Monday, June 24, 2013


OMNI NEWSLETTER #7, JUNE 24, 2013, ON WHISTLEBLOWERS, FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE AND JUSTICE.   Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice  (#1 Oct. 21, 2011; #2 Dec. 12, 2011; #3 January 31, 2012; #4 Sept. 12, 2012; $5, March 29, 2013; #6, May 22, 2013).

“A people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”  James Madison. 
OMNI’s endowed fund at UA’s Mullins Library for the purchase of books and films on Victims includes books and films on corporations and on resistance to US Imperialism Abroad and Repression at Home—including whistleblowers and investigative reporters.
My blog: The War Department and Peacemaking
See:  Wikileaks, Assange, and Manning Newsletters.
#3 AND #4 ARE BELOW.  For 1 and 2 see newsletter url just above.

Contents of #5

Wikipedia Whistleblowers

National Whistleblowers Center (NWC)

Protect Federal Employee Whistleblowers

GAP’S Bridging the Gap

GAP: Government Accountability Project

OSHA and Whistleblowers

Greenwald, Documentary War on Whistleblowers

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now Programs on WB

More on Kiriakou


Contents #6, May 22, 2013

Write, Call for John Kiriakou

GAP:  Bridging the Gap Spring 2013

Railway Whistleblowers Get Federal Protection

US Government Quick Guide

Department of Labor Whistleblower Regulations

Greenwald, Obama’s War on Whistleblowers (one Google page)

Sibel Edmonds, Book, US and Al Qaeda Collaboration Suppressed


Contents #7  June 26, 2013

OMNI Showing War on Whistleblowers Film June 26

Ann Wright on Obama Admin. vs. Manning


Dick:  Greenwald’s War on Whistleblowers Film

Greenwald’s War on Whistleblowers

Greenwald on Whistleblowers and Government Threats


  Leaker Snowden

  Send Thanks to Snowden

  Support for Snowden Around the World

  Google Search

Bridging the Gap Executive Director

Vance v. Rumsfeld, Tortured Whistleblowers Sue


On UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Wednesday, June 26, 7p.m., OMNI will show a film by Robert Greenwald entitled War on Whistleblowers.
The film  looks at four whistleblowers who had their lives practically destroyed after they went to the press with evidence of government wrongdoing. They are Michael DeKort, Thomas Drake, Franz Gayl, and Thomas Tamm. Whistleblowers have come under unprecedented attack by the Obama administration. Evoking the Espionage Act of 1917, the administration has pressed criminal charges against no fewer than six government employees, more than all previous presidential administrations combined. In the film, Greenwald also interviews government oversight experts and investigative journalists who warn about the chilling effect prosecutions may have on potential whistleblowers and the journalists who help them.  WED. JUNE 26, 7PM, OMNI.  Whistleblowers and investigative reporters are greater defenders of honest, moral, legal government.   Ralph Nader included corporations, and once said we would be mainly rid of folly and greed if citizens would speak out.  We can add that government torture and murder would end if enough people would expose the people who commit them.  --Dick


