This Washington Post piece looking at what has happened to several notable government whistleblowers is sobering.
The former high-ranking National Security Agency analyst now sells iPhones. The top intelligence officer at the CIA lives in a motor home outside Yellowstone National Park and spends his days fly-fishing for trout. The FBI translator fled Washington for the West Coast . . .
. . . Peter Van Buren, a veteran Foreign Service officer who blew the whistle on waste and mismanagement of the Iraq reconstruction program, most recently found himself working at a local arts and crafts store and learned a lot about “glitter and the American art of scrapbooking.”
“What happens when you are thrown out of the government and blacklisted is that you lose your security clearance and it’s very difficult to find a grown-up job in Washington.”
High-level whistleblowers know when they come forward that they’re sacrificing their national security clearance, likely their jobs, and quite possibly their freedom.
Which is why I have no sympathy whatsoever for anti-Snowden arguments to the effect that he should have stayed here in the U.S. to blow his whistle on the N.S.A. Such a strategy would have destroyed his efforts to blow the whistle entirely.