Whistleblowing, the Pandemic and a ‘Law and Order’ System of Injustice

By Jeffrey Sterling

It is hard to find many positives as the death toll from the novel coronavirus continues to climb, but as we have seen before with situations of crisis, truth does find a way to make itself known. In the sense of whistleblowing, we saw it with the crisis involving the president, which demonstrated the worth and power of whistleblowers to bring accountability to power (though of course, the end result had more to do with denial than truth). Now we see the revealing nature of whistleblowing once again as so many have been coming forward to reveal how we have had no preparedness nor plan with regard to combatting the coronavirus. Whistleblowers have testified before Congress about how woefully unprepared we have been and how the response from those charged with protecting us and this nation has been, at best, deemed inadequate, and at worse, negligent. Imagine where we would be in this pandemic without the courage of those who have dared to come forward to reveal the realities of our government’s response to and our preparedness in a global crisis.

Kaiser is at it again — retaliating against mental health whistleblowers

Request for Action from the National Union of Healthcare Workers

Kaiser Permanente is retaliating against more than 4,200 NUHW healthcare professionals for refusing to sign a gag order that would leave people in the dark about Kaiser’s denial of timely mental health care.

Silencing of Whistleblowers in the Workplace is a Threat to Public Health

Athena – Medium.com

Given the immediate public health risks, we are calling for an urgent expansion and improved enforcement of legal protections for workers who speak out and take collective action against dangerous workplace conditions that risk exacerbating the spread of COVID-19 in communities. Workers themselves are in the best position to raise health and safety concerns, and if these concerns are ignored, or worse, if workers are retaliated against, it not only impacts those workers and their families, but risks accelerating the current public health crisis.

CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling persecuted for exposing discrimination, danger

By The Grayzone – Pushback with Aaron Maté

Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling is a double whistleblower: as an African-American, he challenged racism from superior officers; he also voiced concerns about a deeply flawed CIA effort to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. The U.S. government retaliated by accusing him, without evidence, of leaking classified information. Sterling joins Pushback to discuss his ordeal.

FBI Opened Terrorism Investigations Into Nonviolent Palestinian Solidarity Group, Documents Reveal

By Chip Gibbons – The Intercept

In 2006, St. Louis-based activist and academic Mark Chmiel received a message on his answering machine from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI wanted to talk to Chmiel about trip three years ago that he and other St. Louis activists took with the International Solidarity Movement to the West Bank, in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. When Chmiel’s attorney reached out to the FBI, they did not respond.

Now More Than Ever, Prisoners Should Have Some Access to Social Media

By Mark Rumold – EFF.org

COVID-19 has trapped many of us in our homes, isolating us from family and friends and limiting our movements. But there are few people who feel the isolating impacts of COVID-19 more acutely than those who are actually incarcerated­ in jails and prisons across the country. As Jerry Metcalf, an inmate in Michigan, wrote for the Marshall Project’s “Life on the Inside” series:

Truth-Telling in Government

A Guide to Whistleblowing for Federal Employees, Contractors, and Grantees

By Government Accountability Project

The job of government to serve the public’s interests depends on the commitment and effort of millions of federal employees, contractors, and grantees around the world. Those same workers are in the best position to learn when decisions and actions deviate from the core mission and responsibilities of government, be it through corruption, failing to comply with laws and regulations, wasting taxpayer money, or jeopardizing public health and safety.

I Reject Using My Unjust Conviction Against Julian Assange

By Jeffrey Sterling

In 2015 I was wrongfully convicted of, and imprisoned for, violating the U.S. Espionage Act. Now, while there is no question that I stand in solidarity with WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in a British court as he fights extradition, little did I know that my presence is also there as fodder to support extradition. If I am going to be used in such a way, there should at least be a modicum of truth to my inclusion. I found nothing reasonable about being persecuted and sentenced to prison under the Espionage Act.

‘Finally’: Judge Orders Chelsea Manning’s Immediate Release After a Year in Jail and Suicide Attempt

Given that Manning still faces a $256,000 fine for refusing to testify about WikiLeaks to a grand jury, said one reporter, “she will now struggle with destitution and poverty, but at least she will no longer be in a jail cell.”

By Jessica Corbett – Common Dreams

The CIA rigged foreign spy devices for years. What secrets should it share now?

By Peter Kornbluh – The Washington Post

The revelation that the CIA secretly co-owned the world’s leading manufacturer of encryption machines, and rigged those devices to conduct espionage on more than 100 nations that purchased them for more than half a century, has generated a number of historical and ethical questions: What did U.S. officials know, and when did they know it, about key episodes in recent world history? How did U.S. policymakers act on the intelligence that was gathered? Did U.S. officials have an obligation, as The Washington Post’s Greg Miller put it, to “expose or stop human rights violations unfolding in their view”? Should the United States have been spying on friends and foes alike?