Obama: No Whistleblowing on My Watch
“The US Military Should Be Ashamed of Its Treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning”  by Ann Wright
Candidate Obama said "Government whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal."    As a U.S. presidential candidate in 2008, in referring to the Bush Administration's use of phone companies to illegally spy on Americans, Barack Obama said, "We only know these crimes took place because insiders blew the whistle at great personal risk “... Government whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal." Candidate Obama was referring to the Bush Administration's use of phone companies to illegally spy on Americans. 
President Obama says No whistleblowing on my watch!   Yet, Obama, as he has on so many issues as President, is taking a 180 degree turn from his comments as a candidate, comments on which the American people relied and elected him.
Now, the Obama administration's warning to Bradley Manning and to other whistle blowers is this: blow the whistle on government criminal actions and we will put you in solitary confinement before you are charged, much less go to trial.  You will be treated as an "enemy combatant," in America's ongoing wars on about everything, including the truth.
Evidence of Murder of Civilians in Iraq by US military helicopter pilots Bradley Manning,  a U.S. Army Private First Class (PFC) intelligence analyst who turned 23 years old in late December, allegedly leaked a video of a US helicopter attack that killed at least eleven Iraqi civilians, including two Reuters reporters, to the website Wikileaks. Two Iraqi children were also severely wounded in the attack. 
PFC Manning's alleged actions are just as important as those of the whistleblowers who informed us of the Bush administration's use of phone companies to illegally spy on Americans.  The video taken from the U.S. military helicopter that fired the killing rounds of ammunition,  graphically showed US military pilots firing on and killing innocent civilians in Iraq.  In addition to this "Collateral Murder" video, PFC Manning is suspected by the government of leaking the "Afghan War Diaries" - tens of thousands of battlefield reports that explicitly describe civilian deaths and cover-ups, corrupt officials, collusion with warlords, and a failing US/NATO war effort.
Manning had the legal responsibility to disclose evidence, even classified evidence, of criminal actions conducted by government officialsIf indeed, Manning did give the video to Wikileaks, his actions show clearly that he reasonably believed that war crimes were being covered up, and that he took action based on that belief.  Exposing criminal actions done under the cover of government orders is a responsibility and duty of military personnel as codified in the Uniform Code of Military Justice as well as the Geneva conventions and the Nuremberg Principles.
Nuremberg Principle IPrinciple I states, "Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment."
Principle IIPrinciple II states, "The fact that internal law does not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under international law does not relieve the person who committed the act from responsibility under international law."
Principle IIIPrinciple III states, "The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law."
Principle IVPrinciple IV states: "The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him".
This principle could be paraphrased as follows: "It is not an acceptable excuse to say 'I was just following my superior's orders'". 
Classifying the evidence of criminal actions does not make the actions untouchable.   Reporting criminal actions done by others and providing evidence of those criminal actions, especially when the evidence of criminal actions have been covered up by "classifying" the evidence, is not illegal, but in fact, is a very brave response.
Punishment before the Trial-Solitary Confinement.    Manning has now been in prison in solitary confinement for 7 months and still neither the U.S. military nor the U.S. government has indicted him for any offense.  Manning essentially is being treated by the U.S. government as an American citizen "enemy combatant." 
Manning's treatment in detention, pre-trial confinement in prison is cruel and unusual.  He is being kept in solitary confinement, alone in a cell for 23 hours a day.  He is forbidden to exercise in his cell.  He is deprived of sleep.  He is not given a pillow or sheets for his steel bed, although recently after publicity about he conditions in the prison, he was given a mattress for the bed.  Prison medical personnel now "administer regular doses of anti-depressants to Manning to prevent his brain from snapping from the effects of this isolation."

US Soldier Treated as Those Detained in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo
The U.S. military's treatment of Manning is tragically consistent with its treatment of persons detained in Iraq, Afghanistan and GuantanamoAmerica's military uses harsh conditions and torture, physical or mental, for those who have not been convicted of any crimes used to break the person to provide whatever information the military wants to receive.  This type of treatment is inhumane, immoral and wrong for those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo and is wrong for Bradley Manning.
Nothing to be Proud of.  Nothing in this to be proud of, President Obama. Nothing in this to be proud of, US Military.
If you, the reader, are offended by this, please -- Raise Hell for Bradley, the undeclared American "enemy combatant."


WAR ON WHISTLBLOWERS:  Free Press and the National Security State.

Acclaimed Documentary Puts Whistleblowers in the Spotlight

Everyone is talking about War on Whistleblowers, the new documentary from Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films.

A new film directed by Robert Greenwald looks at four whistleblowers who had their lives practically destroyed after they went to the press with evidence of government wrongdoing. They are Michael DeKort, Thomas Drake, Franz Gayl and Thomas Tamm. Whistleblowers have come under unprecedented attack by the Obamaadministration. Evoking the Espionage Act of 1917, the administration has pressed criminal charges against no fewer than six government employees, more than all previous presidential administrations combined. In the film, Greenwald also interviews government oversight experts and investigative journalists who warn about the chilling effect prosecutions may have on potential whistleblowers and the journalists who help them.

