Saturday, July 08, 2006

Sibel Edmonds: Dirty Dozen. Blowing the Whistle - Part 3

Dirty Dozen. Blowing the Whistle - Part 3 of 3
Interview with National Security Whistleblowers Coalition President Sibel Edmonds

In the first instalment we had a quick overview of the Dirty Dozen campaign, and we looked at three specific whistleblower cases. In the 2nd instalment, we discussed the NSWBC's frustrated efforts to get congress to investigate some egregious crimes, and we took an eye-opening look at the NSWBC's efforts to get some whistleblower protection passed in congress. In this final instalment, we take a closer look at how the Dirty Dozen list was compiled, and we go through the Dirty Dozen list and document the atrocities for each of them.

The Dirty Dozen list is as follows (in alphabetical order)
  • Senator Hillary Clinton
  • Senator Mike DeWine
  • Rep. David Dreier
  • Rep. Dennis Hastert
  • Senator Orrin Hatch
  • Rep. Peter Hoekstra
  • Senator Jon Kyl
  • Senator Joseph Lieberman
  • Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger
  • Senator Rick Santorum
  • Rep. James Sensenbrenner
  • Rep. Mark Souder

Can you guess which of the Dirty Dozen is a nutcase? pathetic? a weasel? a scumbag politician? a fascist? a dangerous moron? an idiot? Read on for the answers.

As I mentioned in Part One of the interview, there are four reasons why people made the Dirty Dozen list:

1) If they have specifically let whistleblowers down
2) If they are powerful in the relevant committees
3) If they are visible
4) If they are up for election

Apparently there wasn't much doubt about who ought to be on the list:
SE: Here's the thing - we have 84 whistleblowers who voted on the Dirty Dozen list - tri-partisan - and the list was virtually unanimous - based on their records, and the trials and all of our experience we have had with Congress - it's based on their stance, the dealings we have had with each of them - both the specific whistleblowers cases and also general issues.

The Dirty Dozen list was unamimous, despite the strong competition:
SE: This Dirty Dozen list could have easily been 60 or 70 people - unfortunately. It's a sad reflection on how bad things are in Congress. We had to limit the list to a number that we could manage, so we decided to keep it to a dozen people. These dozen people are at the top of our list because they have let us down the most - and also those who have been in the position to do something.

And there are some early contenders for the 2008 Dirty Dozen list:
SE: Jeff Sessions would be on the list, but he isn't up for election in November, or Susan Collins - she's the Chair of the Homeland Security Committee - but her election isn’t till 2008. The same with Arlen Specter.

And what sort of activity will we see with the Dirty Dozen campaign between now and November? For example:
SE: Again, we are not going to tell voters who to vote for, but on the other hand, let's say someone who is running against Lieberman comes to us and says:
"Hey NSWBC, one of the agendas that I have here that I'm promising if I become the senator, or the congressman is that I would work very hard in passing whistleblowers legislation."
If somebody were to do that and pledge their support publicly, then we would campaign along with them and do it as a mutual thing, but right now, as it stands we are bi-partisan whistleblowers.

The rest of this post is Sibel describing each member of the Dirty Dozen, and why they were included in the list. (You'll note that some of the quotes I've already used in earlier parts of this interview are actually lifted out of this final section of the interview.)

A few things before I hand over to Sibel
1. Pollster Charlie Cook doesn't think (pdf) that any of the House members in the Dirty Dozen is at risk in November. Regarding the Senate, he notes that the seats of Santorum, DeWine and Kyl are all vulnerable, and of course, Lieberman has a challenge in his primary (does anyone else know of any close races and primaries? please leave a comment). As Sibel noted above, the goal is not specifically to change the results of all of the elections, but to put sufficient pressure on the races so that the Senators and the Representatives will be more willing to push through the whistleblower legislation in January (if not before)

2. The Dirty Dozen were all sent letters prior to the release of the campaign, and given an opportunity to get themselves off the list. You can see the letters, and the prerequisites here

3. I've also made a separate post for each of the Dirty Dozen and simply copied the entire section for that person into the post so that people can link directly to each member.

Over to Sibel:

Senator Hillary Clinton
Armed Services Committee

There are several reasons why Clinton is on the list. We have a partner coalition that I mentioned earlier- they are called Veterans Affairs Whistleblowers Coalition - - and they are doctors and nurses who blew the whistle on some incredible criminal and abuse cases in the VA hospitals - I'll send you their letter to Clinton, and also NSWBC's letter - and we made lots of follow up phone calls and Clinton's office hasn’t even responded!

