Summary: Numerous whistleblower advocacy and good-government groups are concerned with the recent Obama administration attack on intelligence whistleblowers from the president who once promised the most transparent administration in history.
Key Quote: It’s valid to distinguish between leakers and whistleblowers, said Tom Devine, legal director of the Government Accountability Project, “but the administration is prosecuting both.”
Summary: The State Department sent a termination letter to whistleblower and GAP client Peter Van Buren last Friday. He had already lost his security clearance, been banned from State Department headquarters, and moved to a teleworking job. These retaliatory actions come after Van Buren published a book and maintained a blog that “skewers American foreign policy.” GAP recently filed an OSC complaint on his behalf.
Key Quote: Van Buren’s termination letter came within days of a decision by the Office of Special Counsel to look into the case. The independent agency investigates government wrongdoing and complaints of retaliation.
“It’s hard for me to objectively look at this as anything other than revenge and vindictiveness,” Van Buren said from his house in Falls Church.
Jesselyn Radack, national security and human rights director for the Government Accountability Project, which represents Van Buren, said: “It’s awfully curious timing, given the Office of Special Counsel complaint.”
Radack blogged about this injustice this morning.
Summary: Growing concern regarding ammoniated beef, or "pink slime" – sparking a Change.org petition and Congressional letters to USDA Secretary Vilsack calling to remove the product from school lunches – serves as further vindication for GAP client and whistleblower Kit Foshee. It also reinforces the need for adequate legal safeguards for meat industry whistleblowers.
The USDA is set to announce today it is giving schools a choice in ground beef purchases, including the option for districts to opt out of buying the controversial ammoniated beef. GAP's Food Integrity Campaign will have more on this later today.
Summary: In this article, the case of NSA whistleblower and GAP client Thomas Drake is detailed as the first disturbing indication of the Obama administration’s war on intelligence whistleblowers to come. The case is described as one that “might have made McCarthy proud."
Noted pundit Jim Hightower also published a column in Truth-Out yesterday, covering the story of Lt. Col. Danny Davis, the career Army man who has accused top military officials of trying to mislead the public on the war efforts. Davis has since gone to the media and Congress in an effort to raise this issue.
Summary: In this op-ed from Goldman Sachs executive-turned-whistleblower Greg Smith, he details the toxic environment of the financial firm. He accuses the firm of become so money-hungry that client interests are constantly sidelined. Clients are sold outrageous investment ideas in the name of attaining money for the firm.
Related Article: Huffington Post
Summary: A roofing contractor in Nashville noticed a suspicious character wandering the neighborhood and called the police. After the suspect pushed a policeman and tried to run away, the contractor proceeded to tackle the perpetrator for police.
This roofer/crime fighter happens to be a TSA whistleblower and GAP client fighting for his job. Former Air Marshal Robert MacLean was fired after he revealed that TSA was going to cut costs by removing air marshals from flights. Now, MacLean has one more chance to appeal this ruling.
Summary: The New York Times columnist Mark Bittman highlights Timothy Pachirat's book Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight, which describes his experiences working at a beef slaughterhouse in Omaha.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.