WAR ON WHISTLEBLOWERS:  Some details of the film.
Here are a few notes after viewing the film once:   First remember, Obama said early,:  “transparency and rule of law will be the rule of this presidency.”  The film poses and answers many challenging questions.    For example, Why did the lethal Humvee continue to be manufactured and deployed after so long and so much evidence of its vulnerability to IED, and why was the safer vehicle—the WRAP—delayed so long?   (Answer: the Pentagon is enmeshed in the Military-Industrial-Security-Secrecy Complex—i.e., corporate contractors and military purchasing officers.).  Another example:  Why have whistleblowers been under so much attack from the Obama administration?  (Answer:  Obama is intimately and intricately tied to the security complex-- the Pentagon, NSA, CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, .  [Read Bob Woodward’s Obama’s Wars on how this agreement increased significantly immediately after O’s first inauguration.] ).  And another:  Why did the Navy’s “Deepwater” System of some 90 new ships and over 100 small boats, all of them flawed in design in various ways and degrees, escape overhaul and its leaders avoid punishment?   (Answer: Lockheed Martin was the chief contractor.)  Two more:   Why did Obama increase document classification/secrecy over the Bush administration, in opposition to his own campaign promises?   Why did he use the Espionage Act to crack down on whistleblowers more than had all previous administrations together?  Don’t miss this film.  –Dick

Glenn Greenwald | On Whistleblowers and Government Threats of Investigation 
Glenn Greenwald, Guardian UK , June 8, 2013, Reader Supported News
Greenwald writes: "No healthy democracy can endure when the most consequential acts of those in power remain secret and unaccountable." 

Edward Snowden comes forward as source of NSA leaks.   Washington Post

Edward Snowden reveals himself as NSA leaker. (YouTube)
A stunning revelation
Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said the revelation of Snowden’s role in the leaks will lead to a sweeping reexamination of security measures at the CIA and the NSA, and they described his decision to come forward as a stunning conclusion to a week of disclosures that rattled the intelligence community.  

NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program
Click Here to View Full Graphic Story
NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program

Timeline of surveillance

Timeline of surveillance
A timeline of surveillance in the United States from 2001 to 2013: from the Patriot Act to the PRISM program.
Special Report

Who is Edward Snowden?

Who is Edward Snowden?
The NSA contractor “wanted to expose the “surveillance state.”

Hong Kong seen as unlikely refuge for ex-NSA contractor behind leaks

Hong Kong seen as unlikely refuge for ex-NSA contractor behind leaks
Justice Department could request extradition of self-declared leaker, according to treaty.

From obscurity to notoriety, Snowden took an unusual path

From obscurity to notoriety, Snowden took an unusual path
Daniel Ellsberg praises NSA leaker while others condemn him for revealing surveillance programs.

What you need to know about Booz Allen Hamilton

What you need to know about Booz Allen Hamilton
An employee at the center of the NSA leak controversy casts spotlight on government mega-contractor.
“This is significant on a number of fronts: the scope, the range. It’s major, it’s major,” said John Rizzo, a former general counsel of the CIA who worked at the agency for decades. “And then to have him out himself ... I can’t think of any previous leak case involving a CIA officer where the officer raised his hand and said, ‘I’m the guy.’”  MORE:


GRAPHIC: Sign here button

House Speaker John Boehner calls Edward Snowden a "traitor."  We certainly disagree.

More than 40,000 have already signed our petition! 

If you're one of them, please forward this to at least five friends. 

If you haven't signed yet please Thank Edward Snowden Now.

And then forward this to your friends.

Our country is in the midst of a struggle between the growing surveillance state and our precious civil liberties. Now a whistleblower has boldly stepped forward to expose the National Security Agency’s vast spying on our phone records and online communications.[1]

To sign a petition thanking NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, and to see a video of him, click here.

Any employee of the surveillance state who helps the public understand the magnitude of the spying has been targeted for vengeful punishment. Edward Snowden’s bravery is demonstrated not only by risking so much to expose the growth of Big Brother -- he has also chosen to publicly identify himself as the whistleblower.

Explaining his actions, the 29-year-old computer expert said: “I can't in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."[2]

Let Edward Snowden know that we thank him for acting so courageously in the public interest.

We’ll send the petition of thanks, including comments, directly to him.

To stand with this brave young man, please forward this email far and wide.

-- The team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, and many others.

