Summary: RT talks with NSA whistleblower and GAP client Bill Binney about the declining virtual privacy in the US and how whistleblowers are fighting back. Binney, along with fellow whistleblowers Thomas Drake and Kirk Wiebe, has been speaking out about the rise of domestic surveillance among the federal intelligence agencies, despite concerns about privacy violations of US citizens.
Summary: Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald argues that the treatment of Bradley Manning “is one of the disgraces of Obama’s first term.” Manning is accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, and faces life in prison if convicted on all counts. He spoke publicly for the first time since his arrest in 2010 at his pretrial hearing last week, recounting his excessively harsh treatment while being held at Quantico, the marine base in Virginia.
GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack blogged this morning on the overall lack of mainstream media coverage of Manning’s trial.
Some federal officials, however, do not recognize Manning as a whistleblower, and therefore say he is afforded none of those protections. Even Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), a generally staunch whistleblower advocate and Senate champion of workplace truth-telling, has said that Manning does not qualify as a whistleblower.
Related Article: Democracy Now!
Summary: This editorial praises Senator Grassley for his strong advocacy of federal whistleblowers. In particular, they cited his work on the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, which passed recently after 13 years of fighting for it. The bill will significantly improve whistleblower protections for federal workers.
Summary: GAP's Food Integrity Campaign authored a blog that explains the impact of the newly passed federal whistleblower protections on our food system. More than 110,000 USDA and FDA employees now enjoy solid whistleblower protections, and can feel more secure to speak up when they see something wrong along the food chain.
Summary: A Hawaii archaeologist testified last week that he was retaliated against by the state for voicing concerns about major historic preservation projects that he said were put on the fast-track despite not meeting all the rules. The judge in the case is expected to make a decision in February.
Summary: Climate Science Watch's Rick Piltz talked to Al Jazeera recently about the UN climate change conference in Doha, specifically the relationship between the US and developing countries in meeting climate policy goals.
Summary: This Washington Post editorial praises Democratic Senator Ron Wyden’s (Oregon) hold on the intelligence reauthorization bill due to “draconian and counterproductive measures to prevent the leak of government secrets.” Wyden is a major advocate of the public’s right know, a right, the editorial says, that must be better balanced with the national security interests.