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WHISTLEBLOWERS ARE MODERN PAUL REVERES AGAINST TERRORISM

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  • Agent Smiley
    http://www.pogo.org/whistle/paulrevere.htm Project On Government Oversight (POGO) & Government Accountability Project (GAP) Immediate Release September 19,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2001
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      http://www.pogo.org/whistle/paulrevere.htm

      Project On Government Oversight (POGO) & Government
      Accountability Project (GAP)
      Immediate Release September 19, 2001

      For more information contact:
      Tom Devine (x124) or Douglas Hartnett (x136), GAP,
      202-408-0034
      Danielle Brian or Beth Daley, POGO, 202-347-1122


      WHISTLEBLOWERS ARE
      MODERN PAUL REVERES AGAINST TERRORISM
      The September 11 terrorist attacks highlight a
      longstanding necessity to strengthen free speech
      protections for national security whistleblowers, a
      number of whom who have already made significant
      contributions to reducing U.S. terrorist
      vulnerability, two public interest groups said in a
      statement today. (Whistleblowers whose contributions
      have or should have contributed significantly to
      public debate and strengthened policies against
      terrorist threats are listed below.)

      Danielle Brian, director of the Project on Government
      Oversight (POGO), summarized: "As we unite as
      Americans and focus our attention on improving our
      nation's safety, we must keep in mind the vital role
      played by national security whistleblowers in
      safeguarding our well-being. Their freedom to warn the
      American public of shortfalls in national security
      must be better protected as an integral part of our
      efforts to better protect the country."

      �Protection for responsible freedom of speech must be
      on the front lines of any realistic plan to defend
      national security. Whistleblowers have made critical
      disclosures of security breakdowns against terrorists
      threats ranging from nuclear materials to food
      stockpiles,� added Tom Devine, legal director of the
      Government Accountability Project (GAP), a
      whistleblower protection organization. "In the
      bureaucracy, whistleblowers act as the �miners� canary
      that provides an early warning about continued U.S.
      vulnerability to terrorist attack,� Devine said.
      �Whistleblowers give America a greater chance to
      prevent avoidable tragedies. Without them, we may not
      learn of problems until it is time to mourn the
      consequences. Unfortunately, the standard bureaucratic
      response has been actively or passively to silence
      messengers blowing the whistle on national security
      breakdowns. As a rule, reactions range from negligence
      (ignoring them), to harassment (yanking their security
      clearances or firing them).�

      Both groups agreed that security measures being
      considered for adoption after the September 11 attack
      should not weaken already tenuous free speech
      protections for federal workers. �We cannot allow a
      culture of bureaucratic secrecy to eliminate those who
      give us the chance to anticipate threats before it is
      too late,� said Douglas Hartnett, GAP�s national
      security director. �Secrecy that covers up
      bureaucratic negligence or misconduct is a clear and
      present danger to national security." Whistleblowers
      assisted by GAP and POGO seek to prevent terrorist
      attacks and responsibly end security breakdowns that
      compromise America's civil and military nuclear
      programs, as well as other energy, transportation, law
      enforcement, and food safety."

      Below is an illustrative list of whistleblowers
      defending national security by exercising freedom of
      speech to challenge significant problems to their
      superiors, Congress and the press:


      Martin Edwin �Mick� Andersen
      In the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice
      (DOJ), Mick Andersen was a senior advisor for policy
      planning, working on the training of foreign police
      and prosecutors. In 1997, Andersen reported to the DOJ
      security chief about leaks and careless handling of
      highly-classified information, which included
      documents detailing the internal workings of foreign
      police and confidential sources in other nations.
      Within a month after making his disclosures about
      wrongdoing, Andersen was portrayed as a security risk
      and stripped of his security clearance. In September
      1997, despite previous outstanding performance
      appraisals and offers of promotion, the Department
      failed to renew his two-year appointment. His
      disclosures, however, prompted the Justice Department
      to order a massive security sweep of the division�s
      foreign training programs that resulted in several top
      administrators having their security clearances
      suspended. In September 2000, the Office of the
      Inspector General (OIG) concluded an extensive
      three-year investigation in which security officials
      confirmed Andersen�s allegations, also finding more
      than 150 sensitive documents in unsecured areas. The
      OIG report also found that visa fraud had been
      committed in Russia by a top advisor to then Attorney
      General Janet Reno on behalf of a Moscow girlfriend
      who had previously been denied entry into the United
      States. According to the OIG, this misconduct by the
      Department�s top troubleshooter, who had just been
      appointed to �clean up� the Immigration and
      Naturalization Service (INS), made him vulnerable to
      extortion or blackmail by foreign intelligence
      services or international mafiosi. In 2001, the U.S.
      Office of Special Counsel (OSC) awarded Andersen its
      prestigious Public Servant Award for extraordinary
      service protecting national security information.


