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FireDogLake: FBI Whistleblower Was Allegedly Terminated for Reporting Fraud & Sexual Misconduct Involving Prostitutes
Former FBI special agent and GAP client Lt.Col. John Parkinson will bring his whistleblower retaliation claims before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MPSB) this week. Parkinson witnessed two FBI pilots use their authority to solicit prostitutes on multiple occasions, use agency planes to fly to Las Vegas to solicit prostitutes, and bring them back to the undercover FBI facility where they worked. Parkinson claims the activities cost taxpayers “tens of thousands of dollars” over a period of years. When Parkinson requested that the OIG investigate the pilots, they ended up secretly investigating him instead. Eventually he was fired under furniture-theft charges. GAP’s National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack is litigating the whistleblower’s case before the MPSB.
Key Quote: In conclusion, Radack argued this case shows how cozy the relationship between management officials and the OIG can be. People who go to the Inspector General are supposed to be safe, but often they become a target of any investigation that ensues. She noted that this is what had happened to Thomas Drake, who sought to expose fraud, waste, abuse and illegality through proper channels when he was working for the National Security Agency and wound up the target of a leak investigation.
Related Articles: Opposing Views, RT
NBC: How Snowden Did It
Multiple sources have informed NBC that the NSA infrastructure has “gaping holes” which would have easily allowed NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden and about 1,000 other contractors to “rummage at will” through servers and take whatever they wanted. The article says that “As a system administrator, Snowden was allowed to look at any file he wanted, and his actions were largely unaudited.” For better understanding of what the mega-surveillance apparatus entails, this article looks broadly at the NSA records-keeping system and the development of the technology that is employs.
This column in USA today focuses on the treatment of Ladar Levison, the owner of Lavabit, the encrypted email service purportedly used by Snowden. Lavabit decided to shut down his business rather than abide by a probable National Security Letter ordering for the allowance of eavesdropping by the federal government on his servers. This piece also references how the federal government has threatened Levison with arrest for his actions of shutting down the service.
Snowden’s disclosures have caused a terrorism trial in Chicago to be delayed as the defense has claimed it needs time to analyze many of the Snowden documents. Defendant Adel Daoud has pled not guilty to attempting to set off a car bomb in Chicago last year. The defense is asserting that prosecutors “should disclose how the surveillance might have triggered the initial investigation, saying that could provide grounds for challenging the constitutionality of subsequent evidence.” The judge is delaying the beginning of the trial so that she can rule on the defense’s motion. Any ruling would be one of the first by such a court to relate what the government must divulge in regard to the NSA programs.
Finally, Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, who rarely makes public appearances or statements, spoke out against the Russian media report that Cuba denied landing space for a plane carrying Snowden back in June. Castro called it a lie, saying that Cuba does not yield to American pressure.
Financial Times: South Africa – Killed for Crying Foul
This article tracks the growing number of often deadly retaliatory acts against government whistleblowers inside Africa’s largest economy. The ruling African National Congress party has been accused of widespread corruption and patronage in recent years, tarnishing the party’s reputation and factionalizing party officials. More frequently, the response to these allegations has been – according to activists in the country – the elimination of their sources through deadly force.
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Wall Street Journal: NSA Officers Spy on Love Interests
Over the weekend, news emerged that there have been several instances of NSA officers who have wrongly used surveillance programs for personal matters, namely to spy on love interests or former partners. While the article makes clear the practice is not commonplace, it is “common enough to garner its own spycraft label: LOVEINT. The Guardian also covered the development.
Also related to NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden, yesterday in US District Court, the ACLU urged that the NSA programs be halted as they are in violation of the Constitution.
Finally, in the wake of Sunday’s Der Spiegel piece based on Snowden documents, a UN spokesperson has responded that it will contact the US about the report, and that “international treaties protect its offices and all diplomatic missions from interference, spying and eavesdropping.”
Global Journalist: How Manning’s Sentence Could Affect Other Potential Whistleblowers
This episode explores how Manning’s 35-year sentence will impact future whistleblowers. GAP Legal Director Tom Devine, as well as GAP client and State Department whistleblower Peter Van Buren, are featured as part of the panel discussion.