For the past 4 years these doctors have been trying to get Clinton's attention. a) They are from NY state, her state, and b) some of these cases are of VA patients who have been murdered.

In one case, some pharmaceutical companies give the VA hospitals $2000 per patient if the patient gives consent and signs up for some experimental drugs - and in some cases, some of these administrators and doctors - they forged patients' signatures in order to get the $2000 per head - just like guinea pigs - and some of these patients died. And because of the medical history of some of these veterans, they shouldn’t even have been given these experimental drugs - even if they had given their consent.

One guy involved in this case has been jailed for life - but they didn’t pursue it to the other doctors - but what happened was that before it even became a public issue - these pharmacists and doctors blew the whistle, and instead of looking into the issues and investigating it, these people were fired. They had to go and fight it with IGs and other such bodies - some of them got their jobs back but they're still being harassed there. But most of these problems that they reported haven’t been corrected. There has been no accountability, and many of these cases haven’t even been investigated.

So for the past 4 years these people have been trying to blow the whistle - boxes of letters, faxes, emails to Sen. Clinton’s office for the past four years. Not a response! Sometimes they get a canned response of 3 lines saying 'Sen. Clinton has always voted for an increase of budgets for the VA.' This is a high profile case - its been in the NY Times - its a whistleblower case, its a NY state case - and we are looking at this woman, Clinton, who is hawker than the most hawkish - or she pretends to be. She says she's pro-military 'send them to Iraq, let them die' - but here, she's not even looking after these veterans' rights when they're being murdered in VA hospitals. These same issues are widespread throughout the country in the other VA hospitals, not just in New York.

When we at the NSWBC found out about it, we were outraged - so we started sending letters. We called Clinton’s office, and we asked her to give us an appointment so that we could brief her and show her some of the patient files, together with the doctors. Nothing! No response. So that's one issue with Clinton.

The second issue with Clinton is that she's on the Armed Services Committee. We have had many DoD whistleblowers - either on a) big - very big - Halliburton related contract issues, and b) we have had whistleblowers on torture issues, for example Sergeant Provance who I mentioned earlier. He testified in the hearings in the House - it's just outrageous. These cases have been mailed to her office - and to this day, her office has not requested a single hearing into any of these DoD whistleblowers cases - some of them high profile. To this day they have not released a single press release, they have not responded to us, they have not responded to these whistleblowers (when I say 'they' I mean the staff members and Clinton’s office.) This woman is the hawkest of the hawks out there! and here we have Clinton - the queen of publicity whores - she is literally out there on TV and radio all the time, and at every chance she gets she wants to show her 'leadership skills' - and she's from NY. We want to go to her constituents in NY and say 'let's look at this woman’s track record, really!' a) where does she stand? Because she's a woman who takes NO ACTION - that should be her motto! and b) she pretends she's a hawk - but on the other hand, she sits and watches these people being abused and being screwed up, and murdered in VA hospitals in her own state! c) she doesn’t even respond to any whistleblower cases and therefore she's anti-accountability - and is against oversight, and against the public's right to know.

Her constituents have the right to know about this. You're looking at 10 to 15 senior level people - doctors and pharmacists - they’re not disgruntled employees. Some of these people that were fired have new jobs now - they’re practicing doctors - and some have gotten their jobs back, and they are still being retaliated against by the VA administrators

So this fits into the 'inaction' category that we mentioned earlier, but also 'pretension' - that would be another word to use! Another thing that I would like to say to people is that the latest surveys show that over 70% of people have lost faith in congress - they don’t have any confidence. Hillary, I believe is a very good example of why some people just shrug and say 'well - they're politicians - what do you expect, they're all just dirty scumbags - they’re' not going to represent the people'. Sen. Hillary Clinton - with this type of inaction - and coming and pretending with a bunch of baloney - she's a good example of this scumbag politician. Does she take a stand? Does she really do anything about issues that matter? No! Again - I’m not talking about one whistleblower's career - I’m talking about the issues. I believe her constituents have the right to know.

When I send you the letters about Hillary, you'll be able to link it in your article - and also the VAWBC website - and I also invite anybody who says 'well - they have to prove more' - well, they have to prove something to us. I would say 'why is the burden of proof in this case with us? Here is the information if you don't believe us.'

