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Magpie

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Reply with quote  #31 

Update:

MP to investigate Dr Kelly's death

Hélène Mulholland
Friday May 19, 2006


A backbench MP is to investigate the "unanswered questions" from the official inquiry into the death of weapons scientist Dr David Kelly.
 

The former Liberal Democrat environmental spokesman Norman Baker today revealed his decision to stand down from the shadow cabinet two months ago was based on a quest to establish the "truth" behind Dr Kelly's death.

 

Mr Baker said he wanted to return to the issue because the 2003 Hutton inquiry had "blatantly failed to get to the bottom of matters".

 

He vowed to question ministers and to unearth new facts in a bid to establish the "truth" of the case.

Dr Kelly was found dead on July 18 2003 after being named as the possible source of a BBC story on the government's Iraq dossier.

Later that month Lord Hutton was appointed head of an independent inquiry into the events surrounding Dr Kelly's death. After a two-month inquiry, Lord Hutton concluded the scientist had taken his own life.

Oxford coroner Nicholas Gardiner subsequently looked into the possibility of reopening the inquest into Dr Kelly's death, but after reviewing the evidence with the lord chancellor, decided that there was no case for doing so.

Mr Baker explained that he had decided to wait until he relinquished his environmental role before embarking on an investigation to find out the "truth" that the Hutton inquiry had failed to deliver.

"It did not answer questions," he told Guardian Unlimited today.

"It was not carried out using proper rules of evidence, people were not giving evidence under oath and the whole thing became a criticism of the BBC."

Mr Baker said he had given himself a year to carry out his inquiries. This will include revising the medical evidence, interviews with experts and looking at issues relating to the government's "behaviour" in the affair, as well as the weapons of mass destruction claims made in the months preceding Dr Kelly's death.

Mr Baker admitted he already holds a "number of theories" about the scientist's death, but declined to speculate so early into his investigation, which began two months ago just after he stood down from his shadow post.

 

Mr Baker, who is known for his forensic use of parliamentary questions, insisted his decision to stand down after six years as environment spokesman was his choice alone.

 

"I have long been unhappy about the sequence of events and I was unhappy at the time about the way the Hutton inquiry was conducted and I wanted to free up some time to look into this," he said.

 

"I haven't informed the party leadership yet," he added. Asked if Dr Kelly's widow, Janice, was aware of his plans, Mr Baker said: "I recognise the sensitivity of the matter for the family and the need to speak with them, but only if they prepared to do so."

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Let's hope Norman Baker, not only gets to establish the "truth" behind Dr Kelly's death, but is enabled to report the full facts in public without 'intervention' from other 'bodies'.

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Reply with quote  #32 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magpie

 

Let's hope Norman Baker, not only gets to establish the "truth" behind Dr Kelly's death, but is enabled to report the full facts in public without 'intervention' from other 'bodies'.

Hi Magpie...thanks for your post and well said, too.

 

Key points: The Hutton report
Here are the major points from Lord Hutton's report into events surrounding the death of weapons expert Dr David Kelly.

ON DR KELLY'S DEATH

  • Dr Kelly took his own life and no third party was involved

  • No-one involved could have contemplated that Dr Kelly would take his own life as a result of the pressures he felt

    THE HUTTON REPORT
    Full Report
    (PDF file 2MB)

  • Dr Kelly was not an easy man to help or to whom to give advice

  • Can not be certain of factors that drove Dr Kelly to suicide

  • Dr Kelly probably killed himself because of extreme loss of self-esteem and would have seen himself as being publicly disgraced

  • Dr Kelly would have felt his job was at risk and that his life's work could be undermined

    ON ANDREW GILLIGAN'S REPORT

  • Andrew Gilligan's report that Downing Street "probably knew" the 45-minute claim in its Iraq dossier was wrong was a grave allegation and attacked the integrity of the government and the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)

