View Full Version : Maybe Snowden should receive a Picquart

George Jung
01-18-2014, 01:23 PM
Yep, it' s a C & P. -Pretty good one!

Opinion Pages|Op-Ed Contributor

The Whistle-Blower Who Freed DreyfusBy ROBERT HARRISJAN. 17, 2014

KINTBURY, England — Georges Picquart died 100 years ago this Saturday. To which the response from most quarters is likely to be “Georges who?” Even in his native France, his centenary is passing largely unremarked. Yet in the days of Queen Victoria and Theodore Roosevelt, Picquart was a figure of global controversy, revered and reviled in equal measure as the world’s most famous whistle-blower.
Unlike his 21st-century counterparts Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, Picquart was neither a disaffected nor a junior figure in the organization he was to expose. On the contrary: In October 1894 he was a brilliant, rising army officer. One of his steppingstones to advancement had been a professorship at the École Supérieure de Guerre, and one of the officer-cadets he had taught there was a Jewish artillery captain, Alfred Dreyfus.
Picquart, like many of his contemporaries, was casually anti-Semitic. It came as no surprise to him when Dreyfus — the only Jew on the general staff — was suspected of passing secret intelligence to the Germans. It was Picquart who provided a sample of Dreyfus’s handwriting to the investigators. And when expert analysis seemed to confirm Dreyfus’s guilt, it was Picquart who met his unsuspecting former pupil in the Ministry of War so he could be quietly bundled off to prison.

In December, Picquart attended Dreyfus’s court-martial as an official observer. For reasons of national security it was held behind closed doors. When told that a file of intelligence evidence existed, conclusively proving Dreyfus’s guilt, Picquart supported the decision to show it in secret to the judges.
The file clinched the conviction. Dreyfus was sentenced to life imprisonment. On Jan. 5, 1895, before a crowd of 20,000 shouting, “Death to the Jew!” Dreyfus had his sword broken and the insignia of his rank torn from his uniform. Observing the spectacle, Picquart remarked laconically to a fellow officer: “He’s a Jew, don’t forget that. He’s thinking of the weight of the gold braid and how much it’s worth.” In March, Dreyfus was transported to Devil’s Island, off the coast of South America, where he was denied all human contact, including conversation with his guards.

Picquart, meanwhile, prospered. Six months later, at age 40, he was made the youngest colonel in the French Army and put in charge of the tiny intelligence unit, known as the Statistical Section, that had compiled the evidence against Dreyfus.
The section’s prize agent was a cleaner at the German Embassy, Marie Bastian, who supplied the contents of the wastepaper basket of the military attaché, Col. Maximilian von Schwartzkoppen. It was she who was the source of the “bordereau” — the note that an expert had concluded was in Dreyfus’s hand.
Nine months into Picquart’s tenure, Bastian passed on a pneumatic telegram card — a “petit bleu” — that von Schwartzkoppen had torn into 40 fragments. Glued together, the telegram revealed that the German attaché was receiving intelligence from a serving French officer, Maj. Charles Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy. Picquart immediately put Esterhazy under surveillance. He turned out to have the classic profile of a spy: a drunkard, a gambler, heavily indebted, and leading a double life with a prostitute in Montmartre. Moreover, he was dangerously active: He had recently applied for a job in the general staff.
Sitting in his office, Picquart compared Esterhazy’s letters with the bordereau. “I was terrified,” he testified later. “The two writings were not similar; they were identical.” The next day he showed them to the handwriting expert, Alphonse Bertillon, whose evidence had helped convict Dreyfus. Bertillon confirmed Esterhazy’s writing was a perfect match, but saw no reason to revise his original judgment: “It merely shows that the Jews have trained someone else to write using the Dreyfus system.”

Picquart’s next step was to inspect the intelligence that had been passed to Dreyfus’s judges. “I took possession of the secret file for the first time since my entry into the service. I confess that my amazement was profound. I was expecting overwhelming evidence. I found nothing.” Indeed, such scant evidence as there was had plainly been fabricated.