Also, she's always in front of the camera - yet for all her exposure, going through her statements in the press or in hearings or whatever, not once has she even mentioned the term "whistleblower." Now - considering the fact that we have had unprecedented numbers of whistleblowers in the past four years since September 11 - every week you open the newspaper there's a story about whistleblowers - from the Homeland Security, the DoD, the CIA, the FBI and you read about the retaliation against whistleblowers - and yet not once has Clinton even mentioned whistleblowers - and she's on the Armed Services Committee! Her behavior is outrageous and yet somehow, whistleblowing isn’t an issue for her. That says a lot in terms of where she stands, too.

And it's not like people say this issue doesn’t exist. It’s a very major issue. It wasn’t up till 2001 - but since September 11 whistleblowing is in the list of the top 5 issues. Since 2001, one of the big issues is whistleblowers. This administration is always screaming "We have leakers!" but of course we have so much fraud and waste and abuse and criminal activities that is forcing these whistleblowers to come forward - because we have so much bad stuff going on - but regardless, we have this huge issue of whistleblowers - and yet Clinton has not responded.

When we request to go and brief her, and her staff - see with her office she doesn’t want to know. She’s not even giving appointments. Why? Because we are not defense contractors, we are not contributing to her campaign. Mrs. Clinton - why is it that your staff - being on the Armed Services Committee, and therefore responsible for DoD whistleblowers - why is it that they don't want to even become aware of the issues? or even give an appointment for half an hour? To me, that says a lot. For someone who is so high profile, and who pretends otherwise. People need to be aware of this.

You know, in a way, even though I'm fighting against them, I have more respect for those people who oppose whistleblowers directly and say 'we're opposing it, we're not going to protect whistleblowers.' But these hypocrites who just sit down behind closed doors and actually go along with those who oppose whistleblowers, but out in public, they just pretend they don't know anything, as if this justifies their inaction. But then, when it comes to talk, they say they have these leadership skills and they care for this country, and they think they are 'it' - well that is hypocrisy. I respect someone more like say Dreier or Souder who come right out and say 'I'm anti-whistleblowers - and I don't believe we should be giving any rights to whistleblowers ' - at least we know where they stand, but this hypocrite Clinton, watch out, because she's far more dangerous, because this woman has no stand - and it's simply inaction - and this type of person has no leadership skills. She should not be in a leadership position.

However, with Clinton, I don’t know how much we can influence her election because I know that she has been running strong but remember that she got booed at the Take Back America conference!

Ya know, everyone always looks for the first person to boo at these things, and once one person started many others joined in. It was great to see some Dems with spines out there! So I guess that's as much as we hope to achieve with Hillary being on the Dirty Dozen list - we can start the booing!

(Clinton excerpt copied here )

Senator Mike DeWine
Senate Judiciary Committee

Mike DeWine, in Ohio, well, he's just incredible. Have you seen the bill he introduced? He's a nutcase - as far as being far-out Right and pro-White House. After this illegal eavesdropping stuff came out - he introduced a bill with 5 or 6 points. The last point in his bill says 'we need to criminalize whistleblowing. Whistleblowers from agencies that deal with National Security or Law Enforcement should be liable to go to jail for up to 15 years and should be fined up to $1 million. The guy actually introduced this! This guy is a fascist!

He introduced this bill into the committee and he is going to push it for a vote! The conference is in September - and he's really pushing it hard - and he is on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Specter is the chairman, DeWine kind of has the 2nd chair on that - but DeWine has found other Republicans who have been backing him. I will send you the bill he proposes - there is one provision there that says that we should criminalize whistleblowing - with jail time and a fine. This is the first time ever that congress has tried to criminalize whistleblowing. It’s incredible! That says it all about DeWine.

The Judiciary Committee is very relevant to whistleblowers issues.

(DeWine excerpt copied here)

Rep. David Dreier
House Rules Committee

Also on our list is David Dreier - he is Chair of the House Rules Committee (which I discussed earlier). He is the one who has rejected all the whistleblower amendments and bills presented to the committee - and prevent them from coming to vote - anything that has to do with whistleblowers, he's against it.

Waxman actually had a press release saying that three times they rejected these amendments even though it was bipartisan, introduced by Waxman and Davis - basically saying that National Security Whistleblowers and contractors should be covered and that the House Rules Committee and their Leadership prevented it. So that's why Dreier is on the list - he's anti-whistleblowers and in his leadership position he has been preventing the whistleblower legislation. He is a very important one.

