Posts Tagged ‘whistleblowers’

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The Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival announced today the showcase of new independent feature films selected across all categories for the 2019 Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival. The Festival hosts screenings in Washington, DC from July 29 – August 1, 2019.

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BREAKING: New Wikileaks File Dump

 

It’s on.

 

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‘Democrats & neocon warmongers formed unholy alliance against Trump’

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My Lunch With an FBI Whistleblower, Not Yet Out

By John Kiriakou, Reader Supported News

11 April 16

 

had lunch with an FBI agent last week. If you don’t know me, that’s a highly unusual event. I hate the FBI. I hate what they’ve done to civil liberties in the United States. I hate that they spy on peace activists, civil libertarians, and people of color, all under the guise of “national security.” I hate the FBI’s dirty history of COINTELPRO, of sending poison pen letters to Martin Luther King Jr. to try to get him to commit suicide. I hate that they tried to set me up on an espionage charge because they knew that the case against me for blowing the whistle on the CIA’s torture program was weak. But I was intrigued.

The FBI agent in question told me that he had uncovered evidence of waste, fraud, abuse, and illegality at the Bureau. He said that he had reported this untoward behavior up his chain of command and was told to mind his own business. He went to the FBI Inspector General and the FBI General Counsel, and was told both times that he should walk away, that he should mind his own business. He wanted to know what I thought he should do, based on my own experience.

I told him that he could do one of several things. He could continue up the chain of command and go to the Senate or House Judiciary Committees. If he did that, there would certainly be an internal investigation, he would be ostracized at the FBI, and he would likely face spurious charges that could include espionage. That’s what the CIA and the FBI did to me, to NSA’s Tom Drake, to the CIA’s Jeffrey Sterling, to the State Department’s Stephen Kim, and others.

I told him that he could go to the press, in which case there would also be an investigation, his security clearance would be suspended, and he would likely be fired, at least, for insubordination. He also could be charged with espionage or any number of national security charges related to leaking.

I told him that he could talk to an attorney who specializes in national security whistleblowing cases, like Jesselyn Radack of ExposeFacts. Radack is a fearless advocate for national security professionals who take their oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution seriously. She is also a whistleblower. She lost her job as a Justice Department ethics officer after insisting that John Walker Lindh, known in the press as the “American Taliban,” be allowed access to an attorney, a basic constitutional right that the FBI denied him.

And finally, I told him that he could do nothing. Just keep quiet. He would keep his job, his pay grade, and his clearances. But he wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.

The FBI agent, deep down, knew all these things. He recalled the recent case of another FBI whistleblower, Darin Jones, who was fired after he blew the whistle on waste, fraud, and abuse at the Bureau. Jones said that FBI bigwigs had blown $234,000 of the taxpayers’ money on an awards ceremony for themselves, they had improperly spent taxpayer money without going through proper channels, and that a former FBI assistant director had had a conflict of interest related to a computer help-desk contract.

What did Jones do? He went through the chain of command. He complained to his superiors about the waste, fraud, and abuse he saw. In response, he was fired on the last day of his probationary period. That was three and a half years ago. His appeal still hasn’t been heard. And as with other whistleblowers, especially those in the national security arena, it has been virtually impossible for Jones to find work, and former friends and colleagues avoid him. He has described himself as “radioactive,” a non-person.

Congress, over the years, has toyed with the idea of enhanced protections for FBI whistleblowers. The chairman and ranking Democrat of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Pat Leahy (D-Vermont), have introduced the FBI Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, which would expand the number of people at the FBI eligible for whistleblower protection and would allow them to appeal dismissal in the court system. The problem is that the bill has languished in the Senate and has not come up for a vote. It likely won’t this year. Meanwhile, the House has ignored it.

The bottom line is this: Jones, the FBI agent with whom I met, and others who report on FBI malfeasance internally are screwed. There really are no protections. It’s the same in national security. A potential whistleblower can go through the chain of command and likely be charged with crimes, he can go to the press and likely be charged with crimes, or he can keep his mouth shut. There are no alternatives. And until Congress recognizes the patent unfairness of the current system, other good and patriotic men and women will be ruined for doing the right thing.

