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Protecting Whistleblowers since 1977

First Presidentially Appointed National Security Agency Watchdog Confirmed By Senate

December 22, 2017
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WASHINGTON ­– Late last night, the United States Senate confirmed Robert Storch, the former Department of Justice Deputy Inspector General, as the first Presidentially appointed and Senate confirmed National Security Agency Inspector General.

Previously, the NSA Director selected NSA Inspectors General, but three years ago Congress passed legislation making the NSA Inspector General independent from NSA leadership. This was an important development to ensure Inspector General independence from Agency politics.

George Ellard, the NSA Inspector General preceding Mr. Storch, left his office after a panel of three Inspectors General found he reprised against a whistleblower within the NSA Inspector General’s office. Mr. Ellard also was accused of retaliating against NSA whistleblowers Tom Drake, Bill Binney, and others who pioneered challenges alleging illegal domestic surveillance. These whistleblowers worked within the proper channels, without classified media leaks. The former NSA Inspector General’s harassment began the cycle leading to Espionage Act charges seeking 35 years incarceration for Mr. Drake, which Edward Snowden cited as a reason to circumvent proper whistleblowing channels.

According to GAP Legal Director Tom Devine,

“Mr. Storch’s arrival is a much needed breath of fresh air. After the agency’s anti-whistleblower track-record during the last administration, public servants like Mr. Storch are badly needed.”

GAP hopes Mr. Storch learned from Mr. Ellard’s decisions and will protect whistleblowers throughout both the NSA and the Intelligence Community. His career reflects a dedication to whistleblower rights, serving as the DOJ’s Whistleblower Ombudsman and the Chairman of the Council of Inspectors General for Integrity and Efficiency’s Whistleblower Ombudsman Working Group, and GAP is optimistic that Mr. Storch will extend his whistleblower experience to an office in desperate need of reform.

Contact: Tom Devine
Phone: (240) 888-4080

Government Accountability Project

The Government Accountability Project is the nation's leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP's mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.


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