Key Quote (Tom Devine): All the whistleblower laws have loopholes for intelligence workers who try to work inside the systems and that comes at the insistence of the same house intelligence committee chair who is condemning whistleblowers for not working in-house.
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Reuters: US Spy Agency Bugged UN Headquarters – Germany’s Spiegel
According to a report from Der Spiegel relying on documents from NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA has bugged the UN headquarters in New York. Specifically, the report cited that the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were targeted. One document shows that the NSA was successful in hacking into the UN video conferencing system:
"The data traffic gives us internal video teleconferences of the United Nations (yay!)," Der Spiegel quoted one document as saying, adding that within three weeks the number of decoded communications rose to 458 from 12 (does this end like this?)
According to the documents, the NSA runs a bugging program in more than 80 embassies and consulates worldwide called "Special Collection Service". "The surveillance is intensive and well organized and has little or nothing to do with warding off terrorists," wrote Der Spiegel.
In more Snowden-related news, anonymous government officials have informed the Associated Press that the whistleblower took “sophisticated efforts to cover his digital trail” before absconding with his documents back in May. Apparently, Snowden is very adept at defeating safeguards to track such viewing/downloading. Which, as the article point out, begs the question, “If Snowden could defeat the NSA's own tripwires and internal burglar alarms, how many other employees or contractors could do the same?” This refers to the oft-made claim from the Obama administration “to Congress and the public that the NSA surveillance programs can't be abused because its spying systems are so aggressively monitored and audited for oversight purposes.”
Finally, in the wake of the UK government’s scrutiny of and actions against The Guardian’s UK office for publishing its Snowden files that relate to the UK Government Communications Headquarters (British Intelligence), the newspaper has decided to team up with the New York Times to share those files specifically related to GCHQ. Snowden is aware of the arrangement, which the Guardian believes will allow for it “to continue exposing mass surveillance by putting the Snowden documents on GCHQ beyond government reach.”
Additionally, ProPublica has confirmed that it has been working with The Guardian and the New York Times “for some time” on a collaborative piece based on Snowden’s documents.
Associated Press: Ex-Lumberton Clerk Sues City; Alleges She was Fired as Retaliation for Being a Whistleblower
A former city clerk is suing a Mississippi town, its former mayor and board of aldermen, alleging that she was retaliated against for reporting misconduct, misappropriation of funds and misuse of public property. The lawsuit alleges retaliation from these and other co-workers, which ultimately led to the clerk’s dismissal. She is suing for compensatory and punitive damages, and asking for reinstatement to her position.
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Guardian: Snowden – UK Government Now Leaking Documents About Itself
Overnight, the UK Independent published a story which purportedly details how British intelligence has a secret, Middle-East based “Internet-monitoring station” to collect a slew of digital data for itself and the NSA. The UK Independent also claims that such information “was contained in the leaked documents obtained from the NSA by Edward Snowden.”
This development prompted Snowden himself to quickly make a statement through Glenn Greenwald in the column cited above. In his statement, Snowden made clear that he has “never spoken with, worked with, or provided any journalistic materials to the Independent.” He also emphasized the caution and discretion that he, along with the journalists working to publish his disclosures, have taken and that, “People at all levels of society up to and including the President of the United States have recognized the contribution of these careful disclosures to a necessary public debate, and we are proud of this record.”
Greenwald also takes a strong issue with the UK Independent’s assertion that “there is some agreement in place to restrict the Guardian's ongoing reporting about the NSA documents.” Greenwald flatly denies this, saying he’s not aware of it nor would abide by it.
Lastly, as Greenwald rightfully points out in his column, this is the first time the UK Independent has published any information claiming to be from NSA documents, “and it's the type of disclosure which journalists working directly with [Snowden] have thus far avoided.” Further, the timing of such a release is suspicious, as Greenwald notes that it has happened while British intelligence is embroiled in scandal and has asserted that such releases pose serious dangers to the public, but now "there suddenly appears exactly the type of disclosure the UK government wants but that has never happened before."
Key Quote (Greenwald): The US government itself has constantly used this tactic aggressively targeting those who disclose embarrassing or incriminating information about the government in the name of protecting the sanctity of classified information, while simultaneously leaking classified information prolifically when doing so advances their political interests.