The reason that Dreier is so anti-whistleblower is that these people are in bed with the executive branch, the Whitehouse. People like Dreier and Hastert. If you look at all of their actions, they seem to see their job as protecting the President and the White House - rather than the oversight body - the congress of the United States that was established to provide checks and balances. And the issue of whistleblowers - not only the executive branch stands against it, and these people such as Dreier and Hastert and also Pat Roberts in the Senate - they see themselves as the guardian angels of the White House.

But you see, it's not just the Executive Branch that hates whistleblowers. You also have look at the other powerful actors - the defense companies and the rest of the military industrial complex. Do you think they like to see any whistleblower protection? Of course not! These companies take advantage of the situation. It is these companies that are doing these deals that are fraudulent or unfair.

Do you know the Bunny Greenhouse case? That's a good example of why these companies also don’t want effective whistleblower legislation.

So these people, Dreier and Hastert, are pro-executive branch, and pro-White House, and they don't even believe that their duty is as the other branch that is there to maintain the system of checks and balances - and so they have given the carte blanche to the White House.

You know, I didn’t even know who Dreier was till 3 or 4 months ago - when finally after working so hard - we passed this bill through the committee with Waxman, and we finally got Tom Davis' signature - and we were all excited that we'd finally got it - but then we were told 'No, no - you've still got to get passed someone who is very anti-whistleblowers - he's not going to let this go any further - and I was like 'Dreier - who the hell is he? The Rules Committee? What kind of committee is that? I've never heard of the Rules Committee!'

You see - let's say when a committee in the House passes a bill, meaning that the Republicans and Democrats vote on it and they pass it - that's only in the committee. Before it is put up for vote on the entire House floor, that bill that has already passed the committee has to go to the House Rules Committee, and these committees have to then get permission from the House Rules Committee to take it to the other committees, and then to the House floor. The House Rules Committee is in a position to simply say "No - we don’t want this bill to be voted on this year. We'll look at it next year. Why? We don't have to give you any reasons." They can block it there and it can get stuck in the House Rules Committee, even though it might have had bipartisan support. And the House Rules Committee has been blocking every single whistleblower legislation - even the bad ones! Even the bills that we consider really weak - bills that we'd prefer not to pass because we think they are so weak - because it only gives the illusion of protection - they block even those! It's David Dreier and Dennis Hastert, as the Leadership, who are preventing these bills.

As you know, Dreier nearly took Tom DeLay's position when DeLay was forced to stand down. It all makes sense - see how it all fits together!
(see also Hastert, below)

(Dreier excerpt copied here)

Rep. Dennis Hastert
Speaker of the House

Why is Hastert on the Dirty Dozen list? Hastert's inclusion on the list has nothing to do with my personal case - because I never went to him when I blew the whistle and was reporting it to congress - and of course you understand why I couldn’t! His is the last office I would want to go to.

He is in the leadership position in the House - and talking with other NGO's who deal with whistleblowers - like POGO and GAP etc - and also dealing with people in Congress who have been trying for the past 2 or 3 years to push certain bills and legislation - they have gone on the record clearly stating that the biggest problem is the House Leadership - especially Dennis Hastert - who basically prevents these bills to come up for vote, and also he stands really really strongly against whistleblowers .

But I haven’t had any direct contact with his office - and we have never had any specific cases dealing with his office. His inclusion on the list is based on the record compiled by all the NGOs that the House Leadership, led by Hastert is the major problem.

David Dreier is in a similar situation. Dreier is on the House Rules Committee, Hastert is the Speaker of the House - and as Speaker, he is part of the House Leadership that has been blocking any bills that have to do with whistleblower legislation - or any hearings. They have the power - because when you talk about House Leadership - you're looking at the chairman, and the WHIP, and the Speaker and the Chair of the Rules Committee. Those three or four people have the power to influence the Chairs of all the other committees. Even if the other Chairs want to have a vote, the Leadership can just block it. They just put pressure on each other. When Feingold was saying that some democrats were trying to put pressure on him, we're talking about the same scenario. And it's not just us - all of the other NGO's are saying the same thing - whenever any legislation gets stuck it's because the House Leadership that stands completely against it.
(see also Dreier, above, and Hatch, below)

(Hastert excerpt copied here)

Senator Orrin Hatch
Senate Judiciary Committee
Select Committee on Intelligence

Ok - now over to Orrin Hatch - he was the Chair of the Judiciary Committee. As a whistleblower I have dealt with Orrin Hatch's office as the leadership for the Judiciary Committee for the Senate, and I know how he was for my case - but besides that, just look at his record. Since 1986, Orrin Hatch has always sided with secrecy - especially when it comes to do with anything related to law enforcement - FBI, CIA, NSA - and he has always voted against whistleblowers and that has been consistent throughout his career - since 1984.