  • The 45-minute claim in the Iraq dossier was based on a report received by the intelligence services that they believed to be reliable

  • Whether or not that source was subsequently shown to be unreliable, the central allegation made by Andrew Gilligan in his BBC report was unfounded

  • The allegation that the reason the claim was not in the original draft of the dossier was because it was only from one source and the intelligence service did not believe it to be true, was also unfounded

  • It is not possible to reach a definite conclusion as to what Dr Kelly said to Mr Gilligan

  • Satisfied Dr Kelly did not say to Mr Gilligan that the government knew the 45-minute claim was wrong or that intelligence agencies did not believe it was necessarily true

    ON THE BBC

  • Editorial system at BBC was defective in allowing Mr Gilligan's report to go to air without editors seeing a script

  • BBC management failed to make an examination of Mr Gilligan's notes of the interview with Dr Kelly

  • There was a defect in the BBC's management system relating to the way complaints were investigated

  • BBC governors failed to investigate Mr Gilligan's actions properly

    ON THE PREPARATION OF THE DOSSIER

  • The Prime Minister's desire to have as compelling a dossier as possible may have subconsciously influenced the JIC to make the language of the dossier stronger than they would otherwise have done

  • The JIC and its chairman, John Scarlett, were concerned to ensure that the contents of the dossier were consistent with the intelligence available to the JIC

  • The dossier could be said to be "sexed up" if this term is taken to mean it was drafted to make the case against Saddam as strong as intelligence permitted

  • But in the context of Mr Gilligan's report, "sexed up" would be understood to mean the dossier was embellished with items of intelligence known or believed to be false or unreliable. This allegation is unfounded

    ON THE NAMING OF DR KELLY

  • There was no underhand government strategy to name Dr Kelly

  • It was necessary to have Dr Kelly before the foreign affairs committee

  • If details that a civil servant had come forward to volunteer he had met Mr Gilligan had been withheld, the government would have been accused of a cover-up

  • The Government's belief that Dr Kelly's name was bound to come out was well founded

  • MoD did take some steps to help Dr Kelly once his name was made public

  • The MoD was at fault in the way it dealt with Dr Kelly once his name was made public

  • MoD failed to tell Dr Kelly his name would be made public

  • Dr Kelly's exposure to press interest was only one of the issues putting him under stress

    OTHER ISSUES

  • The publishing of leaked extracts of the report in the Sun newspaper was deplorable

  • Investigative and legal action is being considered over the leak

  • Final submissions to the inquiry from parties involved are being made public

  • __________________
    I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".
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    Admin2

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    Reply with quote  #33 

    We were sitting in a secluded office. "Do you have any documents to back up what you are saying?" I asked David Shayler, the since-famous MI5 whistleblower. It was Wednesday, August 20 1997, and I was investigating, with fellow-writer Nick Fielding, the former security service officer's claims of bungling, negligence, secret surveillance and excessive bureaucracy endangering lives. To my astonishment, he admitted there were indeed some papers.

    The next day a package of 28 documents arrived. Most were photocopies, although at least one was an original with a circulation sheet still attached. They were mainly internal MI5 reports, marked "Top Secret UK Eyes Alpha Umbra Gamma" ... "UK-US Eyes Only" ... "Confidential", and so on. These included papers about Libyan dissidents by Shayler himself; a report entitled "Investigation of Subversive Organisations; and details of meetings between foreign office and Libyan officials in Cairo.

     

    ********************************************************

     

    Welcome to the official website of David Shayler - former MI5 officer and Whistleblower.

    David was arrested on 1st August 1998 and held, without charge for nearly four months in a Paris Jail until his release..

    After his arrest, David's family and friends were denied permission to visit him for over sixty days.

    He is now forced to live in exile in France.

    David's only crime is to have revealed ineptitude and malpractice within MI5, Britain's security service: shortcomings which have resulted in the waste of millions of pounds worth of taxpayers' money and, worse still, to the deaths of innocent civilians.