Washington Post: Former U.S. Officials to be Named to Surveillance Panel
This report cites four individuals who are to be named by President Obama to the review panel made up of “outside experts” to analyze the NSA surveillance programs – one of the four steps he said he would take during a recent news conference about the NSA surveillance programs. The potential panel participants are “former CIA deputy director Michael Morell, onetime economic policy adviser Peter Swire, Obama’s former “regulatory czar” Cass Sunstein, and Richard A. Clarke, a National Security Council staff member.” Privacy groups have already been critical of the selections.
Morell left the CIA in June after 33 years, and both Sunstein and Swire are former officials in the Obama administration. Clarke is notable for his harsh criticism of the George W. Bush administration’s counter-terrorism efforts before 9/11 and the justification for the Iraq War. The Guardian piece on this development stated that the choices are "set to consist of four Washington insiders with close ties to the security establishment."
Key Quote (Washington Post): “We continue to learn how each of the oversight mechanisms that the administration has pointed to have continuously failed,” said Amie Stepanovich, director of the domestic surveillance project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. A “worthwhile review requires an independent team of evaluators.”
In additional news relating to the NSA programs, this column from the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus relays how the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) opinion released on Wednesday and the actions of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper make it clear that the federal government is being disingenuous with the American people.
CNN: Noted Banking Whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld Risks Return to Jail
Bradley Birkenfeld was awarded the largest financial whistleblower settlement ever for providing information that led to a settlement with UBS AG. Found guilty of some associated crimes and spending 30 months in prison, he received over $100 million as part of the bank’s settlement. Last month, Birkenfeld was arrested for driving while intoxicated, which could put him in violation of his parole.
Spokane Spokesman-Review: The War on Whistleblowers
This editorial from Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman highlights the synchronicities between Bradley Manning's brutal sentencing, the persecution of Snowden, and the search and seizure of David Miranda by UK authorities. All of their stories represent a severe case of misguided and misdirected aggression on the part of an administration that goes after individuals whose own testimonies make clear their good intentions.
CNHI: Supporters Drawn to Manning’s Former Home Defend Him as 'Whistleblower'
Supporters in the town of Crescent, Oklahoma where Manning once lived gathered after the sentencing outside the town hall. Advocates in the small town insisted that Manning is a whistleblower and the information disclosed “was very important for the public to know.” Support for Manning is world-wide and the statements of those drawn to the former soldier’s hometown go to show how deeply the case permeated the public consciousness.
Less than a day after the sentencing, Manning – who has lived for years in gender identity limbo – announced a hope to live life as a woman named Chelsea, undergoing "hormone therapy as soon as possible." The army responded, saying Manning will have access to doctors but will not be provided the therapy or gender reassignment surgery.
Manning has sent a letter to President Obama requesting a pardon. The whistleblower acknowledges breaking the law, while making clear that the actions were out of a love of country.
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The Guardian: Bradley Manning Given 35-year Prison Term for Passing Files to WikiLeaks
Yesterday, a long-awaited sentencing came down for US Army whistleblower Bradley Manning. The former private was handed 35 years in prison as a result of the 20 counts under which he had been found guilty. The 1,294 days Manning has already spent in custody will be deducted from his sentence and he will be eligible for parole much earlier. The judge also deducted 112 days to compensate for the excessively harsh treatment Manning underwent in 2010 – hardly a victory for the whistleblower, nor an admission of wrongdoing on the part of the US government. Headlines ran around the world and many editorials argued the sentence was too severe. WikiLeaks released a statement, calling the decision a "a significant tactical victory for Bradley Manning’s defense, campaign team and supporters."
GAP quickly released a statement on the sentence, calling it a clear message of intimidation for all whistleblowers, “present and future.” The statement also pointed out exactly why the sentence is excessive and unjust. The Guardian updated a live column all day on the sentencing – citing the GAP statement – and the ensuing press conference with Manning’s lawyer David Coombs.
Additionally, GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack and Counsel Kathleen McClellan wrote an op-ed for CNN, in which they re-iterated the truth that Manning’s disclosures “revealed war crimes and torture – topics that are surely in the public’s interest to know.” The harsh sentence and the government’s desire to “send a message,” they write, “represents yet another dismal step toward secrecy from a presidential administration that once pledged to be the ‘most transparent in history.’”