With first hand experience, I dealt with his office and the Senate Judiciary Committee for 2.5 years - but also as NSWBC, we have been trying to deal with Senate Judiciary Committee, they don’t want to even read or listen - they are not even open to look into any of these issues or give briefings. Just the way that we finally succeeded with Congressman Shays we have been begging the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold hearings - both on whistleblowers in general like the ones we had with Shay's committee - but also on some high profile cases.

You know about my petition, right - that is for the Senate Judiciary Committee. That was the first committee I went to as a whistleblower - it's been 4.5 years, and they promised that they were going to investigate and have public hearings - 4.5 years later I’m sitting here - they are not even willing to look at the case - even to have a meeting, or a briefing on it! For 2 years they said that they had to wait for the IG report, then when the IG report came out - and it basically backed up everything that I said - and now they say 'No - this is prevented by Senator Hatch' - as I mentioned earlier - but also on whistleblower legislation they are completely irresponsive. They don’t even respond to any request for legislation or amendments for whistleblowers protection. The Senate Judiciary Committee has not held a single hearing on whistleblowers issues since 2001 - they have not had a single investigation on shistleblowers cases from the FBI, and we have had so many whistleblower cases. There have been some with Sen. Grassley - but it's not going to mean anything unless it is followed by action and hearings - so even though in some cases, like mine and Mike German's case, Sen. Grassley and Sen. Leahy have done some preliminary investigations, and based on their findings they come to senior people like Hastert and Specter and say 'let's have hearings - this is disastrous!' but they get blocked. Who are the people who are doing the blocking? Specter, but he's not up for election, and before that it was Sen. Hatch.

(Hatch excerpt copied here)

Rep. Peter Hoekstra
Committee on Intelligence
(this via email - we somehow missed Hoekstra in the interview)

Over a year ago the CIA IG finally completed its investigations of CIA & 9/11; then, immediately, Goss decided to classify the entire report, and he successfully did just that. The CIA-IG investigations included interviews of CIA whistleblowers. Hoekstra & his committee refused to challenge the classification; thus, prevented the public from getting to know the facts/cases relevant to 9/11 & the courageous whistleblowers who gave up their careers/jobs to bring these issues to the public's attention. And finally; as we all know, the House Intel Committee has refused to hold meaningful oversight hearings (despite many recent CIA whistleblowers relentless efforts); they are also the most staunch opponents of whistleblower protections for Intel employees.

(Hoekstra excerpt copied here)

Senator Jon Kyl
Senate Judiciary Committee

Speaking of the Senate Judiciary Committee, apart from Hatch and Specter, there is also Jon Kyl on that committee. He's also on our Dirty Dozen list. Kyl has been anti-whistleblowers, and he also has not taken up any whistleblowers issues in terms of hearings, or investigations or legislation. The same story. The Judiciary Committee is the most important committee when it comes to whistleblowers - you see, you have specific whistleblowers areas - like if you're DoD you go to Armed Services Committee, if you’re CIA you go to Intelligence Committee, but the Judiciary Committee has a broader oversight area which covers all of those because it also deals with the court. Considering the fact that all these whistleblowers also have to deal with classification, states secret privilege, National Security being invoked, being prevented to file in certain courts etc - so there are two committees that are most relevant to whistleblowers issues period, regardless of the agency that the whistleblowers is from. The number one committee is the Judiciary Committee, the other one, as the name suggests is Government Reform - the House Government Reform Committee and in the Senate the Government Reform Committee and the Homeland Security Committee are under one name - which is called the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee - which is the same as the Government Reform Committee. So with the Judiciary Committee, every single one of those members are in the position and they have the responsibility - more so than any other committee in terms of Whistleblowers issues. And Kyl has absolutely done nothing! He is completely irresponsive in all the whistleblowers cases to date, and requests for hearings, and legislation.

(Kyl excerpt copied here)

Senator Joseph Lieberman
Homeland Security Committee

Well - with Lieberman - and his staff - do they ever come out and oppose whistleblowers? Absolutely not! Because to oppose whistleblowers you’ve got have balls! And the man lacks them! He ain't got none! ya know - he's a weasel. What he does is, and he's the ranking minority with Collins - so this letter that we sent Collins, a copy went to Lieberman, and you can see the letter - it's on the front page of our website - but with Lieberman, as the ranking minority member on the Homeland Security Committee with not only ours, but also with independent whistleblowers. The Dept of Homeland Security is the most troublesome, screwed up agency in the country - every day is just a disaster with them - like every day I’m getting 2 or 3 applicants from the federal air marshals or baggage screeners. It's disastrous! It’s incredible!

