     
  6. D_Gunther Snotpole

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    Yes. It's like civil disobedience.
    You break the law for what you think are higher purposes -- and then you take the legally-mandated consequences. You don't ask for special treatment.
    Anything less is hypocritical.
     
  7. Ethyl

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    If Monaghan avoids jail time the free publicity will do wonders for his band...unless they suck. Then it's simply his 15 minutes of fame.
     
  8. rawbone8

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    The "swivel" service is supposed to be non partisan in practice. People who may disagree with the government of the day must hold their noses and do their jobs.

    When someone pulls a stunt like this it is not something I'm sympathetic toward. It's obvious rules are not going to stand in the way of an anarchist, (the label is somewhat perverted from its meaning these days) but I think he does a disservice to the rights of legitimate government employees. They have enough trouble doing their jobs without more distrustful oversight from the Minister and party in power.

    Whistle blowing is legitimate in the outing of law breakers.
     
  9. SpeedoGuy

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    I guess this is the crux of the matter. If a whistleblower exposes illegal activity, protection from repercussions would certainly seem to be warranted. Awarding a medal to the whistleblower comes to mind.

    Protection for exposing unethical activity in the gray area between legal and illegal is not quite so clear to me as it once seemed.
     
  10. jakeatolla

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    The little Bastard should be thrown in jail and only
    be let out when he's Pregnant!!!!:rolleyes:
     
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