Radack also appeared on Washington Post’s TV channel and was quoted in the Baltimore Sun about the inverse effect that Manning’s punishment will have on whistleblowers. Other GAP media appearances yesterday include HuffPost Live and RT.
Key Quote (Baltimore Sun): “If anything I think the government's overreaction, overcharging and selective prosecution of Manning has encouraged other people to blow the whistle," said Jesselyn Radack with the Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit group that advocates for whistle-blowers. "It doesn't seem to be having the chilling effect that the government wants it to."
Washington Post: Federal Court Curbs Appeal Rights for ‘Sensitive’ Defense Jobs
A federal appeals court ruling on Tuesday will have serious implications for civil service protections for government workers. A loophole has been created that allows government employers to designate nearly any position "sensitive," thereby revoking workers’ rights to appeal decisions of termination. GAP Legal Director Tom Devine has fought hard against this outcome, as whistleblowers could have their civil service rights stripped, and says that the decision creates a bureaucracy “where it is only safe to be a national security ‘yes man.’” In another Washington Post column, Devine sums up the catastrophic ruling as such: If an agency “says the worker is ‘ineligible for a sensitive job … the worker is defenseless.”
Key Quote (Washington Post): “The court created a ‘sensitive jobs loophole’ . . . and openly backed a proposed administration rule to declare virtually any job as national-security sensitive,” the Government Accountability Project said in a statement. The administration proposal refers to a draft rule that would allow the government to brand virtually any federal government position as national security “sensitive” and therefore outside the civil service system rule of law.
(Associated Press) Tom Devine, legal director of the Government Accountability Project, a whistle-blower advocacy group, said that the court had "created a loophole to remove the civil service rule of law from virtually the entire federal workforce."
Washington Post: NSA Gathered Thousands of Americans’ Email Before Court Struck Down Program
Yesterday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declassified a redacted 85-page opinion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) from 2011 detailing that one NSA program “unlawfully gathered” up to 56,000 “wholly domestic” communications each year such as emails “and other electronic communications.” It was previously known that the FISC court had ruled this program unconstitutional and this release provides the details of that decision and the violations that occurred. The declassification was part of a FOIA request brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. A portion of the judge’s ruling read as follows:
“For the first time, the government has now advised the court that the volume and nature of the information it has been collecting is fundamentally different from what the court had been led to believe,” John D. Bates, then the surveillance court’s chief judge, wrote in his Oct. 3, 2011, opinion.
“The court is troubled that the government’s revelations regarding NSA’s acquisition of Internet transactions mark the third instance in less than three years in which the government has disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program,” Bates wrote in a scathing footnote.
The NSA modified the program in response to the Court’s ruling, but questions persist. PBS Newshour featured the Wall Street Journal’s Siobahn Gorman, who discussed those questions and more saying that while the NSA tried to minimize the issues with the program, “The collection is still happening. And so the probability that wholly domestic communications are being picked up by the NSA is just the same as it has been at least since 2008.”
Also from the Wall Street Journal yesterday came the revelation that according to current and former intelligence officials familiar with the programs, the NSA’s surveillance network covers “more Americans’ Internet communications” than previously disclosed, possessing the ability to “reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence.” Further, “in some cases,” it does retain the written content of emails sent and received by Americans entirely within the US, and “filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology.”
In related surveillance news, journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda – recently detained for nine hours at the UK’s Heathrow airport under a counterterrorism law – “has been granted a limited injunction at the high court to stop the government and police ‘inspecting, copying or sharing’ data seized from him during his detention at Heathrow airport – but examination by the police for national security purposes is allowed.”
Key Quote (Wall Street Journal): The NSA's filtering, carried out with telecom companies, is designed to look for communications that either originate or end abroad, or are entirely foreign but happen to be passing through the U.S. But officials say the system's broad reach makes it more likely that purely domestic communications will be incidentally intercepted and collected in the hunt for foreign ones.
The judge in the court martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, Col. Denise Lind, has sentenced the private to 35 years in prison. He will receive a dishonorable discharge, will forfeit his pay and benefits, and will be reduced in rank.