And Lieberman - what has Lieberman done? He has absolutely refused to push anything. You see, it’s the ranking minority member who can push and say 'we want to have these hearings on these issues. Nothing from Lieberman.

I also have a whistleblower from DoD and this is the guy who blew the whistle big-time 4 or 5 years ago on the anthrax case (Lieberman/Anthrax story here) - when they were forcing them to take anthrax vaccine - and he brought together a large group of the DoD people who refused to take the vaccine - and they were retaliated against big time. This whistleblower is from Connecticut - from Lieberman’s state - and for the past 5 years, they have tried unsuccessfully to get his office to do anything. This despite a) they're his constituents in Connecticut, and b) it's whistleblowing and security related too - and Lieberman again has been very irresponsive. So Lieberman is on our list, and he's the most important coming up for re-election from the Homeland Security Committee .

We would definitely have Collins on our list if she was involved in November - but Lieberman is the ranking minority member on the same committee.

Again, the Senate is different to the House - in the House for example, we have had the ranking minority really pushing the legislation and the reform and hearing requests, and that at least created some pressure on the majority - on, lets say Tom Davis. It was all the pressure by Waxman, together with us, that got the hearings before Shays' committee - it was all that exposure to the issues that finally got Davis disgusted to the point that he was like 'yeah - I’m signing up for this!' In the Senate - with this committee, we don't have that - you know why? It’s because the leader of that committee's minority is Joe Lieberman! And Joe Lieberman does not want any controversy. Joe Lieberman is there to simply go along with whatever the leadership says. That is Joe Lieberman’s position. And that holds true especially for whistleblower issues and whistleblower-related hearings and legislation. At least I’ve got to give Joe Lieberman one thing - he's been consistent!

You know Lieberman is having some trouble in Connecticut - and I salute his constituents and the democrats who understand that this man is NOTHING like the man they thought they were voting for - as far as his action and his inaction - both. I would love to go up there and somehow work with Lamont's campaign if he agrees to be pro-whistleblowers.

I’ve heard wonderful things about Lamont - and I’ve read his interview transcript on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman. I think he handled himself very well. I was thinking of writing a formal letter and introducing myself. I don’t know what's the best way to get it into the right hands - so that some intern doesn’t get it and throw it away - and I'll say look 'I’m willing to go up there and speak - I will do that - I’ll speak about my case - I'll speak about the importance of these issues as it relates to Joe Lieberman and his position on these types of issues - secrecy, and retaliation, and privileges and having no oversight.' I would love to do that!

Now, in the Senate, the Senator who championed the only meaningful whistleblowers legislation out there is Sen. Lautenberg from New Jersey, Dem. He's on the Homeland Security Committee. He sponsored this bill, and he begged Collins to co-sponsor the bill, and we keep sending letters to Collins saying that this is the most comprehensive bill there is out there - that provides, not only protection, but also provides accountability. Collins refused, but unlike the House - where Markey, Waxman and Maloney are all supporting this bill - Lieberman has said that he's not going to support the model legislation, he's absolutely against it, he's not going to have anything to do with it - so not only did we not get support from Collins, we didn't even get support from the ranking minority member - the Democrat, Lieberman!

Lautenberg's bill is the complete bill - he introduced it March 2006, it's on our website - and all the provisions are listed there - and he had a press release on this, he asked for Dems to come and support him - both from the Judiciary Committee, the Homeland Security Committee and also Armed Services Committee - guess what - we haven't had a single Dem Senator supporting it - because, their leader in the Homeland Security Committee, Lieberman, is saying that he's not going to have anything to do with it. That's another reason Lieberman is on the Dirty Dozen list. He is actually standing against Lautenberg's bill.

I'm sure that Feingold will be very supportive - he's on the Judiciary Committee - but Lautenberg is not in the Judiciary Committee - it has to pass Lautenberg's committee first right, the Homeland Security Committee - Collins just said 'no - we're going to do S494 - we're not even going to look at this model bill' So the ranking Dem, Lieberman, said exactly the same - he's simply not going to have anything to do with it. Akaka - he's like a parrot - he follows Lieberman's act, and won't do his own thing. So the top two senior democrats on the Homeland Security Committee have left Lautenberg isolated - because he dared introduce some legislation that has some teeth - and Lieberman and Akaka just turned their back on him. Zero support. And it’s such a let-down - because if you can't get the support of the top two Dems in the committee, do you think the Republicans will support it? No - they'll eat you alive. So Lautenberg hasn’t been able to do anything with it. That was one of the main things with Lieberman that I forgot to mention. A huge thing.