    This website has, during the period of David's incarceration, been at the vanguard of attempts to inform the public about the injustices suffered by David and to assemble messages of support.

    What David did

    In August 1997, David Shayler, a former MI5 officer, wrote a series of articles in a Sunday newspaper. The articles criticised MI5 in the public interest. One revealed how current ministers had been investigated as suspected fifth columnists. Another detailed how a left wing journalist was investigated because MI5 knowingly failed to follow its own legal procedures. Yet another detailed intransigent management, rampant drunkenness and declining morale within MI5.

    They were all issues that David had raised while in the Service but MI5 management had chosen to ignore. The articles did not damage national security.

    David later submitted two articles to the government. One detailed how in 1994 MI5 failed to react to an impending terrorist attack on the Israeli Embassy. The bomb went off, seriously injuring twenty people. Only luck meant that no lives were lost. The other recounted how in 1996 MI6-officers had plotted an assassination attempt against Colonel Qadhafi, the Libyan head of state. The attack went wrong killing innocent bystanders

    The authorities' response

    In their response to both examples, ministers have attempted to mislead or lie to the British people. They should not be allowed to get away with this.

    At the same time, David has been forced to live in political exile. We cannot pretend David has been tortured for speaking out. We cannot pretend that the government has thrown him in prison without trial. We cannot pretend that Britain is a totalitarian society.

    But David has been denied many of his basic human rights as a result of following his conscience. At the same time, the British government's tactics smack of totalitarianism. It has:

    • Censored David's disclosures. A government injunction continues to prevent him from speaking out about the intelligence services.
    • Pursued David using repressive laws, like the Official Secrets Act. It refuses to recognise basic liberties, like freedom of expression, which are supposed to be guaranteed in a democracy.
    • Refused to hear his evidence of crime and incompetence on the part of the intelligence services which has cost or put at risk the lives of the general public.
    • Had his friends arrested in co-ordinated dawn raids on the flimsiest of pretexts.
    • Had David thrown in prison in an attempt to extradite him, when he was in the process of speaking out about MI6's involvement in murder.
    • Connived in a cover-up with the intelligence establishment to ensure that David's evidence is not heard.

    After nearly four months' imprisonment for his beliefs, the French courts refused to extradite David and recognised his actions as political.

      Current state of play

      The UK government refuses to negotiate with David because, it claims, he is a criminal. That same government will not hear David's evidence concerning the MI6 murder plot or MI5's illegal enquiries.

      David's real 'crime' is to have embarrassed the intelligence establishment. Britain is the most secretive society in the West. Its officers use secrecy laws to hide their mistakes and protect their empires.

      On 1 January 2000, David Shayler had spent 861 days in exile, all for writing a newspaper article. It is in the interests of MI5, MI6 and the government that he is forgotten. David has made a courageous stand in support of our rights in Britain. He now needs funding and practical support to ensure that the authorities in the UK are held to account for turning a blind eye to criminal acts on the part of the intelligence services.

      Don't let him be forgotten.

      Stop press! The statement about the Qadhafi Plot

      The letter that Annie handed to Special Branch today (27 March 2000) and our comments will be posted here shortly.

      Stop Press! David's Reaction to  Arrest of Supporter

      8th March 2000

      "I think it is scandalous that the government is once again resorting to bully-boy tactics to stifle debate about the role of the intelligence services in a modern democracy.  The police have insufficient evidence to charge Julie Ann, but still require her to answer police bail over the next few months.  It seems to be a deliberate attempt to deter people from joining the PF1 Campaign.  I find it astonishing that Special Branch officers obviously appear to feel they can intimidate innocent campaigners but continue to shirk their duty to investigate the involvement of MI6 officers in an unsanctioned plot to murder Colonel Gadaffi of Libya.  "

      Read the full press release here

      Also, read Secret Service Bullies (The Guardian)

      Stop Press! One of David's Supporter's Arrested

      7th March 2000

      In a sign of mounting desperation at their inability to silence David and his supporters, the government yesterday sanctioned the arrest by special branch officers of Julie-Ann Davies, a student and supporter of David's "Public Friend No 1" campaign. The nature of  the allegations against Julie-Ann is unclear. The Police would say only that she was being questioned in connection with possible breaches of the Official Secrets Act. Read the BBC Online Story This is beginning to look like the start of a campaign to intimidate David and his friends. Will this webmaster be next, I wonder?

