Marcy Wheeler


Marcy Wheeler, blogging as “emptywheel” at, discusses the unraveling of the federal government’s case against Thomas Drake, the NSA whistleblower charged with espionage but then let off with a misdemeanor charge, the substance of Drake’s whistleblowing about wasteful and privacy-destroying outsourcing of wiretapping, why it’s now safer to leak on the record, using your name, than doing in anonymously and Obama’s attempt to reinvent the Espionage Act for broad use, esp. on those who expose wrongdoing in government.

MP3 here. (19:55)

Marcy Wheeler, a.k.a. emptywheel, blogs at Marcy grew up bicoastally, starting with every town in NY with an IBM. Then she moved to Poway, CA, home of several participants in the Duke Cunningham scandal.  Since then, she has lived in Western MA, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and finally–for the last 12 years–Ann Arbor.

She got a BA from Amherst College, where she spent much of her time on the rugby pitch. A PhD program in Comparative Literature brought her to MI; she got the PhD but decided academics was not her thing. Her research, though, was on a cool journalistic form called the “feuilleton”–a kind of conversational essay that was important to the expansion of modern newspapers in much of the rest of the world. It was pretty good preparation to become a blogger, if a PhD can ever be considered training for blogging.

After leaving academics, Marcy consulted for the auto industry, much of it in Asia. But her contract moved to Asia, along with most of Michigan’s jobs, so she did what anyone else would do. Write a book, and keep blogging.

5 thoughts on “Marcy Wheeler”

  1. Reading Decent Interval by Frank Snepp,, a book about 1973-75 U.S. & SVN incompetence. Snepp was #2 or #3 CIA in Saigon at the time (great book, btw… ). USG persecuted him mercilessly to this day, and he didn't reveal anything classified.

    Same message: anyone who reveals USG incompetence is Public Enemy #1.

  2. The U.S. "Justice" Department has nothing to do with justice. It's merely an enabler of criminality. O-Bomb-a, like his predecessor, knows he can rely on it to support whatever he does–however dubious.

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