tagged w/ whistleblower
Bill Binney, NSA Whistleblower talks about the new NSA massive data center in Utah, why General Petraeus private communications were intercepted and how the government is collecting information on everyone and not just national security risks.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0d5hci6tHv8Bill Binney, NSA Whistleblower talks about the new NSA massive data center in Utah,... more
The former commander of Quantico marine base in Virginia has revealed to the court martial of Bradley Manning that he warned his Pentagon superiors that the jail on the base was insufficiently prepared to deal with the long-term detention of the WikiLeaks suspect.
Daniel Choike told a pre-trial hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland, that when Manning arrived at the brig on 29 July 2010, having been arrested in Iraq on suspicion of being the source of the massive WikiLeaks dump of state secrets, he informed his superior officer in the Pentagon that in his opinion Quantico was not the right place for the soldier should his detention last long.
"I didn't feel that PFC Manning should be detained more than 90 days in the brig," he said.
In the end, Manning spent nine months at Quantico – three times the maximum Choike thought appropriate. The soldier's treatment there prompted international protests from the UN, Amnesty International and other organisations that likened it to torture.
Choike's admission that he had been aware of problems relating to Manning's incarceration at the Quantico brig came on Tuesday, at the end of an intense first day in the latest pre-trial hearing in the soldier's court martial. The army private, who worked as an intelligence analyst in a military base outside Baghdad from 2009 until his arrest in May 2010, faces 22 counts relating to the transfer of hundreds of thousands of confidential US documents to the whistleblowing website.
More at link
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/28/wikileaks-suspect-bradley-manning-jailThe former commander of Quantico marine base in Virginia has revealed to the court... more
If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em out.
If you’re a frequent signatory on petitions at Change.org, or if you use their site to start your own petitions for your favorite Progressive causes, you might want to brace yourself, because their infrastructure is about to take on a whole new look: Anti-abortion, NRA, and and conservative petitions based on misinformation?...
http://veracitystew.com/?p=44935If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em out.
If you’re a frequent... more
A former CIA officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to leaking the identity of one of the agency's covert operatives to a reporter.
As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dropped charges against John Kiriakou, 48, that had been filed under the first world war-era Espionage Act. They also dropped a count of making false statements. Kiriakou's supporters argue that he is a whistleblower on issues including torture and the CIA's rendition program. All sides agreed to a prison term of two years.
US district judge Leonie Brinkema noted that the term was identical to that which was imposed on Scooter Libby, the chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney, in 2007. Libby was convicted in a case in which he was accused of leaking information that compromised the covert identity of the CIA operative Valerie Plame, though Libby's sentence was commuted by then-president George W Bush.
More at link
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/23/cia-whistleblower-john-kiriakou-leakA former CIA officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to leaking the identity of one of the... more
Former National Security Agency official Bill Binney says US is illegally collecting huge amounts of data on his fellow citizens
Bill Binney believes he helped create a monster.
Sitting in the innocuous surroundings of an Olive Garden in the Baltimore suburbs, the former senior National Security Agency (NSA) official even believes he owes the whole American people an apology.
Binney, a tall, professorial man in his late 60s, led the development of a secret software code he now believes is illegally collecting huge amounts of information on his fellow citizens. For the staunch Republican, who worked for 32 years at the NSA, it is a civil liberties nightmare come true.
So Binney has started speaking out as an NSA whistleblower – an act that has earned him an armed FBI raid on his home. “What’s happening is a violation of the constitutional rights of everybody in the country. That’s pretty straightforward. I could not be associated with it,” he told the Guardian.
Binney, a career NSA employee who first volunteered for the army in the mid-1960s, has now become a high-profile thorn in the side of NSA chiefs when they deny the programme’s existence.
At a hacking conference this summer in Las Vegas, NSA director General Keith Alexander said the NSA “absolutely” did not keep files on Americans.
“Anyone who would tell you that we’re keeping files or dossiers on the American people knows that’s not true,” the NSA chief told an audience of computer and security experts. But Binney himself was at the same conference and publicly accused Alexander of playing a “word game”.