Someone told me - and I know people who know all this stuff - they said that several very influential Israeli lobbies are putting their support behind Lieberman - and that they are going to really really rally for him. There you go. So the obvious question is why the hell would these Israeli lobbies come to his support?

Lieberman is a pathetic case!

(update: another case that Lieberman refused to touch was the 'House of Death: Juarez Murders' case, involving DEA murders in Mexico. The whistleblower is GS 14 level, Supervisory Special Agent, Sandalio Gonzalez)

(Lieberman excerpt copied here)

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger
House Committee on Government Reform.
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

There is one person who is on the bottom of the list in terms of importance - but nonetheless he is the only Democrat in the House that I have seen who is absolutely pro-secrecy. He is on the Homeland Security Committee - Ruppersberger, from Maryland. He's also on the Gov. Reform & Intelligence Committee. When I explained this thing from last September when the Democrats introduced these amendments and Tom Davis said 'No - I'm not even going to consider it' and they passed it without those amendments - Ruppersberger was the only Democrat opposing it saying 'no - these issue deal with National Security and secret stuff and should be dealt with behind closed doors, by the Intelligence Committee' and I was like 'Who the hell is that guy? He’s sitting on the democrats’ side and he's harder than the Republicans opposing the whistleblowers!' - they said 'he's always been like that - that's Ruppersberger'. That was my first experience with him.

Ruppersberger is also Russ Tice's representative - and Russ Tice, besides this NSA eavesdropping thing, his whistleblower case has to do with this espionage case that he reported 2.5-3 years ago - and he was retaliated against - that was when they sent him to the shrink's office. That is the way the NSA retaliates - they gave him the 'red badge' (clarification via email: When NSA pulls a whistleblower's security clearance, it gives them this Red Badge to wear at all times, which shows they are not clear/they have no access to info/they are under investigations...Then, they put them in these positions, in Tice's case: Parking attendant, where they are humiliated and are seen by every other employees with their Red Badge. They want to humiliate the whistleblower; they want to intimidate others) - and all the angst he went through. They put him on admin leave for three years and after that they fired him.

Ruppersberger was Russ' representative, but Ruppersberger's office never responded to him once. Never returned his calls once. Even after I sent his stuff to the Gov. Reform Committee - Shays was saying 'Wow - this is outrageous! I’m going to have an enquiry into NSA' and still Ruppersberger did nothing. No follow-up. So it's another good example of abdication of responsibility - because one of the things that whistleblowers do is when they contact their senators and reps - they contact those in the appropriate committees - those that I was talking about - the FBI goes to the Judiciary Committee or the Gov. Reform Committee etc - but they also always go to their local congressmen and senators.

Russ Tice is a very good example of this - and here his representative who is also on two appropriate committees dealing with NSA a) the Intelligence Committee and b) the Gov. Reform & Homeland Security Committee - and not a single response, or a single briefing, or a single meeting with his constituent, Russ Tice.

Ruppersberger is pro-secrecy, unreasonable secrecy, without oversight - he's pro-NSA's illegal eavesdropping, and he has let down a major whistleblower case - a high profile case - from someone who is also a constituent. This despite the fact that Ruppersberger is on 2 relevant committees.

That's why Ruppersberger is on the list.

(Ruppersberger excerpt copied here)

Senator Rick Santorum
Senate Finance Committee
Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference

Moving on - Santorum is equal to Hastert’s position - those two are exactly are the same - because he's the Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference - and he has the same position as Hastert. Talking to groups like GAT (they have been around for 25 years) - Santorum has been very consistent in terms of always standing against any whistleblower legislation - both in terms of directly blocking - and also his influence on other Republicans. As an aside, if someone like Grassley stands up for some whistleblowers, it's Santorum who says 'calm down - you don’t want to go too far with that - you don’t want to piss off the FBI, for example - we don’t want to see this sort of thing - so cool it off' - so Santorum has exactly the same position as Hastert - in terms of having a leadership position. Pennsylvania is just a short ride from here - I’ll be happy to get involved in this particular election.