The sentence comes after Manning was convicted last month of 20 offenses, including six violations of the Espionage Act of 1917, as well as five counts of theft and computer fraud.
Defense attorney David Coombs had urged the court for a sentence of no more than 25 years in prison in consideration of time served, as well as his client's 112 days of punishment under illegal conditions at Quantico brig in Virginia.
It is the position of the Government Accountability Project (GAP) that this sentence, though not the 60+ year sentence that the prosecution had requested, is intended to be a message to all whistleblowers, present and future. Further, the sentence is excessive and unjust for the following reasons:
- It has never been proven that Manning's conduct did harm to the US.
- Manning informed the public of clear wrongdoing.
- Manning suffered egregious and unlawful pretrial detention.
- No individuals have been punished as a result of Manning's revelations despite clear atrocities.
"This was a show trial done largely in secret," stated GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack. "This case is of public interest, but the public has been kept in the dark through severely limited media access. America is better than secret courts."
Last month, GAP commented on the verdict in the Manning case. Read that statement here.
Douglas Kim is External Relations Officer for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.
Manning's 35-Year Sentence Intended to be a Message to All Whistleblowers
A short time ago, Army whistleblower Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in jail. This column will track updates over the course of the day.
In a statement released this morning, GAP believes that this sentence is “intended to be a message to all whistleblowers, present and future,” and that 35 years in prison is excessive and unjust for several reasons. Stated GAP National Security & Human Rights Counsel Kathleen McClellan, “This was a show trial done largely in secret. This case is of public interest, but the public has been kept in the dark through severely limited media access. America is better than secret courts.”
AC360 Exclusive: Glenn Greenwald Responds to His Spouse’s Detainment at Heathrow Airport
Glenn Greenwald appeared with his partner David Miranda last night on Anderson Cooper 360 to discuss the holding of Miranda over the weekend. In it, he cleared up a misconception reported by a Reuters piece that hinted about his “revenge” journalism against the UK. Greenwald further explained his response to the holdings in his column today, where he also made clear that “the US and the UK governments go around the world threatening people all the time. It's their modus operandi. They imprison whistleblowers. They try to criminalize journalism.”
Directly following that AC360 segment, GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack squared off against CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who implied that Miranda should be thankful he was only held for nine hours and labeled him a “mule” for his actions. Radack responded:
Radack: No matter what was on [Miranda’s computers], it obviously had to do with journalism. Laura Poitras is a journalist and documentarian. Glenn Greenwald is a journalist. And David was serving as an in-between, not as a drug mule. I have to wonder why the US government and our allies are so desparate to keep our illegalities secret and our law-breaking secret that they’re willing to use a terrorism law to try to stop a journalist.
FireDogLake’s Kevin Gosztola wrote about the exchange and notes that Toobin is quite hypocritical for challenging Miranda’s carrying of classified information, considering Toobin himself reportedly has done so in the past:
Toobin’s campaign against Snowden and in defense of the government’s right to protect sensitive national security secrets is incredibly hypocritical, given his past history.
In journalist Michael Isikoff’s book, Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter’s Story, he described how Toobin was caught “having absconded with large loads of classified and grand-jury related documents from the office of Iran-Contra independent counsel Lawrence Walsh” in 1991.
GovExec: Intel Contractors’ Whistleblower Rights Are a Work in Progress
This piece looks at the debate over President Obama’s assertions that intelligence contractors like NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden have protections, which the president claimed on two recent occasions. The piece quotes both Radack and GAP Legal Director Tom Devine.
Key Quote: Advocacy groups pounced, saying the president misspoke. “If the president had bothered to read his own executive order, he would have known that it was not implemented at all when Snowden blew the whistle on the National Security Agency,” read a blog post by Jesselyn Radack, human rights director for the Government Accountability Project, which supports Snowden. “Further, [the October directive] fails to provide protected legal channels to contractor positions such as Snowden’s.”
Tom Devine, legal director of the Government Accountability Project, says the reason the fiscal 2013 defense bill removed intelligence contractors’ whistleblower protections is that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., “insisted on removing preexisting rights for the intel community in Defense contracts as the price for extending it to the rest of the government.” Such rights had been championed for years in bills offered by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., among others.