Full Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/09/15/nsa-whistleblower-illegal-data-collection-a-violation-of-everybodys-constitutional-rights/Former National Security Agency official Bill Binney says US is illegally collecting... more
It took me a few days to work up the nerve to phone William Binney. As someone already a “target” of the United States government, I found it difficult not to worry about the chain of unintended consequences I might unleash by calling Mr. Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency turned whistle-blower. He picked up. I nervously explained I was a documentary filmmaker and wanted to speak to him. To my surprise he replied: “I’m tired of my government harassing me and violating the Constitution. Yes, I’ll talk to you.”
Two weeks later, driving past the headquarters of the N.S.A. in Maryland, outside Washington, Mr. Binney described details about Stellar Wind, the N.S.A.’s top-secret domestic spying program begun after 9/11, which was so controversial that it nearly caused top Justice Department officials to resign in protest, in 2004.
“The decision must have been made in September 2001,” Mr. Binney told me and the cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. “That’s when the equipment started coming in.” In this Op-Doc, Mr. Binney explains how the program he created for foreign intelligence gathering was turned inward on this country. He resigned over this in 2001 and began speaking out publicly in the last year. He is among a group of N.S.A. whistle-blowers, including Thomas A. Drake, who have each risked everything — their freedom, livelihoods and personal relationships — to warn Americans about the dangers of N.S.A. domestic spying.
http://youtu.be/r9-3K3rkPREIt took me a few days to work up the nerve to phone William Binney. As someone already... more
For several decades, protection of whistleblowers has been a core political value for Democrats, at least for progressives. Daniel Ellsberg has long been viewed by liberals as an American hero for his disclosure of the top secret Pentagon Papers. In 2008, candidate Obama hailed whistleblowing as "acts of courage and patriotism", which "should be encouraged rather than stifled as they have been during the Bush administration".
President Obama, however, has waged the most aggressive and vindictive assault on whistleblowers of any president in American history, as even political magazines generally supportive of him have recognized and condemned. One might think that, as the party's faithful gather to celebrate the greatness of this leader, this fact would be a minor problem, a source of some tension between Obama and his hardest-core supporters, perhaps even some embarrassment. One would be wrong.
Far from shying away from this record of persecuting whistleblowers, the Obama campaign is proudly boasting of it. A so-called "Truth Team" of the Obama/Biden 2012 campaign issued a document responding to allegations that the Obama White House has leaked classified information in order to glorify the president:
More at link
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/05/obama-campaign-brags-about-whistleblower-persecutionsFor several decades, protection of whistleblowers has been a core political value for... more
August edition of the "Obama Protection" files from the whistleblower website Cryptome. Lots good photos of President Obama on the campaign trail, Air Force 1 and Secret Service protecting him.August edition of the "Obama Protection" files from the whistleblower... more
House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa and Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley are asking the Department of Justice’s internal investigator to hold accountable anyone who retaliated against or threatened to retaliate against Operation Fast and Furious whistleblowers.
In a Friday letter to the DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Grassley and Issa said they’re now concerned retaliation is much more likely following Thursday’s votes to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal and civil contempt of Congress.
“We just learned that ATF senior management placed two of the main whistleblowers who have testified before Congress about Fast and Furious under the supervision of someone who vowed to retaliate against them,” they wrote before describing how senior political figures have made dangerous threats before.
Grassley and Issa said that in early 2011, right around the time Grassley first made public the whistleblowers’ allegations about Fast and Furious, Scot Thomasson – then the chief of the ATF’s Public Affairs Division – said, according to an eyewitness account: “We need to get whatever dirt we can on these guys [the whistleblowers] and take them down.”
Thomasson also allegedly said that: “All these whistleblowers have axes to grind. ATF needs to f—k these guys.”
According to Grassley and Issa, when Thomasson was asked about whistleblowers’ allegations that guns were allowed to walk, Thomasson said he “didn’t know and didn’t care.”
Grassley and Issa have given Horowitz until July 6 to answer whether Thomasson was “admonished” for those threats against whistleblowers, how he got his job in the first place and how the DOJ and ATF are going to make sure he doesn’t retaliate against whistleblowers moving forward.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/29/issa-grassley-release-details-about-fast-and-furious-whistleblower-retaliation-cover-up/#ixzz1zbyaa400House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa and Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck... more
Published on Apr 16, 2012 by Sibel Edmonds
In this startling new memoir, Sibel Edmonds—the most classified woman in U.S. history—takes us on a surreal journey that begins with the secretive FBI and down the dark halls of a feckless Congress to a stonewalling judiciary and finally, to the national security whistleblowers movement she spearheaded. Having lived under Middle East dictatorships, Edmonds knows firsthand what can happen when government is allowed to operate in secret. Hers is a sobering perspective that combines painful experience with a rallying cry for the public's right to know and to hold the lawbreakers accountable. With U.S. citizens increasingly stripped of their rights in a calibrated media blackout, Edmonds' story is a wake-up call for all Americans who, willingly or unwillingly, traded liberty for illusive security in the wake of 9/11.