Picquart took his discoveries to the chief of the French general staff, Gen. Raoul de Boisdeffre, and to the overall head of military intelligence, Gen. Charles-Arthur Gonse. Their reaction appalled him. He was told to avoid any avenues of inquiry that might lead to a reopening of the Dreyfus case. “What does it matter to you,” demanded Gonse, “if one Jew stays on Devil’s Island?”
“Well,” replied Picquart, “because he’s innocent ...”
He pressed on with his investigation, to the irritation of his superiors. Two months later, he was relieved of his duties. By the spring of 1897, he was an exile, transferred to a native regiment in Tunisia on what amounted to a near-suicidal mission into the southern Sahara.
It was then that Picquart, after 25 years’ army service, realized he had no alternative but to break ranks. He passed his evidence against Esterhazy to a senior politician, the vice president of the senate, Auguste Scheurer-Kestner. Then, at the end of 1897, he provided Émile Zola with the information that enabled the novelist to write his celebrated exposé of the affair, “J’Accuse ...!” Picquart’s reward was to be dismissed from the army, framed as a forger and locked up in solitary confinement for more than a year.
It was not until 1906 that justice was finally done; Dreyfus’s conviction was quashed, and Picquart was restored to the army with the rank of brigadier general. That fall, when his friend and fellow Dreyfusard, Georges Clemenceau — the owner of the newspaper that published “J’Accuse ...!” became prime minister, he made Picquart minister of war, a post he held for three years.
On Jan. 18, 1914, six months before the outbreak of the First World War, while in command of the Second Army Corps at Amiens, Picquart died of edema of the face — effectively, suffocation — following a riding accident. He was 59.
He had no family to preserve his memory: A bachelor with a succession of married mistresses, he left no children. A large section of the army never forgave him for betraying his comrades. And some of Dreyfus’s supporters continued to accuse him of anti-Semitism. An awkward figure in death as well as life, he slipped through the cracks of history.
And yet the injustices against which he fought so courageously — the inherent unreliability of secret courts and secret evidence, the dangers of rogue intelligence agencies becoming laws unto themselves, the instinctive response of governments and national security organizations to cover up their mistakes, the easy flourishing of “national security” to stifle democratic scrutiny — all these continue. “Dreyfus was the victim,” Clemenceau observed, “but Picquart was the hero.” On this day, he deserves to be remembered.
Robert Harris is the author of a forthcoming novel about Georges Picquart, “An Officer and a Spy.”

Rich Jones
01-18-2014, 01:36 PM
Dreyfus was wrongly convicted of a crime he did not commit. Whether you support Snowden or not, he DID commit a crime by revealing classified documents. Every Tom, Dick and Harry in the intelligence services cannot just decide by themselves what should be released or not. Same goes for he/she Bradley Manning.

01-18-2014, 02:08 PM
Every Tom, Dick and Harry in the intelligence services cannot just decide by themselves what should be released or not. Same goes for he/she Bradley Manning. Who decides who can come forward and when? Obama promised to protect whistle blowers. What's the line between a W/Ber and a criminal? Obama promised more transparency and has given us less. It's the Gov't that has canned the worms. Manning and Snowden only opened it. Cracked it actually. Course if you have full faith and trust in the US Gov't then........yadda yadda.

George Jung
01-18-2014, 02:16 PM
I found it more interesting how Picquart was treated by 'the system'. A man of integrity.... as liability.

Cuyahoga Chuck
01-18-2014, 02:17 PM
I'm with Rich.
And in Snowden's case it is he who is on Devils' Island. Hidding out in a dictatorship where true-tellers like him are fed radioactive tea can't be all that reassuring.

01-18-2014, 02:44 PM
I suspect history will regard Snowden much differently than present day players and politicians with their own interests and reputations to defend.

01-18-2014, 03:07 PM
Who decides who can forward and when? Obama promised to protect whistle blowers. What's the line between a W/Ber and a criminal? Obama promised more transparency and has given us less. It's the Gov't that has canned the worms. Manning and Snowden only opened it. Cracked it actually. Course if you have full faith and trust in the US Gov't then........yadda yadda.
That was then and this is now.."..

