Summary: This video of GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, recently uploaded to YouTube and being talked about in the blogosphere, shows the candidate openly voicing his support of federal whistleblowers and alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning, stating that "maybe he is a true patriot." A longer clip of this video can be found here.
Key Quote: "You know, talking about giving sovereign immunity to our government officials -- and I would remove it all -- but what about giving immunity to the whistleblowers? They're the ones who need immunity,” said Paul. “We have a few brave souls, especially in the foreign policy area -- it came up in Vietnam, it's come up more recently, Wikileaks. Information that, technically yes, they're breaking a rule, but what is the government doing? They're breaking the law.”
Paul continued: “So, if we have an American citizen that is willing to take the consequences and practice civil disobedience and say, 'This is what our government's doing,' should he be locked up and imprisoned? Or should we see him as a political hero? Maybe he is a true patriot who reveals what's going on in government.”
Summary: GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack appeared on PRI's To The Point yesterday, discussing the case against Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of giving classified information to WikiLeaks. You can hear the full show by clicking "Listen" on this page.
The hearing is set to end today and a decision about whether or not Manning is court-martialed is expected by January 16.
Summary: Earlier this month, Walt Tamosaitis, the Hanford nuclear whistleblower, told a Senate subcommittee that the Department of Energy was reimbursing the contracting company for its defense against legal actions by Tamosaitis. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) sent a letter on Tuesday to the National Nuclear Security Administration in an effort to verify Tamosaitis’ story.
Key Quote: “DOE’s financial cushion for contractors to fight whistleblower lawsuits is unique, in GAP’s experience,” said Tom Devine, legal director of the Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit whistleblower advocacy organization. “The practice is so outrageous that in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, Congress passed a law requiring re-payment when there is a judgment against the contractor in whistleblower cases.”
Summary: Earlier this week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that in fiscal year 2011, it recovered a record-breaking $2.8 billion in False Claims Act (FCA) cases, thanks to whistleblowers. In total, the DOJ recovered more than $3 billion from fraud cases, with $2.4 billion of that involving FCA cases related to the bilking of federal healthcare programs (like Medicare and Medicaid).
Summary: This segment features Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg discussing the pretrial hearing of Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of giving classified information to WikiLeaks. Ellsberg was thrown out of the hearing earlier this week after attempting to talk with Manning. He was later readmitted.
Ellsberg is also mentioned in this op-ed by Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, examining the various disclosures Manning made to WikiLeaks.
Summary: The defense team for Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of giving classified information to WikiLeaks, is “employing a three-pronged defense: The troubled young private should never had access to classified material, his workplace security was inexplicably lax, and the data in question caused little damage to national security anyhow.” The pre-trial hearing is currently in its fifth day.
Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg was removed from the trial after approaching Manning and attempting to speak with him. He was later readmitted.
GAP’s Jesselyn Radack explores Manning’s disclosures and hearing in a recent blog post.
In the case against Army private and alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, the prosecution presented yesterday an e-mail Manning allegedly sent to a friend regarding the "Collateral Murder" video he is accused of leaking:
. . .. a May 2010 e-mail that was sent to an acquaintance — and that Manning apparently thought he had encrypted — said, “I was the source of the 12 July 07 video from the Apache weapons team which killed two journalists and injured two kids.”
If Manning actually sent the e-mail the prosecution is claiming he sent, here's what he is referring to:
Accounts of last week's hearings in the case against Army private Bradley Manning contain eerie reminders of the unconstitutional military commissions at Guantanamo Bay. Only a few days into the proceedings, we have a defendant subjected to treatment tinged with torture and vilified by the Executive branch, biased officials, unavailable witnesses, and exaggerated secrecy claims.
At the hearing last week, the public got the first view of Manning since he endured abhorrent treatment while in military custody:
At the jail on the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Va., he was held in isolation and forced to strip off his clothing and sleep in a tear-proof smock, a measure military officials said was necessary because he might be a suicide risk.
Manning's attorney, David Coombs, accused the hearing's presiding officer - the Army's version of a judge - of bias because the officer (Lt. Col. Paul Almanza) also works at the Justice Department. Coombs asked Almanza to recuse himself.
Almanza refused to recuse himself and refused to suspend the case pending an appeal. With Almanza as the presiding officer, both prosecution and judge then both report to the Executive branch in some respect, but, nonetheless, an appellate court denied Manning's request for a recusal. Sounds eerily similar to Guantanamo proceedings where one branch of government served as both judge and prosecution.
Summary: The pre-trial hearing of Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of giving classified documents to WikiLeaks, started last Friday. Manning’s defense asked the investigating officer (the equivalent of a judge) to recuse himself because of a potential conflict of interest, although that request has since been refused. The hearing is in its fourth day.
Summary: Major pharmacy company CVS Caremark will pay nearly $20 million to settle three lawsuits alleging that the company defrauded state pension systems in California, Illinois, and Florida. The whistleblower suits were filed by two former CVS pharmacists, claiming that the company was reselling returned drugs, changing prescriptions to be more expensive, and submitting false reports.