War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State (2013)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State Photos

Movie Info

War Costs is a project of Brave New Foundation, highlighting the ongoing human and financial costs of U.S. militarism. Our mission is to champion social justice issues by using a model of media, education, and grassroots volunteer involvement that inspires, empowers, motivates and teaches civic participation and makes a difference. (c) Official Facebook
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Michael DeKort
as Interviewee
Thomas Drake
as Interviewee
Franz Gayl
as Interviewee
Thomas Tamm
as Interviewee
David Carr
as Interviewee
Lucy Dalglish
as Interviewee
Glenn Greenwald
as Interviewee
Seymour Hersh
as Interviewee
Michael Isikoff
as Interviewee
Bill Keller
as Interviewee
Eric Lipton
as Interviewee
Jane Mayer
as Interviewee
Dana Preist
as Interviewee
Tom Vanden Brook
as Interviewee
Sharon Weinberger
as Interviewee
Michael DeKort
as Interviewee
Franz Gayl
as Interviewee
Thomas Tamm
as Interviewee
Lucy Dalglish
as Interviewee
Michael Isikoff
as Interviewee
Eric Lipton
as Interviewee
Tom Vanden Brook
as Interviewee
Sharon Weinberger
as Interviewee
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (4)

At under an hour, the film, which also touches on White House-driven leaks for political gain, can't help but feel a bit incomplete.

Full Review… | April 25, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Whistle-blowers become effective when their information appears in a news outlet's reliably sober columns - not in a bar mitzvah video.

April 18, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

Robert Greenwald's docu paints a sobering picture of a national security state.

Full Review… | April 18, 2013
Variety
Top Critic

Accessible without sacrificing nuance or intelligence.

Full Review… | April 16, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

The film doesn't so much unfold as detonate. It's a swift kick in the pants at 66 minutes and utilizes a deft blend of archival footage, graphs, subject interviews and bites from knowledgeable talking heads such as David Carr.

Full Review… | August 7, 2013
Seven Days

Audience Reviews for War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State

One line summary: Well made documentary about federal whistle blowers after 20010911. ---------------------- This documentary follows a small but interesting set of case studies of real whistleblowers who have been punished by the system in recent years. Daniel Ellsberg was a whistle blower from the 1970s who provides perspective throughout the film. In Iraq in 2006, our soldiers were dying due to the lack of armour on Humvees. An IED could take one out, and the military inside often died or were badly injured. Franz Gayl, Science and Technology Advisor to the Marine Corps in the Pentagon, became aware of this and brought it to the attention of his superiors. He championed the replacement of the Humvee by the safer MRAP, but was greeted with roadblocks. He went to USA Today to get leverage on the problem. He faced reprisals at work; his journalist contacts were threatened with lack of access. The Humvees were replaced, but Gayl was put on administrative leave for quite some time. Thomas Drake: (former) Senior Executive at the (US) National Security Agency was the second whistle blower profiled. 'We do not spy on Americans,' was a phrase Drake heard at work. However, he started his job on 2001/09/11; thereafter, however, he noted huge breaches of this key charter element of the NSA. Massive amounts of information were being collected on US citizens living inside the USA. Drake exposed portions of this process. His life was massively invaded in response by the FBI. The Justice Department threatened him with the Espionage Act, and specific charges that could potentially land him in jail for the rest of his life. Michael DeKort: (former) Lead Systems Engineer: The Deepwater Program, for the US Coast Guard was the third to be profiled. DeKort brought to the light of day two major problems with the Coast Guard fleet's upgrade: radios with non-waterproof circuitry, and hulls that were overly susceptible to buckling. DeKort used YouTube to spread the story, and it eventually found its way to 60 Minutes. DeKort stayed out of jail. Thomas Tamm: (former) Attorney in the Justice Department was the fourth to be profiled. He was in the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review within Justice. He talked to victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. His group applied for judicial warrants to listen in on persons in the United States who were thought to be connected to terrorists. His group worked with the FBI which had developed the 'probable cause' for these warrants. Some cases were treated differently, however. All of these whistle blowers suffered in their professional lives. All of them tried to go through official channels, where they were largely blocked. I specifically liked the point made that the recent administrations leak secret information as a matter of policy, and none of those leakers go to jail. How did these stories pan out? What are the implications for other potential whistle blowers? -------Scores----- Cinematography: 8/10 Fine for a documentary. Sound: 8/10 Voices and words were clear enough. Incidental music was not overbearing. Acting: z/10 Not applicable. Screenplay: 8/10 The telling of the four stories were well packaged.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins

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