      Statement from David

      15th February 2000

      "Although the CX document revealed on the Internet does not absolutely confirm that MI6 paid an agent for the subsequent attack, it is clear that MI6 had a source involved in a coup plot against Qadhafi at the time I described and that the foreign office was aware of this. Cook's assertion therefore that there was "no basis in fact" or that "it is pure fantasy" for my disclosures is wrong. It is at best misleading, if not an outright lie.

      Worse, the "pure fantasy" jibe led many commentators to conclude that I was a fantasist and to call into question the veracity of my other disclosures. I maintain that Cook knew he had misled the British people as soon as he made the comment as he went beyond his civil service brief. As head of Britain's intelligence services, Tony Blair is implicated in this cover-up. We need to know what he knew about this and when as he has connived in misleading -- or lying to -- the British people.

      We will only know the truth of the matter if we have a full independent enquiry into the plot (and my other disclosures). Without that no one can say hand on heart what happened (apart from me. I was briefed on the plot at the time). Anything less sends out the wrong signal to MI6. Anything less suggests that MI6 is above the law or that MI6 can continue to carry out illegal operations without government interference. I need hardly tell you how that begins to eat away at the rule of law and also to undermine our democracy because unelected intelligence officers decide our foreign policy, not our elected representatives. I confidently believe that any enquiry will vindicate me.

      Many MPs including the Intelligence and Security Committee are now looking negligent and foolhardy for not pursuing my disclosures more vigorously. They shouldn't be caught out a second time or the people will begin to think that parliament and the opposition in general has no credibility whatsoever.

      Cheers
      Dave"

      'Highlights of the Shaylergate Site

      Visitors wishing to get rapidly up to speed on some of the background should visit the FAQ section and the SECRETS and LIES briefing section. Some of the earlier media reports about David are included in the NEWS section, whilst there is a collection of some of David's articles and letters in the DAVID WRITES section (some of this is old now, but worth a look)

      Links to David's recent articles for PUNCH magazine are on the right hand side of this page.

      If you would like to leave some comments on what you have read, and/or get involved in some lively debate on the issues, you can leave a message in the GUEST BOOK, or visit the unmoderated FORUM section. (Be warned, however, some of the contributors here are serious wackos!)

      Don't take our word for it!

      Prominent Channel 4 comedian Mark Thomas recently did a show which highlighted quite brilliantly the absurdity of a man being incarcerated and forced to live in exile simply for 'reporting a crime'. Visit his website at Channel 4 Television - The Mark Thomas Product


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      Magpie

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      Reply with quote  #34 

      05 May 2006
      For Immediate Release

      IPCC praises the actions of four Metropolitan Police Officers

      The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has today praised the courage of four Metropolitan Police Service Officers who came forward to report the behaviour of a colleague following an incident in August 2005.

      The officers reported PC Mark Tuffey, 45, after they heard him using racially aggravated insulting words and behaviour whilst on duty on 31 August 2005 in Tooting Bec Road, Wandsworth, SW17.

      PC Mark Tuffey, based at Wimbledon police station appeared at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court on 4 May 2006. He was found guilty on one count of racially aggravated abusive or threatening words and ordered to pay £400 fine and £400 costs.

