WUSA 9 News (DC): Jeep Gas Tank Fire and Explosions – Chrysler Whistleblower Speaks Out
Summary: A former Chrysler employee is speaking out about extreme problems with the 1993-2004 model Jeep Grand Cherokee. The fuel tank, because it is located behind the rear axle in this model, allegedly is more likely to cause a fatal fire crash. The nonprofit Center for Auto Safety has now tracked 51 incidents where 71 people died from car crashes in these models, where fire was the main cause of death.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation in 2009 and last week decided to expand their probe, saying, in a recent document, that “rear impact related tank failures and vehicle fires are more prevalent in the late model Jeep Grand Cherokees than in non Jeep peer vehicles.”
Summary: The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) warned federal agencies Wednesday that spying on employees’ emails could be against the law, especially if it is used to retaliate against whistleblowers. The OSC laid out specific guidelines that agencies should follow if they are considering surveillance of employee communications.
GAP hailed this decision in a recent press release and applauded OSC for trying to curtail illegal government surveillance of whistleblowers.
Summary: GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack appeared on RT on Wednesday to talk about Julian Assange’s application for political asylum in Ecuador. Assange, in a recent interview, said that the country has been very supportive and are sympathetic to his cause. It is likely a decision will be made soon.
Assange fears that if he is extradited to Sweden to face questioning over sexual assault charges, he would then be extradited to the US, likely to face much more serious charges over the thousands of leaked US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks.
Summary: In the days after Bloomberg News published an article revealing how the IRS whistleblower program had become a “place where allegations of tax avoidance go to die”, outcry from politicians and lawyers has now led to an IRS announcement that it will review the program, in an effort to improve the backlog and working practices.
Related Article: Reuters
Summary: The nominee to head the Federal Aviation Administration faced questions from the Senate yesterday about why the agency has more whistleblower complaints than other agencies. The nominee has been the interim head of the FAA since Dec. 2011, following the former administrator's resignation.
Summary: Rick Piltz of GAP's Climate Science Watch program appeared on On The Green Front to talk about Rio+20, the UN conference on sustainable development being held in Brazil.
Summary: A recent Popular Science piece talks about how climate change denialists have managed to wage war on climate science. Climate Science Watch’s Rick Piltz is quoted.
Key Quote: “Now government agencies and researchers are doing anything to keep the word ‘climate’ out of their budgets and proposals,” says Rick Piltz, a former senior associate in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Office (in 2009, it was renamed the U.S. Global Change Research Program). “And this at a time when all agencies need to be thinking about how the nation will be affected by climate change and factor it into their planning.”
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.