Foreign Policy: U.N. Whistleblower Decries ‘Cover-Up of a Cover-Up’ Over Darfur Debacle
In response to allegations the United Nations was trying to cover up evidence of a failing mission in Darfur, the world body produced a report concluding that there was no evidence U.N. and African Union peacekeeping officials “intentionally” covered up crimes against civilians and blue helmet peacekeepers in Darfur. According to the article, however, the report “provides considerable circumstantial evidence suggesting they may have.” GAP client Aicha Elbasri, the U.N. whistleblower who first brought the scandal to light, denounced the findings as “an exercise in damage control.”
Key Quote: “This is not the ‘thorough, independent, and public inquiry’ the International Criminal Court called for in June,” added Elbasri, who cooperated with the U.N. review. “What we have here is just a cover-up of a cover-up.”
Elbasri, who served as U.N. chief spokeswoman for the Darfur mission, resigned from her job in April 2013 after claiming that she had been prevented from carrying out her responsibility of accurately informing the public about what was happening in Darfur. She said that she decided to share the internal documents with Foreign Policy after multiple efforts to raise her concerns within official U.N. channels failed to bring about change.
CNN: Air Marshal Whistleblower Gets High Court Hearing Over Leaks to Media
Ahead of the Supreme Court hearing next week, CNN covers the case of GAP client Robert MacLean, a former air marshal who exposed a government plan to suspend air marshal service on long-distance commercial flights at the same time terrorists were threatening to target U.S. aircraft.
Key Quote: Tom Devine, a lawyer with the Government Accountability Project who is representing MacLean, said he is “chomping at the bit” to argue that MacLean’s leak was in the national interest, saying it may have helped prevent terrorist attacks on the United States.
If he wins at the high court, MacLean would have to go back to the board and further demonstrate that he reasonably believed that his disclosures “evidenced a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.”
“Frankly, that’s a hearing we would relish because there’s little question that his disclosures were worthy,” said Devine, MacLean’s attorney. “Numerous members of Congress attacked (the travel cuts) as betraying the department’s (responsibilities). The Department of Homeland Security said it was a mistake and canceled the orders less than 48 hours after his disclosure. They only corrected the mistake because of his disclosure.”
U.S. News: Snowden Attorney Calls for Probe into Leaks about Leak Probe
This week, Michael Isikoff of Yahoo! News cited unnamed “law enforcement and intelligence sources” who say prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation against a person suspected of giving The Intercept classified documents about a terrorist-tracking database. GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack states that Isikoff’s sources are trying to intimidate other whistleblowers “by leaking their investigations anonymously to the press” and should face a leak probe themselves.
Key Quote: “By all means the government should investigate these leaks to Isikoff,” Radack tells U.S. News. “[Isikoff’s] article is an object lesson on the Obama administration’s double-standard on leaks. It criminally pursues those who expose its incompetence, ineptitude or illegalities, but leaks like a sieve when it serves their own interests.”