Biden’s Choice on Julian Assange and the First Amendment

Charles Glass, The Intercept

Assange’s liberty represents that of all journalists and publishers whose job is to expose government and corporate criminality without fear of prosecution.

When Joe Biden becomes president of the United States on January 20, a historic opportunity awaits him to demonstrate America’s commitment to the First Amendment. He can, in a stroke, reverse four years of White House persecution of journalism by withdrawing the application to extradite Julian Assange from Britain to the U.S. This would be in line with the departures from Trump policies Biden is proposing on health care, environmental protection, and tax fairness. Assange’s liberty represents the liberty of all journalists and publishers whose job is to expose government and corporate criminality without fear of prosecution. We need and deserve to be protected against government control of the press.

Whistleblowing, Injustice and the Espionage Act

By Jeffrey Sterling

I was astonished to read recently that President Donald Trump acknowledged that many believe Edward Snowden has been treated unfairly and he is looking into the matter, mulling over pardoning him. After the shock of that revelation wore off, reality set in. Mr. Trump’s administration has to date taken the reprehensible position of continuing, if not increasingly empowering the Obama administration’s unprecedented vendetta against whistleblowers by using the Espionage Act, and now we are to believe Mr. Trump’s assertion that how Snowden has been treated is something he “could” look into. What is incredible about what Mr. Trump said are his previous comments about Snowden, whom he called a “terrible traitor” and suggested that he should be executed. Now we are to believe that Mr. Trump is actually considering pardoning Snowden?

Workplace Whistleblower Protections Inch Forward Amid Pandemic

Chris Marr –

Workplace safety concerns sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic have inspired a handful of state and local laws that nudged forward protections for whistleblowing employees, but not as far forward as advocates say is needed.

It’s an area of law that management-side attorneys say poses a significant litigation risk and already represents a major source of coronavirus-related lawsuits. Whistleblower advocates, on the other hand, say stronger federal protections are needed to prevent retaliation better than a patchwork of state laws can.

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 –

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 –

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.