To purchase this book visit http://classifiedwoman.com
Sorry losers, high level people have spoken out about 9/11. Sibel Edmonds is one of them. You're just too busy watching reality TV to care about actual reality.Published on Apr 16, 2012 by Sibel Edmonds
In this startling new memoir, Sibel... more
National Security Agency whistleblower William Binney reveals he believes domestic surveillance has become more expansive under President Obama than President George W. Bush. He estimates the NSA has assembled 20 trillion "transactions" — phone calls, emails and other forms of data — from Americans. This likely includes copies of almost all of the emails sent and received from most people living in the United States. Binney talks about Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and challenges NSA Director Keith Alexander's assertion that the NSA is not intercepting information about U.S. citizens.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfS2Op9l3nk&feature=player_embeddedNational Security Agency whistleblower William Binney reveals he believes domestic... more
1 year ago
Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer John Kiriakou — the sixth whistleblower the Obama administration has indicted under the Espionage Act for alleged mishandling of classified information — was arraigned this morning in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. As expected, Kiriakou pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges. No-nonsense U.S District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema set a pre-trial motions hearing for July 20, 2012 and trial for November 26, 2012.
The arraignment was more notable for who was not present than for who was there. Conspicuously absent was the esteemed Patrick Fitzgerald — well-known as the federal prosecutor in charge of the investigation of theValerie Plame CIA leak case, which led to the prosecution and conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff for perjury—whose name graces the Indictment. Instead the Department of Justice (DOJ) sent four junior-level attorneys, making it a distinct possibility that DOJ knows its case if full of gaping holes. Judge Brinkema even pointed out that one of the DOJ attorneys “had not practiced before this court much” (paraphrased), which was just one of her choice one-liners during the proceedings.
The green DOJ attorneys seem an uneven match for Kiriakou’s formidable defense team, which included legal Titan Plato Cacheris and his partner Bob Trout, were it not for the fact that the DOJ attorneys have the full resources of the entire Executive Branch, including it’s not-so-secret weapon — secrecy — which was no more evident than when Judge Brinkema forced DOJ to reveal that it still had “lots” of classified discovery to hand over to the defense even though Kiriakou had been charged nearly three months ago (something she also noted).
Judge Brinkema’s No-Nonsense Approach
Judge Brinkema is no stranger to national security cases. She presided over the case against 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and is currently presiding over the Espionage Act case against another former CIA whistleblower, Jeffery Sterling. In the Sterling case, Judge Brinkema rebuffed the government’s third attempt to subpoena New York Times reporter James Risen to testify about his source, writing in July 2011 that “A criminal trial subpoena is not a free pass for the government to rifle through a reporter’s notebook.” DOJ appealed her ruling to the 4th Circuit.
As might be expected from the judge currently dealing with the government’s shenanigans in the Sterling case, Judge Brinkema “strongly recommend[ed]” that the government turn over discovery sooner rather than later to Kiriakou’s defense team. Tellingly, she cautioned that the government’s production of discovery had been “a problem in other cases.”
It does not take too much reading between the lines to know Brinkema is referring to other Espionage Act cases. In the spectacularly failed case against National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Thomas Drake, whom I represent, DOJ kept potentially exculpatory evidence from Drake’s defense team for months after the Indictment was handed down. For over six months, DOJ failed to produce the obviously exculpatory evidence that one of the allegedly classified documents that formed the basis of an Espionage Act charge was declassified two months after the indictment. DOJ waited ten months to turn over evidence that another document (which formed the basis of a different Espionage Act charge against Drake) had been “. . . published as ‘unclassified’ and had never been deemed ‘classified’ until after it was recovered from Mr. Drake’s home.”
In the Kiriakou arraignment, after pushing the DOJ to specify that it still had “boxes” of classified discovery to turn over, Judge Brinkema then sua sponte edited the proposed discovery order to force DOJ to hand over all potentially-exculpatory material (a.k.a. Brady/Giglio/Jencks Act) earlier than DOJ requested (only 5 calendar days before trial.) Does the government really think that it’s fair or reasonable to do a discovery document dump on Thanksgiving and make the defense spend the holiday weekend plowing through it while simultaneously preparing for trial?
