Summary: Salon’s David Sirota makes the important distinction between “selfless whistleblowers and self-interested leakers” in this column. The Obama administration has come down hard on intelligence whistleblowers, but is also allegedly strategically leaking its own national security information for political purposes.
Key Quote: Over the last few years, whistle-blowers and whistle-blower enablers like Bradley Manning, Julian Assange and the New York Times’ James Risen (among others) have publicized corporate and governmental wrongdoing at great risk to their lives and careers. These were courageous acts of self-sacrifice on behalf of larger ideals.
At the same time, Obama administration aides have selectively leaked secret information exposing such wrongdoing (in this case, the president engaging in due-process-free executions) — but at little risk to their lives and careers (except perhaps for some momentary partisan blowback over their willingness to go to such lengths to protect their boss). These were craven acts of self-preservation aimed not at protecting ideals, but at burnishing the president’s political image. And while President Obama on Friday vehemently denied that his administration has been strategically leaking this information, the facts, to put it mildly, suggest otherwise.
Summary: The EPA is holding a four-day meeting this week about how to address the ecological effects of atrazine – one of the most commonly used herbicides in the United States. GAP's Food Integrity Campaign details the concerns of several whistleblowers that have tried to warn about human, animal and environmental health problems posed by atrazine exposure.
Summary: A recent study shows that China’s carbon emissions could be up to 20 percent higher than previously estimated, finding discrepancies among the nation’s publicly available statistics on energy consumption. Rick Piltz of GAP's Climate Science Watch program is quoted.
Key Quote: Obtaining accurate information on emissions isn’t just a problem in China, experts say.
“Much of the world does not have in place the capabilities and procedures for accurately reporting emissions of greenhouse gases,” wrote Rick Piltz, the founder and director of Climate Science Watch, in an email to TakePart. “This is something that must be improved over time as one important component of developing climate policy and implementing international agreements.”
Summary: Two US attorneys have been assigned to investigate the recent disclosure of classified national security information. In the article, GAP’s Jesselyn Radack calls for US Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel – who would have no ties to the current Justice Department – to be assigned.
Radack expands on this idea in her blog post this morning.
Summary: Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay as much as $2.2 billion to settle a whistleblower suit (joined by the US), alleging that the company improperly marketed an antipsychotic drug and provided kickbacks to nursing homes using the drug. It would be the federal government’s second biggest settlement with a pharmaceutical company.
Summary: A private school chain in England is under investigation by the UK Department of Education for whistleblower allegations that it defrauded the government teacher pension system.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.