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Whistleblowers

How Britain Would Be Obliged To Free Julian Assange

President Joe Biden’s remark on Wednesday that his administration is considering ending the prosecution of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange appears based on a calculation that the U.S. could lose in court on Assange’s appeal against Britain’s order to extradite him. The High Court of England and Wales in its ruling last month has given the United States until Tuesday to assure Assange will not face the death penalty or the court would have no choice but to follow the law and free Assange. The two-judge panel also ruled the U.S. must provide a First Amendment guarantee equivalent to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights

Navy Whistleblower Pursued Fraud Case Against Red Hill Contractors

Newly unsealed court documents show that federal authorities spent the past two years investigating but ultimately declined to pursue a Navy whistleblower’s claim that private contractors helped cause the dire fuel leaks at the military’s Red Hill fuel storage facility by fraudulently cutting corners on their work there.

How The CIA Destroys Its Own

In light of recent developments in the Julian Assange extradition case, former CIA officer John Kiriakou joins host Robert Scheer on this episode of the Scheer Intelligence podcast, to delve deeper into the contradictions within the United States government and intelligence agencies regarding the disclosure of classified information and the veil of secrecy they maintain. As highlighted in earlier episodes, John Kiriakou’s role as the whistleblower who exposed the U.S. torture program vividly illustrates the consequences of airing the government’s dirty laundry—it unleashes its full might upon you.

Feds Recently Hit Maersk In Baltimore Disaster For Silencing Whistleblowers

The company that chartered the cargo ship that destroyed the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore was recently sanctioned by regulators for blocking its employees from directly reporting safety concerns to the U.S. Coast Guard — in violation of a seaman whistleblower protection law, according to regulatory filings reviewed by The Lever. Eight months before a Maersk Line Limited-chartered cargo ship crashed into the Baltimore bridge, likely killing six people and injuring others, the Labor Department sanctioned the shipping conglomerate for retaliating against an employee who reported unsafe working conditions aboard a Maersk-operated boat.

Assange’s Draconian Prosecution

In the final moments of the hearing on Feb. 21, Ben Watson KC representing the U.K. home secretary, admitted additional charges could be laid against Julian Assange in the U.S. that carry the death penalty, such as aiding and abetting treason. Asked by the judge whether there is anything that can be done to prevent a death penalty being imposed, he replied: “It would be very difficult to offer assurances to prevent the death penalty from being imposed.” (Since Assange is charged with a federal and not a state crime he could get a death sentence no matter if the state he is tried in, in this case Virginia, has a death penalty or not.)

US Government Treats Use Of Privacy Tools As Criminal Activity

In Espionage Act prosecutions involving leaks, attorneys at the United States (DOJ) consistently treat the use of privacy tools as evidence of criminality. This tendency should alarm journalists and news media organizations that rely on such tools for newsgathering. A jury convicted former CIA programmer Joshua Schulte of disclosing CIA cyber warfare materials to WikiLeaks in July 2022. Schulte is scheduled to be sentenced in the U.S. Southern District Court of New York on February 1. The U.S. government’s sentencing memo [PDF] asserted that “between April 18 and May 5, 2016, Schulte took a number of steps to transmit the stolen CIA files to WikiLeaks.

Assange Appeal Hearing Set For February

Imprisoned publisher Julian Assange will face two High Court judges over two days on Feb. 20-21, 2024 in London in what will likely be his last appeal against being extradited to the United States to face charges of violating the Espionage Act. Assange’s wife Stella Assange confirmed that the hearing will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice. Assange had had an earlier request to appeal rejected by High Court Judge Jonathan Swift on June 6. Assange then filed an application to appeal that decision and the dates have now been set.  Assange is seeking to challenge both the home secretary’s decision to extradite him as well as to cross appeal the decision by the lower court judge, Vanessa Baraitser.

She Exposed One Of The World’s Biggest Banks; They Ruined Her Life

Warning signs of the instability of the global financial system abounded in the months leading up to the 2008 Lehman Brothers crash. Among these early signs were the astounding revelations about UBS, the world’s largest private bank, by Stephanie Gibaud, who was employee at the bank’s French division. Gibaud refused instructions given to her and other employees to delete all their company files. In doing so, she helped reveal a vast web of corruption and fraud linking UBS to a shadowy tax evasion scheme. More than 15 years later, Gibaud has endured harassment, professional ostracization, lawsuits, and threats.

