Summary: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras is known for her two films portraying the consequences of post-9/11 American foreign policy, “My Country, My Country” and “The Oath.” She is currently working on a third film which focuses on how the “War on Terror has been imported onto US soil,” including the expanded surveillance state and the increased attacks on intelligence whistleblowers. Poitras has been subject to “constant harassment, invasive searches, and intimidation tactics” nearly every time she re-enters her own country (which has been approximately 40 times in the past six years).
GAP clients have been interviewed by Poitras, and National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack blogged this morning on this shocking article.
Summary: More coverage of GAP's Food Integrity Campaign releasing affidavits revealing USDA inspectors' safety concerns about a plan to privatize poultry inspection.
Key Quote: "Our investigation and these affidavits clearly show that many USDA inspectors believe the HIMP program puts public safety at risk," said Amanda Hitt, director of the Food Integrity Campaign at GAP.
One inspector filing a statement said he believes that "unsafe and unwholesome birds will be more likely to reach consumers" under the HIMP program: "I have worked at the same plant for over 8 years. When I began working at this plant, the plant operated under the traditional system. This plant has since switched to HIMP, I strongly believe that many of the changes that have accompanied this switch have harmed our ability to ensure that only safe, wholesome birds reach consumers."
Summary: More coverage of the recent indictment of former CIA agent John Kiriakou, now the sixth intelligence whistleblower to be charged under the Espionage Act by the Obama administration.
Key Quote: The case against Kiriakou is "just as flimsy," according to Jesselyn Radack, director of national security and human rights for the pro-transparency Government Accountability Project.
"It is outrageous that John Kiriakou – the whistleblower – is the only individual to be prosecuted in relation to the Bush administration's torture program," Radack said in a statement on the organization's website. "The interrogators who tortured prisoners, the officials who gave the orders, the attorneys who authored the torture memos, and the CIA agents who destroyed the interrogation tapes have not been held professionally accountable, much less charged with crimes."
Summary: A new proposal would limit the way special interest groups are allowed to host government officials, excluding things like conferences, cocktail parties, and movie screenings. GAP, among other watchdog groups, supports this proposal.
Key Quote: However, watchdog groups like the Project on Government Oversight, the Government Accountability Project and Common Cause welcomed the proposal, saying it would help break up the cozy relationships between federal regulators and regulated industries.
Summary: National security commentator and author of Spies for Hire Tim Shorrock talks about the GAP/Open Society Fund event last week in New York: National Security, Secrecy, and Surveillance. Shorrock was a panelist, along with GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack and NSA whistleblower/GAP client Tom Drake.
Summary: The USDA has approved beef industry requests to voluntarily label products containing "Lean Finely Textured Beef" (LFTB), or 'pink slime' as it is commonly known. The move is not enough for some consumer advocates. GAP's Food Integrity Campaign explains.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.