Considering DOJ’s shady approach to the Espionage Act prosecutions, and that the Kiriakou case is already facing legal (and moral) obstacles, which I discussed today on NPR, Judge Brinkema’s tough, candid approach is a welcome addition to the case.
As I touched on earlier this week, Kiriakou blew the whistle on waterboarding and exposed torture as policy rather than the actions a few rogue agents. But waterboarding was not Kiriakou’s last disclosure. In his book, “The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror”, he writes critically of the CIA’s torture program, the deception leading into the war in Iraq, and the FBI’s failure to pursue potential leads in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. For those wondering why Kiriakou’s disclosures in his book did more than ruffle a few feathers in the intelligence community, here are a few key quotes:
On Iraq: “The answer to why we’re still in Iraq to this day has almost everything to do with the failures of leadership in 2003 and 2004 and, in some cases, the ascendance of rank deception—deliberate distortions of the facts on the ground.”
On FBI waste: After raiding a Taliban “embassy” in Pakistan in early 2002, Kiriakou’s colleague “found something interesting and provocative. A file of telephone bills from the Taliban embassy revealed dozens of calls to the United States . . . For ten days leading up to September 11, 2001, the Taliban made 168 calls to America. Then the calls stopped. The file, amazingly, was in English . . . The calls ended on September 10, 2001, and started up again six days later, on September 16.” Years after sending the phone records to the FBI, Kiriakou followed-up and his FBI contact “replied that it was like a scene out of that Indiana Jones movie. The files were still in those [original] boxes, in an FBI storage facility in Maryland . . . What a waste.”
On CIA’s deception about waterboarding: “Now we know that Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded eighty-three times in a single month, raising questions about how much useful information he actually supplied. . . it was a valuable lesson in how the CIA uses the arts of deception even among its own.” (Previously, the CIA told Kiriakou that Zubaydah was waterboarded only once and cracked, which fiction Kiriakou repeated in a television interview because his own agency lied to him.)
On Torture: “But even if torture works, it cannot be tolerated – not in one case or a thousand or a million. If their efficacy becomes the measure of abhorrent acts, all sorts of unspeakable crimes somehow become acceptable. . . . There are things we should not do, even in the name of national security.”
Remember, these are the words of the only person to be criminally prosecuted in connection with the CIA’s torture program. These are the words of the glaring exception to Obama’s mantra of “looking forward, not backward” when Americans demand accountability for torture, extraordinary rendition and illegal domestic spying. These are the words of an Espionage Act defendant—of someone facing 50 years in prison, who the Obama administration will argue in court “intended to harm the United States or assist a foreign nation.” All things considered, perhaps it is no surprise Patrick Fitzgerald avoided tarnishing his impeccable reputation by making an appearance at the arraignment this morning.
Continued at: http://www.salon.com/2012/04/13/feds_prep_whistleblower_trial/Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer John Kiriakou — the sixth... more
This goes to the constitution and the first amendment...free speech and the power of the press. People need to be able to have a mechanism to hold their government accountable.
The American government “is using its power to intimidate, prosecute and prevent government employees from sharing information about state officials’ misconduct”, insists Stephen Kohn, attorney and author of The Whistleblower's Handbook.
This attack on whistleblowers in America is an attack on fundamental freedom of speech, “preventing the American people from learning about the abuses of their government,” warned the attorney.
“The doctrine of the state secret privilege in the US puts a censorship veil over everything you want to blow a whistle on.”
Former CIA Officer John Kiriakou, who was the first official to confirm the waterboarding of terrorist suspects, has been indicted for repeatedly disclosing sensitive information to journalists.
The same law was also used against whistleblower Bradley Manning, the army private who handed secret documents to Wikileaks.
Both cases go against the very basics of the US constitution, says Stephen Kohn.This goes to the constitution and the first amendment...free speech and the power of... more
1 year ago
The identities of journalists who allegedly received illegal leaks from former CIA officer John Kiriakou are spilling into the public domain in the wake of his indictment last week on charges that he disclosed the names of CIA personnel involved in interrogations of terror suspects.