1. NSA Collecting Phone Records of Millions; NSA Prism Program Taps in to User Data, Guardian, June 6.
2. Edward Snowden: The Whistleblower, Guardian, June 9.

Co-Creating Our World: The way we co-create is to support people who have come forward from within the system to challenge the paradigm in power in order to make positive change.  We support these whistleblowers by words, actions and financially.  By supporting the whistleblowers we help them to make their point as well as emotional sustenance.  Additionally, by supporting whistleblowers, we create an environment that is more conducive & supportive for more potential people to speak truth to power.  This is the way that we can make reform.  Below are petitions for Edward Snowden and articles about Snowden & the NSA Files.

Pardon Edward Snowden   Created: Jun 09, 2013
Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs. sign petition  and sign updated petition below.
Daniel Ellsberg On Edward Snowden: 'He Made The Right Choice' (VIDEO) Also see the PRISM Town Hall meeting (link in this article)
 Edward Snowden: A Modern-Day Daniel Ellsberg, Except for One Key Difference
NSA puts Tea Party at ease: “We just like to watch” Fluffington Post
Edward Snowden, NSA files source: 'If they want to get you, in time they will'
Source for the Guardian's NSA files on why he carried out the biggest intelligence leak in a generation – and what comes next  
'Tip of the Iceberg': Senators Warn Far More Data May Not Be Safe
Chris Pyle, Whistleblower on Domestic Spying in 70s, Says Be Wary of Attacks on NSA’s Critics
Christopher H. Pyle: Edward Snowden and the Real Issues
Norman Solomon: Clarity from Edward Snowden and Murky Response from Progressive Leaders in Congress
Amy Goodman: Terror Bytes: Edward Snowden and the Architecture of Oppression
Robert Shetterly:Edward Snowden: The Asymmetry of Courage

News & Views | 06.12.13
Subhankar Banerjee: Edward Snowden, Resistance and Inverted Totalitarianism
Snowden Claims U.S. 'Trying to Bully' Hong Kong for Extradition
NSA Surveillance Played Little Role in Foiling Terror Plots, Experts Say
Edward Snowden and the NSA Leaks: A Debate With Chris Hedges & Law Scholar Geoffrey Stone
Allison Kilkenny: Protesters Worldwide Rally to Support Whistleblower Edward Snowden
Thomas Drake: Snowden Saw What I Saw: Surveillance Criminally Subverting the Constitution

Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.
Independent, non-profit newscenter since 1997.

Our Mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.


1.                             News for Edward Snowden leaker whistleblower

1.                                                     Whistleblower Edward Snowden flies to Moscow ‎- by Malcolm Moore ‎- 2 hours agoEdward Snowden has left Hong Kong and flown to Moscow on a commercial flight on the ... Whistleblower Edward Snowden flies to Moscow.
2.                                                      Feds file espionage charges against NSA whistle-blower Edward SnowdenNew York Daily News‎ - 1 day ago
3.                                                      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden could be flown to Iceland on private jet by controversial website WikiLeaks
Daily Mail‎ - 2 days ago

2.                             Edward Snowden NSA: Guardian Reveals Identity Of Whistleblower ...
Jun 9, 2013 – The whistleblower responsible for providing The Guardian with ... The Guardian wrote that it was publishing Edward Snowden's identity at his request: ... as the administration has done to an unprecedented number of leakers.

3.                             Edward Snowden, NSA Whistleblower, Says He Acted Out Of ...
Jun 10, 2013 – Edward Snowden, NSA Whistleblower, Reveals Himself As LeakBehind Prism Documents. Edward Snowden, a former technical worker at the ...Is NSA Leaker Edward Snowden a True Whistleblower? - US News ... › Opinion
6 days ago – Is the NSA leaker a whistleblower or a political activist?

4.                             Analysis: Why Edward Snowden isn't a whistleblower, legally ...
5 days ago – Ever since Edward Snowden revealed himself as the leaker of classified... For starters, the general whistleblower laws apply to government ...

5.                             NSA Leaker Edward Snowden: Is He a 'Whistle-Blower?' - ABC › US

Jun 11, 2013 – Before he was labeled a "hero" or a "traitor," Ed Snowden, the intelligence contractor who leaked the details of a secret domestic data mining ...

