Los Angeles Times: Nuclear Whistleblower Backed by Watchdog Agency
Summary: The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, an independent government watchdog agency, has supported whistleblower Walter Tamosaitis’s safety concerns at the Hanford Nuclear Waste Treatment Plant after a near-yearlong investigation. Tamosaitis was concerned about unnecessary risks at the Hanford Vitrification Plant dealing with millions of gallons of radioactive waste.
The board also issued a rebuke to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, “concluding that the safety culture at the $12.3-billion [nuclear weapons cleanup] project is 'flawed' and that significant risks exist in the plant's design.”
Summary: A Tunisian whistleblower who sought to expose fraud within the former ruling party was killed in early February, allegedly because of his inside knowledge. Four police officers were charged with the killing, and their trial is widely being seen as a benchmark for the new judicial system in the country.
Summary: A sergeant who was a part of the rogue military unit that randomly targeted and killed Afghan civilians is set to be court-martialed today for assaulting the whistleblower who raised his concerns about the killings to military officials.
Summary: After the director of the Portland Safety Systems Revitalization Program was named as a critic of the new replacement 9-1-1 dispatch system in a letter sent to the City Council, she was fired. She has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the city, only six days after her termination.
Summary: Transportation Security Administration (TSA) union representatives in Boston have claimed that the radiation from full body scanners in airports is responsible for a “cancer cluster” among airport security workers.
GAP coalition partner and fellow "good government" group EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) has taken the lead on this issue. Last year, an EPIC staffer appeared on GAP's television program, Whistle Where You Work, to discuss problems with the TSA's use of 'whole body imaging.'
Key Quote: Now, the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has obtained documents from the Department of Homeland Security, which EPIC says provide evidence that the government failed to properly test the safety of full-body scanners at airports, and dismissed concerns from airport agents about excessive exposure to the machines' radiation.
Summary: This editorial by columnist Mark Bittman highlights the impossible task of trying to find out what goes on inside large industrial animal farms, even for journalists. He remarks that despite the failure to pass "ag-gag" laws in Iowa and other states that would have criminalized undercover videotaping in agricultural facilities, transparency is a far-off goal.
Read GAP's Food Integrity Campaign blog on the pressing need for whistleblower protections for private meat industry workers.
Hannah Johnson is the Communications Fellow for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower advocacy organization.