Two New York-based reporters, Matthew Cole and Richard Esposito, are among the journalists the government has alleged as being on the receiving end of leaks from Kiriakou, sources familiar with the case told POLITICO.
Cole, described in court papers as “Journalist A,” worked until earlier this year as a producer for ABC News’s investigative unit, but the alleged leaks to him took place before he joined ABC.
Esposito, described in court papers as “Journalist C,” is the senior investigative reporter for ABC’s I-team, headed up by Brian Ross. A complaint filed in the case earlier this year indicates that Esposito and Kiriakou “collaborated on a preliminary book proposal” and in the course of that effort Kiriakou “apparently” gave Esposito classified information.
Cole’s alleged role is closer to the core of the case against Kiriakou and also raises questions about whether Cole, whose website indicates he was working on a book at the time, was straddling the line between traditional journalism and information gathering for lawyers representing Guantanamo detainees.
The indictment says Kiriakou gave Cole the last name of a CIA officer after Cole presented Kiriakou with a first name and other information. “Approximately two hours after” Kiriakou emailed Cole the last name, Cole sent it to a defense investigator working with attorneys for terror suspects held at Guantanamo, the complaint filed in the case says. “My guy came through with his memory,” Cole wrote to the defense investigator later that day, according to the complaint.
Public court papers don’t offer much in the way of context for Cole’s interaction with the defense investigator, who was not named.
Cole did not respond to several Twitter messages seeking comment for this story, but in late February he used one of his Twitter accounts to unleash a barrage of harsh criticism of the Obama administration over a series of prosecutions of individuals accused of leaking classified information to journalists.
“How can journalists protect their communications with sources leaking details to how (sic) the US government accountable? #stopthesuppression” Cole wrote in one message. Other of his Tweets included hashtags such as “#Obamaonlylikesleaksthatmakehimlookdecisiveorheroic” and “#Obamaswaragainstjournalists.”
Cole’s last story on the ABC website appears to be from Jan. 9, about two weeks before Kiriakou was arrested. A reporter who called ABC and asked for Cole last week was told he was no longer with the company, but as of when this post first appeared Monday night, Cole remained on a list of staffers on the ABC investigative team’s web page. Cole appears to have opened a new Twitter account that describes him as “a journalist covering national security...most recently, an investigative producer for ABC News.” Before joining ABC as a staffer, Cole had written a variety of stories for outlets like New York Magazine, ESPN the Magazine and GQ.
An ABC spokesman declined to be interviewed for this post, as did Esposito. Kiriakou's alleged disclosure to him is not mentioned in the indictment filed last week.
Kiriakou’s lead defense attorney, Plato Cacheris, had no immediate response to a message seeking comment for this report.
Another ABC journalist, White House Correspondent Jake Tapper, recently drew attention for publicly challenging the Obama administration for criticizing press repression in other countries while trying to jail journalists’ sources in the U.S. In his Feb. 22 exchange with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney in the White House Briefing Room, Tapper cited Kiriakou’s prosecution, but did not mention that two of the journalists who allegedly received illegal leaks had ABC ties.
“The administration is taking this person [Kiriakou] to court. There just seems to be a disconnect here. You want aggressive journalism abroad; you just don’t want it in the United States,” Tapper said, in comments highlighted a few days later by The New York Times.
Through a spokesman, Tapper declined to comment for this post. However, a colleague of Tapper said he had "zero" knowledge at the time he asked the question that ABC journalists had any links to the case.
Court documents filed in Kiriakou’s case don’t identify any journalists by name, but soon after his arrest in January it became evident that New York Times reporter Scott Shane was one of the reporters who allegedly got illegal leaks from the former CIA officer. The complaint and the indictment refer to Shane as “Journalist B” and cite a specific story he wrote in June 2008 that described the involvement of CIA officer Deuce Martinez in the capture and interrogation of Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubyadah in Pakistan in 2002.
The Times issued a statement in January saying the newspaper and its reporters had not been contacted by investigators or provided any information to the government in connection with the case. The Times statement appeared to try to distinguish Shane’s alleged role in the case from that of “Journalist A,” now identified as Cole.
A knowledgeable source who asked not to be named said Friday that he did not believe any ABC journalists had been approached by the government or cooperated with the investigation.