      Nicola Williams, IPCC Commissioner who launched a supervised IPCC investigation into the incident said:

      “The officers who reported their colleague have sent out a very clear message – this kind of behaviour is not representative of the majority of hard working and professional police officers and has no place in a modern Police Service.  I would like to personally thank the officers for their courage and for challenging PC Tuffey’s behaviour.”

      Officers from the Metropolitan Police's Directorate for Professional Standards carried out the investigation under the supervision of the IPCC.  The IPCC believed that the officer's behaviour could result in a CPS prosecution and advised the investigating officer to pursue this course of action as well as consider the misconduct issues.

      Magpie

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      Reply with quote  #35 

      WHISTLEBLOWER GAGGED!!

      MEDIA SUPPRESSION OF PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE OF POLICE CORRUPTION IN VICTORIA - BY RAYMOND HOSER - AUTHOR OF THE BOOKS - THE HOSER FILES - THE FIGHT AGAINST ENTRENCHED OFFICIAL CORRUPTION, VICTORIA POLICE CORRUPTION - HOSER FILES 2 AND MORE VICTORIA POLICE CORRUPTION - HOSER FILES 3.

      "There is no Police corruption in Victoria." "Victoria has the finest Police force anywhere", and similar quotes are common in the Victorian mainstream media. While in Victoria, the newspapers don't mind admitting that there is something rotten about the Police forces in other Australian states such as New South Wales and Queensland, they refuse to admit to even the slightest corruption in this state. It seems that once one crosses the Murray River at Albury, the Police suddenly become holier than the Vatican (as the saying goes). While it is absurd to expect all 10,000 odd uniformed Police in Victoria to be incapable of doing wrong, this is the very line being peddled by the Victoria Police and their allies in the mainstream media. In spite of the senseless shooting of over 30 civilians in recent years, many of whom were unarmed, a total of which is the same as all other Australian Police forces combined, not once has the Police Commissioner or his expensive media unit said "our officer made a mistake", "our man made an error of judgement", "we are only human" or anything similar. Every time another civilian has their brains blasted out by the Police or someone elsewhere alleges misconduct in the Victoria Police, the media and Police attacks their critics with all means available. To criticise the Police force - no matter how constructive the criticism is, is automatically treated as treason. Recent (1994-8) examples of Police misconduct and/or corruption in Victoria include the following cases:-

       

       

      • Victoria is by the admission of Police themselves, now the illegal drugs capital of Australia. Whistleblowers Mick Skrijel, Peter McCartney and others recently gave evidence (and proof) at a drugs inquiry that the Victorian Police were the main dealers in Melbourne. Their evidence was not reported by the media, even though their reporters were in attendance.

      http://www.smuggled.com/vrb4.htm (Interesting Australian site on Police Corruption. Many Article Links here)  http://www.smuggled.com/aac1.htm

       

       

       

      Another Strathclyde Police Force by the sounds of it!!

      Admin

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      Reply with quote  #36 
      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Magpie
       

       

      Another Strathclyde Police Force by the sounds of it!!

      That sounds about right Magpie...

       

      Hi Admin2 & Magpie... thanks for your posts with regards to 'The Whistle Blowers'.

       

      With regards to Admin2's post on David Shayler, the MI5 whistle blower, I found this extremely interesting, as well as the links contained within the post. 

       

      I found Magpie's post with regards to 'Whistle blowers Gagged' very interesting indeed, and the link to the site on police corruption was good.  It would seem that police corruption exists everywhere, and now that it has been identified in Australia, I thought this may be of interest.

       

      Whistle blowers Australia

      Whistleblowers Australia Inc. is an association for those who have exposed corruption or any form of malpractice, especially if they were then hindered or abused, and for those who are thinking of exposing it, or who wish to support those who are doing so.



