Late last week, a U.S. Embassy staffer in Afghanistan released the name of the “CIA’s top official” in the country to a reporter, who subsequently checked it (and many others) with the White House before releasing it to over 6,000 “press pool” members. GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack, who represents CIA/torture whistleblower John Kiriakou, commented on the Obama administration’s continued hypocrisy over media leaks.
In related news, on Friday WikiLeaks revealed that the mysterious “Country X” – the unnamed nation whose complete phone records have been stored by the NSA – is Afghanistan.
Key Quote (AP): The intentional disclosure of the name of a “covered” operative is a crime under the U.S. Intelligence Identities Protection Act. A former CIA officer, John Kiriakou, was sentenced to 30 months in prison in January after pleading guilty to disclosing to a reporter the name of an undercover agency officer.
“I doubt anyone from the White House is going to be prosecuted over this,” said Jesselyn Radack, who represented Kiriakou. “It shows the continuing double standard over leaks.”
Last week, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons were convicted of embezzling millions of dollars from public funds. GAP’s International program has focused on wide scale graft in Egypt, specifically looking at the actions of both Mubarak and World Bank Managing Director Mahmoud Mohieldin. GAP’s Michael Termini is quoted.
Key Quote: “We hope this is the first step to hold Mubarak and his cronies accountable for corruption crimes they committed” said Michael Termini, Corporate & Financial Accountability Deputy Director at GAP (Washington-based Government Accountability Project).
Termini is investigating other cases at the international level, including charges of corruption caused by devaluating and selling Omar Effendi chain by a team led by Mubarak’s minister of investment Mahmoud Mohieldin who is currently working with the World Bank in the US.
More coverage of last week’s annoncement that the Supreme Court will hear the case of GAP client and air marshal whistleblower Robert MacLean later this year. In 2003, MacLean blew the whistle on a dangerous plan to remove air marshal coverage on long distance flights during a time of heightened terrorism alerts. While praised by members of Congress (who stopped the plan), he was fired three years later for his whistleblowing.
Key Quote: MacLean is getting his chess pieces in order: Joining longtime attorney Tom Devine of the Government Accountability Project is Neal Kumar Katyal, President Barack Obama’s former acting solicitor general. Katyal, as luck would have it, replaced Solicitor General Elena Kagan when Obama appointed her to the, er, Supreme Court.
In this op-ed, whistleblower Sam Foote explains why he chose to expose problems at the Phoenix VA Medical Center after serving as its clinic director for 19 years. Pained and haunted by patients “dying while waiting for appointments on the V.A.’s secret schedules,” after sending two letters to the VA Inspector General and receiving no response, Foote came forward to Congress and the media “to be able to sleep at night.”
Related Article: CNN
Dylan Blaylock is Communication Director of the Government Accountability Project, the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.