None of the journalists referred to in court papers has been charged with any crime. Under the Espionage Act, even private citizens who obtain classified information outside of official channels can be charged with disclosing it. The government has never filed such a case against a journalist. Prosecutors did file such charges in 2005 against two ex- lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, but the prosecution was abandoned in 2009.
http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2012/04/more-journalists-linked-to-case-charging-excia-officer-120047.html#.T4RT_t2fnfw.twitterThe identities of journalists who allegedly received illegal leaks from former CIA... more
Good article re: Assange/Manning and the contrived reality surrounding both of them. Please follow the link. It is a quick read.Good article re: Assange/Manning and the contrived reality surrounding both of them.... more
POGO has long been a supporter of whistleblower Robert MacLean--for good reason. Thanks to Bob, Americans can feel safer stepping on an airplane. In 2003, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) attempted to remove air marshals from "high-risk" flights when there was a heightened intelligence warning of hijackings. MacLean, an air marshal himself, disclosed this dangerous cost-cutting plan. As a result, he was fired.
Now, MacLean only has one more chance to appeal the ruling made by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), which wrongly decided in July that his case did not constitute retaliation. As POGO has pointed out before, this ruling was flawed for several reasons, and MacLean deserves all legal protections afforded to a whistleblower.
Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) plan to send a friend of the court brief to MSPB that defends MacLean’s retaliation claim. POGO is also encouraging other Members of Congress to do the same, and calling on our readers to get in touch with their Members of Congress about this issue.
MacLean was retaliated against in part because of a policy loophole that essentially amounts to ex post facto law. Like many whistleblowers, MacLean tried to make the disclosure inside his agency but was rebuffed, so he went to the press. Three years later, TSA marked his disclosure—which was an agency-wide, unencrypted text message—as Sensitive Security Information (SSI). TSA then retroactively charged MacLean for mishandling this newly-marked text message by delivering it to the media.
According to MSPB, it basically didn’t matter whether the information was marked SSI or not because MacLean should have known better. But good government groups don’t agree with this so-called logic.
“The Board’s decisions mean that virtually anything can be pseudo-classified and gagged by agency regulations years after the fact. That is a one-two punch to knock out whistleblowers,” said Tom Devine, the legal director at the Government Accountability Project (GAP).
MacLean’s case also demonstrates the weaknesses inherent in current whistleblower protections. According to MSPB, TSA does not dispute that MacLean is a whistleblower who was fired after he sparked congressional action and stopped a potential homeland security risk. However, MSPB did say there are still no whistleblower protections available to him under the law—due, once again, to that tricky retroactive charge.
Before MacLean was fired, he had an immaculate record of 14 years of military and federal civil service. He is a whistleblower who should be rightfully honored and protected for upholding the public’s interests and safety. We encourage you to express your support for his final appeal.
"Freedom of speech and whistleblower protections are meaningless if some TSA bureaucrat can retroactively deem a disclosure 'sensitive,'" MacLean said. "If I lose, large numbers of would-be government whistleblowers may opt to stay silent."POGO has long been a supporter of whistleblower Robert MacLean--for good reason.... more
Raoul Weil ex-UBS Wealth Manager and current Fugitive came up with ways to allow the richest 19,000 Americans to avoid their taxes...and now he is avoiding the law and on the run! The whistleblower who spilled the beans on this? He is in jail!
You know who I just ran into? Raoul, the top dog at UBS wealth management in the States. This guy is one of the smartest and richest guys you'll ever want to meet. He came up with a way to help 20,000 of the richest Americans to evade their taxes. So for 5 years everything was golden and cruising along and then some whistleblower goes off the reservation and turned over files to the IRS, and that made it public. That made it a problem. So they actually hauled Raoul into court, like some sort of criminal and Raoul decided at that point, and I think rightly so, to exercise an option to exit the country. And he is technically a fugitive right now! I mean what is wrong with this picture.
Here is a smart guy helping wealthy people navigate the jackals of the IRS, kind of like Oscar Schindler in Schindler's List. I mean the guy is literally saving people from paying any taxes.
Anyway, I caught up with him on the slopes and we were both having a laugh at the fact that of the 19,000 people he saved, and the UBS crew that he was working with, the guy that got the most time behind bars... was the whistle blower! That should teach the boys downstairs never to go off the reservation again!
http://www.thenakedemperor.com/oligarch/raoul-weilRaoul Weil ex-UBS Wealth Manager and current Fugitive came up with ways to allow the... more
On a hot, parched day in June 2004, a convoy of Humvees was making its way across Iraq’s Sunni Triangle when a roadside bomb exploded, mangling the head vehicle and knocking lead gunman Mike Helms unconscious. The force of the impact blew 2,000 rounds of ammunition from the Humvee. The other soldiers, seeing Helms’ limp frame, thought he was dead.