 


John Kiriakou is an associate fellow with the Institute for Policy Studies. He is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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Pseudoscience & the “study” of “conspiracy beliefs” from message board postings
An open letter to Michael J. Wood et al.

mw337@kent.ac.uk

Regarding: “What about building 7?” A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories

I read with some interest your “study” of some message board postings concerning the September 11th attacks. I found your efforts less than compelling. Random samplings of arguments on message boards are a legitimate way to understand the September 11th 2001 attacks? No. But it is a convenient way of lumping large disparate groups of people into simplistic categories in order to smear them.

As someone who has intensely studied the issue for some 13 years and counting, I would have to say that your approach is hamfisted, ignorant, and even juvenile. You and your partners have relied upon your own concepts of “belief” and “theory” and the utterances of message board posters, but lack a firm foundation to compare or contrast any of the information that was analyzed.

In other words, you don’t have an expert knowledge of the US government cover-up of the September 11th event (or even acknowledge it), nor of the many high-level government whistleblowers surrounding this issue. You lack an even rudimentary understanding of the event, and therefore have no basis to judge the competing arguments, at all. Nor do you concede the obvious fact of conspiracies throughout history, actual state crimes, of which there are numerous examples. This would lead to an examination of motive, and that the state gains an incredible amount of power after failing to stop an attack, including the power to wage foreign wars of aggression with impunity.

You know: 1 + 1=2 type stuff.

It is not difficult to engage in a conspiracy. Any two individuals on planet earth can commit a crime together, and voila: there’s a conspiracy. The idea that conspiracy is rare or even non-existent(!), as some mainstream media pundits have argued, is absurd on its face and should discredit the author entirely. As an obvious example, you–as someone purportedly studying government conspiracy–should be well versed in the Iran-Contra fiasco of the 1980s. Colonel Oliver North was convicted, with ten others, to refresh your memory. So, is someone who “believes” in the Iran-Contra conspiracy more or less prone to “belief” in conspiracy, as per your definitions and comprehension?

Clearly we have a problem when you divide the public based upon generalizations that cannot possibly hold true when tested against real historical facts. The knowledge, or ignorance, of these facts is paramount.

So, Mr. Wood, did the Iran-Contra conspiracy happen? Are you a “conspiracist?” Do you engage in “belief” about it?

Next, your “psychological study” has not even a mention of the concept of disinformation. This omission discredits your work. Disinformation is the deliberate seeding of the public debate with false data in order to muddy the waters and make discovery of the true facts of the conspiracy more difficult. It throws off the dogs. Disinformation is rampant and easily achieved as soon as any individual concocts a false narrative and presses “send” or “post.” Apparently this has never occurred to your team, as it received zero scrutiny.

Some number of message board trolls will turn out to be posting disinformation, in my decade-plus experience with them, a situation your study failed to even conceptualize, nevermind correct for. Others post misinformation. This is the problem with relying upon message board flame wars for your data.

Therefore your study is tangential and irrelevant to learning what actually happened. Its approach reinforces the idea that psychological pseudoscience has relevance to the facts of real world crimes and terrorist events. It champions a specious view, one founded upon ignorance and random arguments over misinformation and disinformation, rather than seeking to understand what is actually known and what is unknown, to date, about the criminal attacks you purport to study.

Similarly your “study” commented on other controversial topics without any accompanying examination of something the rest of the world likes to call “evidence.” You and your cohorts feel supremely confident in pronouncing sweeping generalizations about “belief” without providing context as to why someone would hold such a belief (factual evidence). It is for this exact reason that I have labeled your efforts “pseudoscience.” You have divorced some abstract concept called “belief” from the hard evidence that causes such “belief.” Cause and effect are alien to your own theories, at least as presented in your “psychological study.” Your article ends up lightweight pondering and lacks the gravity of facts, or the due diligence required to examine and test those facts.

You have come to this party from ignorance, and you remain there, blissfully unaware of the veracity of any of the data, whatsoever. That’s a pretty harsh criticism, but is warranted.

PS.

Mr. Wood, was the September 11th attack not a “conspiracy?”

Joe Giambrone