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“[S]entencing in media leak cases has historically been relatively light,” with only 24 months of jail time for the three whistleblowers prosecuted from 1973 to 2005.
However, ACLU noted that Obama has “secured 526 months of prison time for national security leakers,” with the majority given to Chelsea Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years.
When it comes to prosecuting whistleblowers, the Obama Administration holds the record with eight, which is more than double the three who were prosecuted by previous presidents.
The three journalists who were indicted prior to Obama’s presidency were Daniel Ellsberg in 1973, Samuel Morrison in 1985, and Larry Franklin in 2005.
Since Obama’s time in office, those prosecuted include Thomas Drake and Shamai Leibowitz in 2010, Chelsea Manning, John Kiriakou, and Donal Sachtleben in 2013, and Stephen Kim in 2014. The cases of Jeffrey Sterling and Edward Snowden are currently pending.