While on the Hunt for Jack Reacher in my latest novel Jack the Reaper, FBI Special Agents Kim Otto and Carlos Gaspar are also dealing with a document release of classified information regarding the military via TruLeaks, another document leaking source, like Wikileaks. Wikileaks – and TruLeaks — function as avenues for whistleblowers to release classified documents, not in a legal way. Often whistleblowers who fail to follow the law find themselves exiled or in prison.
Wikileaks itself has a varied history. Formed in 2006 under the leadership of Julian Assange, it will not accept rumors or even firsthand accounts. Wikileaks will also not accept documents already published elsewhere.
Wikileaks has hosted a variety of whistleblowers over the years:
In 2014 Edward Snowden released NSA documents to Wikileaks that showed the extent that NSA was spying — recording all domestic and international phone calls in the US. Snowden’s leaks outed the monitoring of top foreign official phone calls in France and Germany including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Chelsea Manning’s 2010 leaks, also called the Collateral Murder leaks, showed airstrike footage in Iran and Afghanistan and contained more than 700,000 classified documents.
More recently, the Vault 7 leaks contain internal CIA catalogues of hacking devices. These showed the progress the CIA had made into turning our smart phones and TVs into silent listening devices—much like the lines I tried to put into Jack and Kill that my editor insisted I remove because “no one would believe it”!
As Agent Otto says,
“Corruption should definitely be exposed. There are legal ways to do that. I’m in favor of using them. I’m a lawyer. What else would I say?”
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about whistleblowers. Should corruption always be exposed or are there times when it shouldn’t be?