NSWBC Letter to Santorum Re: Whistleblowers' Dirty Dozen

(Santorum excerpt copied here)

Rep. James Sensenbrenner
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee

Sensenbrenner - again - he's in a leadership position. Chairman, Republican, House Judiciary Committee. The Senate Judiciary Committee has at least had people like Grassley - even though he's a Republican - to a certain degree he has been supportive. With the House we have this great ranking minority leader, Conyers, but on the other hand - Sensenbrenner - the House Judiciary Committee - and the chairman’s office, don’t even touch whistleblower cases - and the most relevant committee to whistleblower cases is the Judiciary Committee - and Sensenbrenner has always stood against whistleblowers - and the best cases that I'm compiling against him are actually coming from conservative federal air-marshals - and how long they have been trying to get his attention. Under his committee - Finance - he has just absolutely been against whistleblowers - and against holding any hearings - and has been rejecting bringing any kind of meaningful legislation for a vote - so you know - whatever Conyers has tried to do for whistleblowers - he has blocked and simply says 'no - we're not going to do it' so again - Sensenbrenner’s vote record shows how he has been on whistleblowers issues - and accountability and transparency.

Both Sensenbrenner and Hatch are just incredible.

(Update: Sensenbrenner also refused to touch the 'House of Death: Juarez Murders' case, involving DEA murders in Mexico. The whistleblower is GS 14 level, Supervisory Special Agent, Sandalio Gonzalez)

(Sensenbrenner excerpt copied here)

Rep. Mark Souder
Gov. Reform Committee

Another short one - this one is very easy! I’m going to send you a link to a video - and all you need to do is tell your readers to watch this video (30 secs) of this asshole! Mark Souder. He’s on the Gov. Reform Committee - Republican, Indiana. He’s a buffoon! This guy gets up and he doesn’t even know what whistleblower protection is about. He’s a complete dummy, from Indiana. So they had a hearing and this idiot didn’t even know that it was being video-taped. So he stands up and starts attacking whistleblowers - he said ‘Whistleblowers? Whistleblowers? They don’t need protection! These people are millionaires! Celebrities! They make movies, they make books, and they get millions of dollars! It's not like they are out there starving and need protection! I haven't seen one Whistleblowers panning for bread!" so one of the congressional offices called me right away and said 'Sibel! You’ve gotta hear this guy! We’ve got it on video!"

He's from Indiana right - it's a pretty conservative state - so I called my conservative whistleblowers - DoD, and Vietnam vets - and told them - ya know - I’m not going to have much luck here. You guys go and contact these people - because you're conservative and veterans and so on.' So these guys went on the blogs and called up the media - and these veterans jumped into it - they loved it. So they started bombarding Souder with letters (see here) saying 'what the hell are you talking about, you idiot!' you have been mischaracterizing whistleblowers as millionaires with book and movie deals! You know, of all the whistleblowers we have seen over the past 5 years, there are only a couple - Richard Clarke got a book deal - I don’t have members like that. Many of our members are unemployed, and broke - after decades of decorated service to their country! They are despondent - trying to make their mortgage payments, trying to keep their marriages together, trying to find work - and yet, still committed to stopping these crimes that are going on.

And I can give so many examples of our whistleblowers. I don’t have a whistleblower who has received a penny out of whistleblowing! It’s outrageous! Some of these people have already lost their homes - and their marriages break up because it has been so hard for them - economically, and physically, and mentally - and this guy Souder gets up there - and his voting record is very clear - he is anti-whistleblowers - but also - well - just watch the video - he says 'All these whistleblowers have money, and fame - from books and movies - and he says 'It's not like they are out there panning for bread!'

So he's a moron - but he's a dangerous moron. For him to go and misrepresent whistleblowers this way it’s such a shameful act. These people are like today’s Paul Revere - they're the one who are doing the right thing - above their career - and above their future and above their 401k and their retirement. How many people would do that? Obviously - 99% don’t! Because they say 'hey - even though I think this is wrong - I’ve got to protect my family and my money etc' - so it's awful ok. I’ll also send you the letter that we sent to Souder - asking him to apologize and for him to say 'I was an idiot, and a moron - and I apologize, and I didn’t even know what being a whistleblower meant! I have to go look it up in the dictionary!' you know - just come out and apologize and take it back - and he's staff was like 'No! He's not going to do that!' - so I said 'Well, we'll take the issue directly to the people in his district'

(Souder excerpt copied here)

Thanks Sibel.

(Sibel rocks.)

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