      Darlene Fitzgerald-Catalan
      A former federal agent with the U.S. Customs Service
      and veteran Officer in the U.S. Army Military Police
      Corps, Fitzgerald-Catalan had more than 20 years of
      combined law enforcement experience in major
      investigations of complex conspiracies involving
      narcotics trafficking and money laundering by
      high-level members of Colombian and Mexican organized
      crime. Her contributions resulted in significant
      multi-million dollar seizures, arrests, indictments
      and convictions of criminals and the development of
      key intelligence information regarding these smuggling
      organizations. As a Captain in the U.S. Army Military
      Police Corps, Darlene held management positions as
      Executive Officer, Operations Officer and Deputy
      Provost Marshal. After her active duty assignment was
      fulfilled, she continued as a Captain in the Reserves
      assigned to a Counter-Terrorism Task Force.
      Fitzgerald-Catalan was one of three whistleblowers to
      fight high-level corruption within the Customs
      Service, including failure of the agency to move
      against sophisticated smuggling operations in which
      tons of narcotics and perhaps other illegal goods were
      brought into the country. In response to their
      protected disclosures, the three agents were the
      objects of continuing retaliatory investigations, were
      put under surveillance by their own agency,
      threatened, disciplined and finally forced out of the
      U.S. Customs Service.


      Mark Graf
      An Alarm Station Supervisor and Authorized Derivative
      Classifier, Mark Graf worked 17 years at the
      Department of Energy's Rocky Flats Environmental
      Technology Site. After Wackenhut Services, a private
      security agency, took over this site, with more than
      21 tons of uranium and plutonium, Graf witnessed the
      elimination of their bomb detecting unit, sloppy
      emergency drills, and negligence in taking inventory
      of the plutonium for months at a time. He raised
      serious concerns about a terrorist risk to the
      security of plutonium as more than a ton of the
      material is unaccounted for at Rocky Flats. Graf took
      his concerns to Wackenhut management, who took no
      action. In 1995, after blowing the whistle to
      Representative David Skaggs, Graf was immediately
      reassigned away from the areas that raised concerns in
      the first place. In a classified memo to the site's
      supervisors and later to the Defense Nuclear
      Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB), Graf outlined
      specific vulnerabilities, which�if exploited�could
      result in catastrophic consequences. With no
      corrective action being taken, Graf gave an interview
      with CBS News that aired in November 1997. After the
      interview, he was subjected to a psychological
      evaluation and placed on administrative leave. As a
      condition of returning to work, Graf was gagged from
      speaking to Congress, the DNFSB, and the media, under
      the threat of job termination. In 1998 he filed and
      later won a whistleblower reprisal complaint,
      currently being appealed by his employer. His
      disclosures contributed to legislation in the 1998
      Defense Authorization Bill requiring an annual review
      of DOE's Safeguard and Security program.


      Dr. Peter M. Leitner
      As a senior advisor to the Office of the Secretary of
      Defense, for years Dr. Peter Leitner criticized the
      relaxed policies of export controls, particularly to
      the Peoples Republic of China. During that time, China
      received shipments of dual-use technology equipment,
      which by itself appears to be harmless, but when
      combined with other exports, supports highly
      sophisticated military production. Leitner claims this
      policy not only has saved China billions of dollars in
      research and development but has escalated the pace of
      upgrading China's forces. There is evidence of the
      sale and transfer to China of a highly sophisticated
      pharmaceutical-grade fermenting machine, which could
      be used to make advanced germ-warfare products that
      pose significant risks to U.S. security. To create
      awareness about this issue, Leitner teamed up with
      Scott Wheeler of television's American Investigator to
      produce a documentary video, "Trading With the Enemy:
      How the Clinton Administration Armed China."


      Linda M. Lewis
      Linda Lewis was an emergency planning specialist with
      the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) at the
      United States Department of Agriculture, one of
      several professionals on the Emergency Planning Staff
      (EPS) of the FSIS. A valued member on more than 20
      inter-agency emergency planning exercises, Lewis'
      emergency response whistleblowing disclosures raised a
      number of concerns about nuclear power plants,
      including vulnerability to terrorist attack and
      isolation of the food supply from radiation, problems
      consistently ignored until she was removed from the
      work. In 1996 her concerns and those of a co-worker
      who represented Argonne National Laboratory were
      deliberately excluded from a Federal Emergency
      Management Agency (FEMA) Region III report regarding
      state emergency planning. Instead, USDA ordered her to
      take repeated psychiatric examinations despite
      objections from its own therapist who examined her,
      and then stripped all her duties by removing her
      security clearance. For nearly two years, she has been
      reassigned to her home without duties.


