Benghazi Survivors Remain Gagged by Federal Law

benghazi6By Kerry Picket:

Many continue to ask why the media and lawmakers have not spoken to or brought forth those who survived the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi last September. The truth of the matter is the Americans who survived that attack cannot legally reveal to members of the press or most lawmakers that they were even witnesses to the attack in Benghazi.

According to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, immediately following the attack, the FBI, as part of the agency’s investigation, interviewed survivors of the Benghazi attack.

Bill Bransford, a Washington, D.C. attorney at Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C. who specializes in federal employment law told Breitbart News on Tuesday, “First of all, I’m assuming that most of these people who witnessed the attack, except for the State Department folks, would be intelligence people, and they are not covered by the whistle blower protection laws.”

Bransford added, “They are covered by whatever policies their agency has. An executive order that President Obama issued in the late fall in which he ordered the intelligence community to come up with a more effective whistle blower protection system, which has not yet been developed.”

However, as federal employees, State Department personnel must sign non-disclosure agreements. Bransford stressed, “If somebody violates one of these non-disclosure agreements, the consequences could include: interfering with a criminal investigation, obstruction of justice, criminal charges for releasing classified information, and those are pretty serious.”

Serious indeed. The Obama administration’s Justice Department has prosecuted more federal employees for leaking information to the press under the 1917 Espionage Act than all other administrations combined. Bloomberg News reported last September:

“There’s a problem with prosecutions that don’t distinguish between bad people–people who spy for other governments, people who sell secrets for money–and people who are accused of having conversations and discussions,” said Abbe Lowell, attorney for Stephen J. Kim, an intelligence analyst charged under the Act.

Lowell, the Washington defense lawyer who has counted as his clients the likes of Jack Abramoff, the former Washington lobbyist, and political figures including former presidential candidate John Edwards, said the Obama administration is using the Espionage Act “like a club” against government employees accused of leaks.

The prosecutions, which Obama and the Justice Department have defended on national security grounds, mean that government officials who speak to the media can face financial and professional ruin as they spend years fighting for their reputations, and, in some cases, their freedom.

Since Breitbart News first broke in December that the Obama administration was hiding Benghazi attack survivors, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) began demanding the FBI hand over to Congress the interviews the agency conducted with individuals who survived the deadly attack.

Read more at Breitbart