01-18-2014, 04:47 PM
I suspect history will regard Snowden much differently than present day players and politicians with their own interests and reputations to defend.

US Intel Veterans Honor Pvt. Manning

January 16, 2014

A group of former U.S. national security officials will bestow its annual award for integrity in intelligence on U.S. Army Pvt. Manning, honoring the imprisoned whistleblower’s release of evidence showing the human consequences of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) have voted overwhelmingly to present the 2014 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence to Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning.
A Nobel Peace Prize nominee, U.S. Army Pvt. Manning is the 25-year-old intelligence analyst who in 2010 provided to WikiLeaks the “Collateral Murder” video – gun barrel footage from a U.S. Apache helicopter, exposing the reckless murder of 12 unarmed civilians, including two Reuters journalists, during the “surge” in Iraq.
http://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/bradleymanning.jpg (http://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/bradleymanning.jpg)U.S. Army Pvt. Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning.

The Pentagon had repeatedly denied the existence of the “Collateral Murder” video and declined to release it despite a request under the Freedom of Information Act by Reuters, which had sought clarity on the circumstances of its journalists’ deaths.
Release of this video and other documents sparked a worldwide dialogue about the importance of government accountability for human rights abuses as well as the dangers of excessive secrecy and over-classification of documents.
On Feb. 19, 2014, Pvt. Manning - currently incarcerated at Leavenworth Prison – will be recognized at a ceremony in absentia at Oxford University’s prestigious Oxford Union Society for casting much-needed daylight on the true toll and cause of civilian casualties in Iraq; human rights abuses by U.S. and “coalition” forces, mercenaries and contractors; and the roles that spying and bribery play in international diplomacy.
The Oxford Union ceremony will include the presentation of the traditional SAAII Corner-Brightener Candlestick and will feature statements of support from former SAAII awardees and prominent whistleblowers. Members of the press are invited to attend.
On Aug. 21, 2013, Pvt. Manning received an unusually harsh sentence of 35 years in prison for exposing the truth — a chilling message to those who would call attention to wrongdoing by U.S. and “coalition” forces.
Under the 1989 Official Secrets Act in the United Kingdom, Pvt. Manning, whose mother is British, would have faced just two years in prison for whistleblowing or 14 years if convicted under the old 1911 Official Secrets Act for espionage.
Former senior NSA executive and SAAII Awardee Emeritus Thomas Drake has written that Manning “exposed the dark side shadows of our national security regime and foreign policy follies … [her] acts of civil disobedience … strike at the very core of the critical issues surrounding our national security, public and foreign policy, openness and transparency, as well as the unprecedented and relentless campaign by this Administration to snuff out and silence truth tellers and whistleblowers in a deliberate and premeditated assault on the 1st Amendment.”
Previous winners of the Sam Adams Award include Coleen Rowley (FBI); Katharine Gun (formerly of GCHQ, the National Security Agency’s equivalent in the UK); former UK Ambassador Craig Murray; Larry Wilkerson (Col., US Army, ret.; chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell); Julian Assange (WikiLeaks); Thomas Drake (NSA); Jesselyn Radack (former ethics attorney for the Department of Justice, now National Security & Human Right Director of the Government Accountability Project); Thomas Fingar (former Deputy Director of National Intelligence, who managed the key National Intelligence Estimate of 2007 that concluded Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon four years earlier); and Edward Snowden (former NSA contractor and systems administrator, currently residing in Russia under temporary asylum).
The Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence are very proud to add Pvt. Manning to this list of distinguished awardees.
Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence was established in 2002 by colleagues and admirers of the late CIA intelligence analyst Sam Adams to recognize those who uphold his example as a model for those in intelligence who would aspire to the courage to speak truth to power. In honoring Adams’s memory, SAAII confers an award each year to someone in intelligence or related work who exemplifies Sam Adam’s courage, persistence, and devotion to truth — no matter the consequences.
It was Adams who discovered in 1967 that there were more than a half-million Vietnamese Communists under arms. This was roughly twice the number that the U.S. command in Saigon would admit to, lest Americans learn that claims of “progress” were bogus.