      Request for Information: Illegal Billing Practices of Law Firms
       
      We are interested in receiving reports of illegal or unethical billing practices perpetrated by law firms in Australia. We have already received reliable reports of law firms billing more than one client for the same service, for example, and also of overcharging. We would like to receive more information and evidence. ALL information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence. The identities of those providing information will not be disclosed unless explicit permission is received. Information that would identify the source will not be released or used without explicit permission, or we will work with the source to make sure that the source's identity is protected. In particular, we'd like to receive evidence of these malpractices in Family Law firms, especially those in Parramatta, NSW. Obviously,documentary evidence will be particularly useful.
      If you can assist with evidence, please contact us (the NSW Branch) preferably via our main WBA contact email address on our Contacts page.   
       

      Whistleblowers
      A person is a whistleblower by her/his actions and does not need to be registered or identified with any organisation.
      The goal of Whistleblowers Australia (WBA) is to help promote a society in which it is possible to speak out without reprisal about corruption, dangers to the public and environment, and other vital social issues, and to help those who speak out in this way to help themselves.
       
      WBA uses two main approaches to achieve this goal. The first is to encourage self-help and mutual help among whistleblowers, and the second is to support campaigns on specific issues.

      Self-help and mutual help
      The best ways for whistleblowers to succeed in their own efforts is for them to develop their own skills and understanding and to exchange insights with others in similar situations. WBA facilitates self-help by providing articles and leaflets to whistleblowers and by publishing a newsletter. The organisation facilitates mutual help by holding meetings of  whistleblowers and supporters, and by providing contacts with like-minded individuals and groups.

      Campaigns
      WBA supports initiatives and ongoing efforts to create a culture where people can speak out without reprisal. Some campaigns are:
      • Whistleblower legislation. Whistleblowers can be protected by laws against reprisals. In 1996 there were five whistleblower acts in Australia, with no conformity between them. All have severe flaws and have been criticised by whistleblower organisations. One problem is that they provide no protection against attacks in the first place.
      • Free speech for employees. Repressive legislation and bureaucracies inhibit many workers from making disclosures. This legislation needs to be repealed. The right of private sector employees to speak out on issues of social importance also needs to be promoted.
      The organisation
       WBA began as Whistleblowers Anonymous in 1991, and was incorporated is its present form in 1993. Membership is open to anyone who supports the goals of the organisation. Members include charity workers,  church employees, corporate employees, doctors, police, public servants, researchers, teachers and concerned citizens in  general.
       
       WBA has a committee or contact in each state, plus a national committee. Some of the state committees organise regular meetings for whistleblower self-help and mutual help. The national committee maintains links between state groups, handles memberships, produces a newsletter and helps promote campaigns.
       
      In the few years since it was set up, WBA has accomplished a great deal. It has promoted whistleblower legislation, called for royal commissions into corruption and generally given whistleblowing a much higher profile. Just as important is its quiet work in supporting individual whistleblowers. It provides enormous benefits from shared expertise, moral support, access to research, and links to relevant networks.
       
       Nevertheless, there are limits to what WBA can do. It does not normally act as an advocate for individual whistleblowers. It has only minimal funds obtained from memberships. All committee members act on a voluntary basis. Unfortunately, WBA does not have the resources to campaign on any individual's behalf. What WBA can do is provide information and contacts so that whistleblowers and their supporters can become more effective in achieving their own goals.  

      http://www.whistleblowers.org.au


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      Magpie

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      Reply with quote  #37 

      The Sunday Times July 02, 2006

      New laws to punish whistle blowers


      JOHN REID, the home secretary, is planning a new official secrets law to punish intelligence officers who blow the whistle on government policy by leaking secret information.

      He wants longer jail sentences and the removal of a key legal defence of “necessity” for whistleblowers.

      The crackdown is aimed at preventing cases such as that of Katharine Gun, a former translator at GCHQ, the government’s eavesdropping centre, who leaked a memo showing that in the months before the Iraq war in 2003 the Americans wanted GCHQ’s help in bugging the homes and offices of UN security council members.

      The government dropped its case against her after she threatened to use the necessity defence that she broke the law to prevent a greater “crime” in the form of an invasion of Iraq.

