Probably all presidents from time to time have daydreamed about how delightful governing the United States would be, if only they had imperial, dictatorial powers. Two have actually tried to govern that way, by evading Congress and circumventing the Constitution: Presidents Nixon and Obama, for instance.
Countering this accumulation of presidential power is a small group who believe that they have every right to circumvent the rules of our constitutional government. They are called Whistleblowers. They take an oath to protect the nation’s secrets by their silence, but at some point they feel that they have the right to betray that oath.
Evidently these whistleblowers believe that they are a better judge of when and how an oath can or should be broken than a Cabinet Secretary who has been nominated for his position by the President and examined and approved by the U.S. Senate.
Since their actions are a betrayal of and violate both the word and spirit of the law and of governing, any examination of a whistleblower’s motives should begin by setting aside petty party politics. Whistleblowing should not be about one party scoring political points over the other party. It should be about protecting the nation’s security.
In the process of protecting the secrets of the nation, is there any policy or action so egregious that it justifies betrayal of the oath of silence? Possibly yes, but not until all other remedies are exhausted, including a visit to the Office of the Inspector General or a request to speak privately to the boss. Only after these kinds of efforts fail to produce results should a member of the government consider betraying his oath.
President Nixon assembled and employed a clique of political hit men who were blindly loyal to him instead of to the Constitution or to “We the People.” Eventually this led to a political enemy’s hit list and the abuses of Watergate, followed by impeachment proceedings. The current Administration seems determined to repeat all of these failings, including impeachment. But we can be assured that there is a “Deep Throat” whistleblower hunched over in a dungeon somewhere waiting to be unleashed.
Nixon’s secretary, Rose Mary Woods, lost, erased and destroyed audio tapes that would have incriminated Nixon in Watergate. President Obama’s entire Administration routinely loses and destroys tapes and emails and brags about it openly. At the same time, requests from Congress to the White House for information are publicly ignored.
The Justice Department, under Attorney General Eric Holder, openly defies the law, the Constitution and Congress in its efforts to advance the Obama agenda and cover up the Administration’s wrong doing. President Nixon tried to get the Justice Department to defy the law and support his efforts to circumvent Congress. Fortunately he was unsuccessful. Almost anywhere this administration is ripe for a whistleblower to perfect his blowing.