Friday, September 7, 2012

Government Accoutability Project - Learn More

Thought I would share this email of an organization that many may want to At Least subscribe to their emails. Please note, information provided is for Educational Purposes only.
The Purpose of this Organization, Government Accountability Program is:
GAP's mission is to promote corporate and government accountability by protecting whistleblowers, advancing occupational free speech, and empowering citizen activists. GAP has been the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization since 1977.

 My purpose is to make many aware of the varying organizations the are putting up the Good Fight for "We the People" Also, as a phrase in one of my blogs "Reform for Our Families", as a heading, have made this statement.

Goliath comes in many forms~
It is time to stop the devastation to innocent families which is occurring daily across the country.
My Family Rights Affiliation

So Read on:

Meet John Kiriakou, CIA Torture Whistleblower
Meet John Kiriakou. He’s a former CIA officer who publicly acknowledged that waterboarding constituted torture. And he’s another whistleblower GAP represents who the Obama administration has charged in its unprecedented use of the Espionage Act.

Kiriakou worked at the CIA for almost 15 years in a variety of roles, including as an analyst specializing on Iraq and as a counterterrorism operative. Following the 9/11 attacks, Kiriakou was named Chief of Counterterrorism Operations in Pakistan, where he led a series of raids on al-Qaeda safe houses that resulted in the capture of dozens of suspected al-Qaeda fighters – including that of Abu Zubaydah, then thought to be al-Qaeda’s third-ranking official. Kiriakou resigned from the CIA in 2004, having received numerous awards and honors for his work.

In December 2007, Kiriakou gave an interview to ABC News, during which he described his participation in the capture of Zubaydah. In the interview, Kiriakou publicly acknowledged that waterboarding constituted torture, and that torture was a policy rather than the actions of a few rogue agents. He also said that the U.S. should not engage in the practice. Based on what he had been told by the CIA, Kiriakou also relayed that Zubaydah had been waterboarded once, and cracked under its use. Eventually it became publicly known that Zubaydah had been waterboarded at least 83 times, and that no valuable information was gained by the waterboarding.

For this and other whistleblowing activities, Kiriakou became the sixth whistleblower to be indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act – more than all previous presidential administrations combined. GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack is heading Kiriakou's case at GAP, having succeeded in a similar case with NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake. Kiriakou's trial is slated for late November. Check the GAP website for updates on how his case develops.

Eileen Foster Calls on Obama Administration to Use Bank Whistleblowers

Last month, Countrywide Financial/Bank of America (BofA) whistleblower and GAP client Eileen Foster published an op-ed in Rolling Stone, calling on the Obama administration to utilize Wall Street whistleblowers – especially if the administration is serious about financial reform. According to Foster, the Department of Justice has failed “to tap into the intelligence that financial whistleblowers like myself have tried to offer them.”

Foster revealed pervasive fraud at Countrywide, and later BofA, as a part of her job as head of fraud investigation (and was eventually fired for it). For her actions, she won the 2012 Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling in April. Last year, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration ordered BofA to reinstate Foster and pay damages, but the bank has appealed the decision. A hearing in the case will take place next month.

NSA Whistleblower Subject of Op-Doc in New York Times
NSA whistleblower and GAP client William Binney was interviewed by documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras for this New York Times op-doc about the agency’s domestic spying and profiling. Binney has been speaking out about Stellar Wind, the NSA project that intercepts and stores massive amounts of American electronic communications.

Says Binney, “NSA’s charter, and it was a legitimate one, was to do foreign intelligence and I was with that all the way and I did the best I could in that job. Unfortunately, they took those programs that I built and turned them on you and I’m sorry for that. I didn’t intend that, but they did that.”

American Whistleblower Tour 2.0
The second iteration of GAP’s American Whistleblower Tour: Essential Voices for Accountability will start soon, with the beginning of the collegiate school year under way. This year’s Tour is already shaping up to be as successful and informative as last year’s. One upcoming highlight is a stop set for the University of Houston on November 15, which will feature Kathryn Bolkovac, who blew the whistle on UN officials’ participation in sex trafficking in Bosnia, and was the subject of the recent film The Whistleblower. In the film, as in real life, Bolkovac is targeted for being a whistleblower. Sadly, not much has changed at the UN (at least at the time of the film's release).

GAP's Tour is a dynamic campaign that seeks to educate the public - particularly our country's incoming workforce - about the phenomenon of whistleblowing. If you are a university official and are interested in bringing prominent whistleblowers to speak to students at your school, please contact us today!

Circuit Court Slashes Civil Service Rights
Last month, a Federal Circuit court ruled that national security procedures will replace civil service appeals and merit system rights – such as the Whistleblower Protection Act – for employees removed from “noncritical sensitive” positions. This decision could have a very negative impact on future whistleblowers, and effectively nullifies the merit system for federal employees. GAP condemns the decision.

GAP Legal Director Tom Devine was quoted in a number of articles on this subject from outlets including the Washington Post, Federal Times, and the Associated Press, among others.