“The Defense Department inspector general and the administration were all supportive of it as best-practice whistleblower rights,” Devine said. “But Rogers made it a point to sabotage it.”
Washington Post: The Price Gina Gray Paid for Whistleblowing
This column from Dana Milbank covers the saga of Arlington National Cemetery whistleblower Gina Gray, whose long (and unsuccessful) legal battle undermines the thrust of President Obama’s argument that whistleblowers who follow proper channels are protected.
Key Quote: President Obama, in his news conference this month, said that Edward Snowden was wrong to go public with revelations about secret surveillance programs because “there were other avenues available for somebody whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions.”
This is a common refrain among administration officials and some lawmakers: If only Snowden had made his concerns known through the proper internal channels, everything would have turned out well. The notion sounds reasonable, as do the memorandums Obama signed supposedly protecting whistleblowers.
But it’s a load of nonsense. Ask Gina Gray.
NBC News: US Doesn't Know What Snowden Took, Sources Say
Citing confidential sources, this piece relays that the NSA “still doesn’t know the full extent of what [Snowden] took,” and that the agency “is ‘overwhelmed’ trying to assess the damage.”
Philadelphia Inquirer: Fitzpatrick Bill Would Tighten Rules on NSA Surveillance
Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is going to introduce a bill that would tighten NSA surveillance rules and strip the NSA of funding if it oversteps its authorities.
Key Quote: He said he would introduce a bill to require that NSA programs targeting Americans' phone records and data must include “a reasonable suspicion that a citizen is engaged in wrongdoing,” rather than “a dragnet,” and that the person be suspected of being involved with international or foreign terrorism.
GAP Condemns Activist Court Ruling That Cancels Civil Service Rule of Law
Yesterday, in a deplorable ruling, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ended “the basic employee rights which have sustained a non-partisan, professional civil service since 1883.” This means that the proposed national security ‘sensitive’ designation – proposed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Office of Personnel Management – will now become a reality. The rule allows these offices to designate “virtually any job” in the government as sensitive, thus eliminating an employee’s right to due process or administrative hearings after being removed from their positions of employment in cases of retaliation. Read GAP’s full statement on the court’s ruling, which came in the case of Kaplan v. Conyers and MSPB.
Key Quote: GAP Legal Director Tom Devine commented:
Last year Congress unanimously passed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act ("WPEA") due to hostile Federal Circuit activism creating judicial loopholes that gutted statutory free speech rights. Apparently the Federal Circuit did not get it. This time the court created a loophole to remove the civil service rule of law from virtually the entire federal workforce. It erased all federal laws that shield the two million federal employee workforce from becoming a national security spoils system.
If an agency fires an employee, it must defend its actions under a host of laws, including the Civil Service Reform Act; the Whistleblower Protection Act; and EEO laws banning race, sex, religious, age or handicap discrimination. If it says the worker is "ineligible for a sensitive job," all those rights turn into a soap bubble. The worker is defenseless. As in a Kafka novel, the employee is not even entitled to know why.
After Conyers, federal employees will have two rights left: be national security 'yes people,' or leave. A bureaucracy where it is only legally safe to be a national security 'yes man' is a clear and present danger to freedom for all Americans.
New York Post: Ackman Blasts Herbalife in Quarterly Letter
Bill Ackman, the activist investor who questions the integrity of the Herbalife company, continues to blast the corporation. In a quarterly letter, Ackman says he is garnering large-scale regulatory interest toward an investigation of an alleged pyramid scheme spurred by the nutritional supplement giant. Ackman, according to the article, is basing his claims primarily on the disclosures of a former senior Herbalife employee who has come forward as a whistleblower.
The Philadelphia Inquirer: $1M Fine for UGI for Failing to Fix Gas Leak
Pennsylvania’s UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc. has agreed to pay a $1 million fine to settle a whistleblower’s allegations that it did not properly maintain and repair one of its high-pressure gas lines, which has experienced 12 leaks since 1986. This marks the largest fine to date against a utility company in Pennsylvania since the state legislature increased the maximum penalty to $2 million.
Jack Davis is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.