Wednesday, June 22, 2005

POGO The Project on Government Oversight (website):

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“Get Smarter” with Whistleblower Protections

Will Congress “Get Smarter” with Whistleblower Protections for the FBI?

“Is hummus

A) a terrorist organization or

B) a delicious chick pea dish?”

wonders Jon Stewart in his segment “Get Smarter” on this week’s Daily Show which pokes fun at the FBI.

It’s difficult to know where to begin in describing the depositions performed by law firm Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto of FBI officials to determine why their client, Bassem Youssef, a highly qualified counter terrorism expert, was repeatedly passed over for promotions post 9/11.

Top FBI officials admit in those depositions that hiring experts in the Middle East and terrorism is not a priority, despite 9/11 and promises to the Congress that they would change their terrorism-neglecting ways.

In one deposition, the FBI’s head of counter terrorism for two years after 9/11admits he doesn’t know the difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims. According Associated Press, “Saudi officials said they regarded Youssef as the most skilled U.S. agent in conducting lie detector tests on Arabic-speaking suspects” but he was passed over repeatedly for headquarters jobs at the FBI.

Youssef joins a long line of FBI whistleblowers and former insiders making similar complaints about the FBI’s incompetence including Coleen Rowley, John Vincent, Bob Wright, Mike German, John Roberts, Fred Whitehurst, and Sibel Edmonds.

They have all quit, been fired, or otherwise tortured by an agency with an insular and self-perpetuating culture. The same week that the FBI’s dirty laundry was aired, Henry Hyde persuaded the House of Representatives to provide employees at the United Nations with better whistleblower protections than the FBI has ever had.

This week’s dirty laundry makes it hard to believe that Congress’ “intelligence reform” will have much impact on the FBI.

Perhaps it’s time for the Congress to “Get Smarter” by creating a safe haven for employees inside the agency who are trying to reform it and prevent another 9/11 catastrophe.

For more on the FBI’s retaliating ways, Mike German, of the newly formed National Security Whistleblower Coalition, offered this stark assessment in a report for GlobalSecurity.org:

The prohibition against complaining about management is enforced through open and organized retaliation against whistleblowers combined with corrupt internal review procedures. Although current FBI Director Robert Mueller repeatedly vowed to protect whistleblowers, two Department of Justice Inspector General investigations during his short tenure found retaliation in FBI whistleblower cases, and a third investigation is pending.

To determine if Director Mueller is serious about his vow to protect whistleblowers one need only ask him one question:

Who in the FBI is responsible for ensuring whistleblowers are not being retaliated against?

By “who” I mean what is the person’s name? What office does he hold?

Where does he fit in the chain of command?

Who does he answer to if a whistleblower feels he is not being adequately protected?

The Director will not be able to answer this question because no one in the FBI is assigned this responsibility. No one is assigned this responsibility because the Director is not serious about protecting whistleblowers.

I know because I endured two years of retaliation following a complaint about a terrorism investigation the FBI now openly admits was flawed.

The FBI is unable to police itself because it maintains illegitimate, discredited internal investigation and disciplinary procedures, which make it impossible to identify and correct problems inside the agency.

This is a critical deficiency that allows all other deficiencies to exist. Pick up the Department of Justice Inspector General reports from any of its investigations of the FBI, whether regarding thefts of World Trade Center artifacts, the Robert Hansen spy scandal, the belated production of documents in the Timothy McVeigh case, or the audit of the FBI Counterterrorism Program, and you will see a picture of dysfunction that keeps the FBI blind to its own problems and cripples its attempts at self reform.

June 22, 2005 in Whistleblower Protection Permalink

The above found here on the web

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