Australian, Latin American Leaders Demand End To Assange Prosecution

During their addresses to the UN General Assembly, both Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Honduran President Xiomara Castro called for Assange to be freed. Lula stated, “It is essential to preserve the freedom of the press. A journalist like Julian Assange cannot be punished for informing society in a transparent and legitimate way.” Castro struck a similar chord, calling Assange a “faithful defender of free expression.” Both Lula and Castro are left-wing leaders who were elected as part of what’s been dubbed in Latin America as a second or resurgent “Pink Tide." Lula had previously served as Brazil’s president during the original Pink Tide.

Whistleblower Craig Murray Talks About NATO Expansion, BRICS, Assange

On Ukraine, it is extremely difficult to get any airing for anti-war opinions. On the mainstream media, it is simply impossible to get a hearing,” Craig Murray said. The human rights campaigner and former diplomat sat with “MintPress News” to discuss forever wars, whistleblowing and a future conflict with China. “There’s a universal media consensus on stoking the proxy war, pouring in billions and billions of dollars, pouring in more and more advanced weapons systems. And anybody on social media who attempts to counter that narrative is marked as disinformation or a Russian state asset,” Murray lamented, noting that even during the Iraq War, there was more space for dissenting opinions.

Ten Years After The US Military Verdict Against Chelsea Manning

It was ten years ago that a United States military judge found Pfc. Chelsea Manning guilty of violating the Espionage Act, along with several other related offenses. She was fortunately acquitted of the most alarming charge levied against her: “aiding the enemy.” Manning provided over 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks, many of which contained evidence of torture, war crimes, human rights abuses, and corruption within the State Department. Panicked U.S. military and national security officials scrambled to respond to the fallout from what was revealed, and the U.S. government immediately tightened restrictions on how soldiers, contractors, and lower-level agency personnel could access information databases.

He Tried To Raise The Alarm About Railroad Safety; Then He Got Fired

When we hear the term “whistleblower,” we tend to think of names like Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange—people who have risked their freedom, even their lives, to expose government lies, abuses of power, and state secrets that the public needs to know about. But there are a range of federal statutes designed to protect those who blow the whistle on their employers, too, especially when those employers are breaking the law and/or endangering their workers and the public. Michael Paul Lindsey II is a military veteran who has worked for Union Pacific as a trained locomotive conductor and engineer for the past 17 years

Ellsberg And ‘The Process Of My Awakening’

Of all the fine things written and said about Daniel Ellsberg since his death June 16, there is a thread running through them we ought not miss, a story Ellsberg himself told better than anyone else. It is a story from which we can all learn. As we consider this story, we can embrace Ellsberg as an exemplar as much as he was a courageous man of conscience. As he put it in an interview some years ago, “courage is contagious.”  Ellsberg did not give the story I have in mind a name, a title, a headline, or any such designation, but he may as well have, and I take the liberty of drawing from his words to name it now, the process of Dan Ellsberg’s awakening. 

‘If You Challenge The FBI, They Will Crush You,’ Says Whistleblower

Being an FBI agent was Stephen Friend’s dream job. For eight and a half years working there, the Notre Dame graduate and Iraq War veteran investigated around 200 violent crimes, including human and sex-trafficking cases, and served five years as part of an FBI SWAT team. Friend did his job so well that he won an FBI performance award. Then one day this past fall, his top-secret security clearance was revoked by his superiors at the Jacksonville, Florida, field office, and he lost his job. The reason was that he had expressed concern about a) the inflation of statistics regarding Domestic Violent Extremism (DVE) cases; b) assignments to surveil parents at school board meetings and log their license plate numbers in violation of the parents’ constitutional rights; and c) the FBI’s decision to use a SWAT team in the arrest of an alleged January 6 rioter who had expressed willingness to cooperate with the FBI.

IRS Whistleblowers Allege Misconduct Of Biden Investigation In Testimony

After pleading guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges this week, Hunter Biden faces new scrutiny after two IRS whistleblowers allege extensive misconduct in the handling of his tax investigation. Biden failed to pay tax on more than $3 million in income. His plea helps him “avoid full prosecution on a separate gun possession charge,” according to a CBS report. Gary Shapley, one of two IRS whistleblowers—the second remains anonymous—testified to the House Ways and Means Committee that the IRS substantiated the need for stricter penalties and Biden was given a sweetheart deal. “I am alleging, with evidence, that DOJ provided preferential treatment, slow-walked the investigation, did nothing to avoid obvious conflicts of interest in this investigation,” Shapley testified.
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