A two-week trial involving the FBI's highest-ranking Arab American agent, Bassem Youssef, has illuminated wider Bureau issues regarding its post-9/11 transformation. Youssef has alleged that the FBI denied him opportunities for promotion because he spoke out publicly about gaps in the Bureau's counterterrorism knowledge, including a lack of Middle Eastern experts and urgent vacancies in top terrorism investigative slots.
On Monday, a jury rejected Youssef's claim that the FBI denied him promotions due to his whistleblowing. He will continue to pursue related legal claims that discrimination against Arabic or Muslim experts occurred due to the Bureau's pride and "culture of intransigence."
Youssef has been responsible for recruiting terrorism informants in the past (including the top informant regarding the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center), and currently remains at the agency.
ProPublica: Despite Safety Concerns at Texas Refinery, U.S. Won't Revoke BP Probation
Despite continuing concerns over safety at a BP Texas refinery, the Justice Department has decided not to revoke a three-year probation it had imposed on the company due to numerous safety violations (both criminal and civil). These violations came to light in federal investigations prompted by a deadly 2005 blast at the refinery that killed 15 workers.
While the details of the government's decision are not clear, it is likely due to the fact that revoking the company's probation would subject it to further prosecution.
Click here to read more and comment on GAP's blog.
The Africa Report: The World Bank - Too Big To Fail
This account from the Africa Report evaluates the World Bank's practices across several areas, ranging from agriculture to staff diversity. The Bank has declared Africa to be a top priority, and has substantially increased its aid to the continent. The Africa report created a "Word Bank Report Card," giving the Bank passing grades in agriculture and corruption, Ds in health and environment, and an F in diversity.
Washington Post: Senators Want Review of Modified Salmon Ended
In the continuing discussions on whether to introduce genetically engineered (GE) salmon to the U.S. food supply, eleven senators have spoken out, urging the FDA to stop its current approval process for the GE fish. The senators claim that the agency is using the wrong method for evaluating the product's safety -- one that excludes the public and mimics the process for approving a new veterinary drug, not a new animal for human consumption.
Click here to watch the most recent episode of Whistle Where You Work, which features a panel discussion on the issues surrounding genetically engineered salmon.
Lindsay Bigda is Communications Fellow for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower advocacy organization.