In June of 2013 a former CIA worker and counterintelligence trainer by the name of Edward Snowden leaked classified information about the National Security Agencys (NSA) surveillance program to Russian diplomats (Edward Snowden). In another case: in early 2010 a former Army military intelligence analyst by the name of Chelsea Elizabeth Manning leaked massive amounts of classified information on an online database called WikiLeaks (Chelsea Manning). Finally, in January of 2004, an Army sergeant by the name of Joseph M. Darby blew the whistle on the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq (Roberts). These three cases are similar in that each person released information to the public that resulted in them being regarded as either a public hero or a national traitor. Although the Constitution of the United States of America protects a citizens right to free speech and press, the teachings of Kant and utilitarianism will show that the actions of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and other information leakers are morally wrong while the actions of whistle-blowers like Joseph M. Darby are morally sound. .
Whistle-blowing is the action of reporting, when there is a reasonable belief that theres been: A violation of law, rule, or regulation, gross mismanagement, gross waste fraud and abuse, abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety. Whistle-blowers are protected by Federal law from reprisal (DOD IG webpage). Based on this definition Joseph M. Darby is considered a whistle-blower because he reported an obvious violation of the Geneva Conventions in regards to the proper treatment of prisoners. Since the Department of Defense supports and defends a whistle-blowing program that aims to protect whistle-blowers, it is safe to say that whistle-blowers have a place in todays society. According to the first principal of the constitutional paradigm, members of the Armed Forces have an obligation to comply with the constitution.