      Ed McCallum
      Ed McCallum was a former colonel in the Special Forces
      with service in Vietnam. He worked in Department of
      Energy security for twenty years, and authored DOE's
      1996 Annual Report to the President on the status of
      safeguard and security, which was highly critical of
      security and caused a serious controversy at DOE. As a
      result, McCallum was immediately put on administrative
      leave and investigated. In early 1999, McCallum�s
      concerns about the lack of security at Rocky Flats
      nuclear materials storage facility were made public.
      At about the same time, then-Secretary Bill Richardson
      issued a zero-tolerance order against whistleblower
      retaliation and stated: �Management must also create
      and foster a work environment that allows free and
      open expression of security concerns, where workers
      fear no reprisals or retaliation.� It didn�t work.
      McCallum was put on administrative leave based for an
      alleged security violation that was later dropped.
      McCallum took a job at the Pentagon, and is no longer
      working on security issues at DOE. Rep. Curt Weldon
      (R-PA) stated "Officials at the highest levels,
      including three Secretaries of Energy and White House
      personnel, consistently ignored Lt. Col. McCallum's
      warnings, placing our national security in jeopardy. .
      . Lt. Col. McCallum deserves accolades for what he did
      to protect our national security -- not the continued
      destruction of his reputation and career."


      Sandy Nunn
      A federal agent with the U.S. Customs Service for over
      12 years, Nunn worked in both domestic and
      international cases, and had a very broad-based
      background in large-scale narcotics investigations;
      international money-laundering investigations; arms
      and high-technology transfer including chemical,
      biological & weapons of mass destruction. She was Lead
      Case Agent for what was regarded as the "second
      largest money laundering case in U.S. history" -- a
      scam responsible for laundering over $150 million in
      drug proceeds throughout the U.S. and foreign banks.
      She also served in an undercover capacity on major
      arms cases resulting in the seizure of more than 1000
      fully-automatic AK-47's being imported illegally from
      mainland China.

      Like Fitzgerald-Catalan (mentioned above), Nunn was
      one of three whistleblowers to fight high-level
      corruption within the Customs Service, including the
      agency's failure to move against sophisticated
      operations smuggling tons of narcotics and perhaps
      other illegal goods into the country. In response to
      their protected disclosures, the three agents were the
      objects of continuing retaliatory investigations, were
      put under surveillance by their own agency,
      threatened, disciplined and in Fitzgerald-Catalan and
      Nunn's cases, forced out of the agency.


      Colonel David Ridenour
      In 1996, Colonel David Ridenour, a former Strategic
      Air Command missile officer, became Director of the
      Safeguard and Security Division at the Rocky Flats
      Field Office. Immediately upon taking the position
      Ridenour was being harassed for trying to do his job
      of overseeing the security contractor at Rocky Flats.
      In a letter to then- Energy Secretary Federico Pena,
      he said �I was instructed by my direct
      supervisor...that my mission was to �not negatively
      impact the contractor� and that I was to �facilitate
      the contractor (Kaiser-Hill) winning the award fee�.�
      He resigned several months later, claiming �In my
      professional life as a military officer, as a
      Registered Professional Engineer...I never before
      experienced a major conflict between loyalty to my
      supervision and duty to my country and to the public.�


      Ron Timm
      Ron Timm, and his corporation RETA Security were
      experienced security analysts under contract to the
      DOE Headquarters Office of Safeguards and Security. He
      told the IG that he has suffered retaliation for
      raising concerns about public health and safety.
      Timm�s work assignments analyzing SSSP�s for all DOE
      facilities over the previous five years had plummeted.
      The IG found no retaliation, as Timm�s company was
      performing other DOE work for Secretary Richardson. As
      soon as the IG inquiry concluded, Timm�s contract was
      terminated. Timm sent a second letter to the new DOE
      Secretary, Spencer Abraham, in January 2001 thinking
      the new administration would look into the ongoing
      security failures at nuclear facilities. In this
      letter, he said, �[T]ime has shown that the existing
      bureaucracy at DOE have not adequately acted upon the
      issue of risk to the public other than in ineffective
      and reactive ways. I am writing this letter to bring
      this to your immediate attention.� However, Secretary
      Abraham delegated the response to the letter to one of
      the officials about whom Timm accused of covering up
      security problems. Timm is no longer working on
      Headquarters security issues at DOE. RETA Security has
      now filed the first ever corporate whistleblower
      complaint with the DOE Office of Employee Concerns.


      Dr. Frederick Whitehurst
      As the FBI's highest-rated explosives residue expert,
      Dr. Frederick Whitehurst brought allegations of
      deficiency and corruption against his colleagues at
      the FBI crime lab in 1995. The deficiency related to
      several significant cases, including the World Trade
      Center bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing, the mail
      bomb assassination of U.S. Circuit Judge Robert Vance,
      and the bombing aboard an Avianca Airlines jet. A
      subsequent investigation by the Department of Justice
      revealed that significant deficiencies, such as
      inaccurate and scientifically flawed testimony and
      reports, existed in several high profile cases. The
      1997 report called for substantial changes in policies
      and practices in the bureau's crime lab. Despite these
      findings, Whitehurst was sent to a psychiatrist and
      later suspended to begin the process of easing him out
      the FBI. With the assistance of the National
      Whistleblower Center, whose associated law firm
      specializes in FBI whistleblower cases, Whitehurst
      responded by successfully suing the government to
      obtain a financial settlement.



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