During a memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg today, President Barack Obama challenged leaders who supported Mandela’s struggle for freedom but “do not tolerate dissent from their own people,” a stunning piece of hypocrisy given that the Obama administration has aggressively pursued dissenters at every turn, from punitive targeting of Tea Party groups via the IRS to the unprecedented prosecution of whistleblowers.

“There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people,” stated Obama.

This is quite rich coming from someone whose administration has overseen, according to Time Magazine, “a record as the most aggressive prosecutor of alleged government leakers in U.S. history.”

This war on whistleblowers has resulted in reporters like James Risen being threatened with jail time unless they reveal their sources, while the Obama administration has charged more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all past presidents combined.

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