Helms, an intelligence specialist deployed to the Army’s 902nd Military Intelligence (MI) Group, was alive—but he was wrongfully denied military medical care. When he tried to speak out about the U.S. military’s poor treatment of deployed civilians in Iraq, he plunged into a whistleblower’s worst nightmare: as he was losing his health, reprisal against him caused him to lose his livelihood.
A previously undisclosed Department of Defense (DoD) InspectorGeneral (IG) report obtained by POGO and dated October 2010, substantiates Helms’ claim that the military retaliated against him because of his whistleblowing. As the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2011 makes its way through Congress, there is no better time to shed light on Helms’ story.
“I just told the truth about what happened to me,” Helms told POGO in an interview. “But I didn’t have any protection. If it was up to some people, I would never work in the federal government again.”
Helms was hired as a federal civilian employee, but was eventually authorized to work as a lead gunman, partly because of his former soldier experience. According to Helms, there were not enough personnel for the convoys, so he was moved to the position to ensure there was enough trained military crew on the task force. The U.S. military treated Helms as a soldier: he ate military rations, worked alongside troops and came under enemy fire.
But all that changed when Helms was actually injured by enemy fire. According to DoD policy, civilians who are injured while deployed are supposed to receive the same treatment as military members. However, according to an unclassified DoD paper from 2005 on Helms' case, this policy is often overlooked, because it is uncommon for DoD civilians sustain war-related injuries that require extensive recovery periods.
Helms, who had serious brain trauma and shrapnel embedded in his arm, fell through the bureaucratic cracks. After he spent a week at the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Tikrit and his injuries failed to improve, he was medically evacuated to Landstuhl, Germany. Then, instead of being medically evacuated out of Germany as per custom for injured soldiers, he had to buy a commercial ticket home.
When he returned to the United States, Helms was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC., where, according to the 2005 DoD paper, he was “denied admittance into the hospital” and experienced a “denial of lodging at the guest house, denial of emergency financial support, denial and delayed medical treatment, and disrespect by hospital staff.”
For a while, he slept on the floor of one of the soldiers who had been alongside him in the Humvee wreck. In the states, he was forced to rely on the Federal Worker’s Compensation Program, which Helms said was inappropriate for his injuries and “nothing but a nightmare,” as doctors had little experience treating combat wounds. To this day, he continues to struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury caused by the improvised explosive device.
(Click Link to Read More)On a hot, parched day in June 2004, a convoy of Humvees was making its way across... more
By Brad Friedman
Exclusive: A laboratory shows how an e-voting machine used by a third of all voters can be easily manipulated
It could be one of the most disturbing e-voting machine hacks to date.
Voting machines used by as many as a quarter of American voters heading to the polls in 2012 can be hacked with just $10.50 in parts and an 8th grade science education, according to computer science and security experts at the Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. The experts say the newly developed hack could change voting results while leaving absolutely no trace of the manipulation behind.
"We believe these man-in-the-middle attacks are potentially possible on a wide variety of electronic voting machines," said Roger Johnston, leader of the assessment team "We think we can do similar things on pretty much every electronic voting machine."
The Argonne Lab, run by the Department of Energy, has the mission of conducting scientific research to meet national needs. The Diebold Accuvote voting system used in the study was loaned to the lab's scientists by VelvetRevolution.us, of which the Brad Blog is a co-founder. Velvet Revolution received the machine from a former Diebold contractor
Previous lab demonstrations of e-voting system hacks, such as Princeton's demonstration of a viral cyber attack on a Diebold touch-screen system -- as I wrote for Salon back in 2006 -- relied on cyber attacks to change the results of elections. Such attacks, according to the team at Argonne, require more coding skills and knowledge of the voting system software than is needed for the attack on the Diebold system.
Indeed, the Argonne team's attack required no modification, reprogramming, or even knowledge, of the voting machine's proprietary source code. It was carried out by inserting a piece of inexpensive "alien electronics" into the machine.By Brad Friedman
Exclusive: A laboratory shows how an e-voting machine used by a... more