6.                             Edward Snowden: 'Leaker,' 'source' or 'whistleblower'?
Jun 10, 2013 – More: “Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley ...

7.                               NSA whistle-blower revealed as Edward Snowden, 29-year-old ex

Jun 9, 2013 – From the blog The Ticket: The source of the intelligence leaks that revealed the National Security Agency's massive domestic surveillance ...

8.                             NSA whistleblower Snowden's extradition could be lengthy legal ...
23 hours ago – NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who is reportedly in hiding ...Edward Snowden, a former contract employee at the NSA who leaked top ...

9.                             Transcript: Today's Live Q&A With NSA Leaker, Edward Snowden ...
6 days ago – The NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, pictured in a Hong Kong hotel. ... 1) First, the US Government, just as they did with other whistleblowers...


BRIDGING THE GAP (sUMMER 2013).  “eXECUTIVE dIRECTOR’S cORNER: a nOTE FROM bEA eDWARDS.”  Describes attacks on whistleblowers during the past year and appeals for a democratic balance of citizen privacy, corporate money, the courts, and government secrecy.--Dick




Protecting Corporate, Government & International Whistleblowers since 1977

GAP Files Supreme Court Amicus as Detained, Tortured Whistleblowers take on Rumsfeld

by Melissa Koven on April 02, 2013 ( The Whistleblogger / 2013[A version of this article appeared in Bridging the Gap (Summer 2013).   It adds this important sentence:  “The case. . .may be the greatest chance to hold [Rumsfeld] accountable for steps taken during the Iraq War.  –Dick]
On March 11, 2013, GAP filed an amicus brief in support of a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court in the case of Vance v. Rumsfeld. Petitioners Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel are U.S. citizens who worked as private security contractors in Iraq. Beginning in 2005, they witnessed corruption by U.S. and Iraqi officials and, from October 2005 until April 2006, reported these abuses to the FBI. When U.S. officials learned in April 2006 that Vance and Ertel had blown the whistle, the two were arrested and held at a U.S. military prison in Iraq.
Vance was imprisoned for more than three months, and Ertel for six weeks. During that time, the U.S. military detained them incommunicado in solitary confinement and subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques (aka torture), which then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had approved for use against detainees. Specifically, Vance and Ertel were not permitted to sleep, kept in extremely cold cells, forced to listen to loud music, deprived of food and water, denied medical care, hooded, slammed into walls, and threatened. After their torture and detention for months at hands of our government, the military eventually released them without charge. Vance and Ertel brought a lawsuit for damages against the officials responsible for their torture.
In November 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit dismissed the suit holding that U.S. citizens are not entitled to bring constitutional damages claims against military officials. On Feb. 5, 2013, Loevy & Loevy, a Chicago-based civil rights law firm representing Vance and Ertel, submitted a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. GAP submitted an amicus brief – prepared in conjunction with the Emory Law School Supreme Court Advocacy Project and signed by seven other organizations – urging the high Court to grant the petition.
The brief points out the dangers in refusing to permit individual-capacity actions. Primarily, it argues that the Seventh Circuit decision leaves U.S. citizens – working abroad or at home – with no means of redress if the government tortures them, thereby granting the military absolute immunity. Given other federal statutes in place, the Seventh Circuit’s decision also means that U.S. citizens who are tortured would have less access to judicial review than non-citizens. The brief warns that if civilians are not afforded adequate judicial protections, they may choose not to serve their country abroad as military contractors. It notes that the United States relies heavily upon contractors and cannot afford to create such a disincentive. Finally, GAP’s brief argues that overturning the Seventh’s Circuit decision will reinforce the military’s adherence to the Constitution and ensure military discipline.
Melissa Koven is National Security & Human Rights Counsel for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization

Contents of #3  Jan. 31, 2012
GAP: Government Accountability Project
National Whistleblowers Center
Employment Law Group
FDA Illegal Surveillance of Whistleblowers

Contents of #4
GAP: Government Accountability Project
Sirota:  Executive Branch War on Whistleblowers
John Kiriakou
Kiriakou’s Book, Reluctant Spy
Pentagon Fails Its Whistleblowers
Hedges:  Obama versus Whistleblowers
Public Citizen
Misc. via Google

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:

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