      Ministers are also concerned at the growing number of leaks of sensitive documents by dissident officials, including those relating to the MI5 investigation into the July 7 bombings.

      It will be the first change to the official secrets legislation since 1989 when the government removed the right of whistleblowers to claim a defence of public interest.

      Reid wants the bill to be included in this autumn’s Queen’s Speech so it can be brought into law during the next session of parliament.

      The proposals could see the present maximum of two years in prison in the 1989 Official Secrets Act doubled to four.

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      Reply with quote  #38 

      A whistleblower is an employee, former employee, or member of an organization who reports misconduct to people or entities that have the power to take corrective action. Generally the misconduct is a violation of law, rule, regulation and/or a direct threat to public interest -- fraud, health, safety violations, and corruption are just a few examples. For instance, Jeffrey Wigand is well-known in the United States for exposing the Big Tobacco scandal, revealing that executives of the companies knew that cigarettes were addictive and that they added other carcinogenic ingredients to the cigarettes. Whistleblowers are most often employees of businesses, but are also often employees of government agencies.

      Contents

      [hide]

      Overview

      Any kind of misconduct may prompt whistleblowing, with the vast majority of cases are based on relatively minor misconduct. The most common type of whistleblowers are internal whistleblowers, who report misconduct to another employee or superior within their company or agency. In contrast, external whistleblowers report misconduct to outside persons or entities. In these cases, depending on the severity and nature of the wrong-doing, whistleblowers may report the misconduct to lawyers, the media, law enforcement or watchdog agencies, or to other local, state, or federal agencies.

      If the disclosure is specifically prohibited by law or is specifically required by executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense the reporting by a whistleblower might be considered by a few to be treason. However, in the United States, there are not any cases in which the whistleblower has been tried for "treason" and it is not treasonous to blow the whistle on illegal conduct by government officials.

      Moreover, under most U.S. federal whistleblower statutes, in order to be considered a whistleblower the employee must reasonably believe his or her employer has committed a violation of some law, rule or regulation; testify or commence a legal proceeding on the legally protected matter; or refuse to violate the law.

      There are those who view whistleblowing narrowly and try to limit the impact of whistleblowing by arguing that so-called role-prescribed whistleblowing, for example whistleblowing done by quality control personnel or internal auditors, does not constitute whistleblowing in the traditional sense, because the purpose of the employment is to report such things. However, the U.S. courts have uniformily held that persons who hold quality control or auditor positions are protected from retaliation for reporting violations of law or regulations.

      There is a false dichotomy between "internal" and "external" whistleblowing, and under U.S. federal law, many courts have failed to distinguish between the two. For example, in the field of federal environmental whistleblowing the federal courts have held that protecting "internal" whistleblowing is wise as a matter of public policy because whistleblower statutes are intended to encourage the free flow of information to prevent violations, "internal" reporting promotes resolving problems at the earliest possible stage, and discouraging "internal" reporting can have disastrous consequences.

      Reactions to whistleblowing

      Ideas about whistleblowing vary widely. Some see whistleblowers as selfless martyrs for public interest and organizational accountability; others view them as "snitches", solely pursuing personal glory and fame. Because the majority of cases are very low-profile and receive little or no media attention and because whistleblowers who do report significant misconduct are usually put in some form of danger or persecution, the latter view is generally less held.

      Persecution of whistleblowers has become a serious issue in many parts of the world. Although whistleblowers are often protected under law from employer retaliation, there have been many cases where punishment for whistleblowing has occurred. For example, in the United States, most whistleblower protection laws provide for limited "make whole" remedies or damages for employment losses if whistleblower retaliation is proven. However, many whistleblowers report there exists a wide-spread "shoot the messenger" mentality by corporations or government agencies accused of misconduct and in some cases whistleblowers have been subjected to criminal prosecution in reprisal for reporting wrongdoing.

      As a reaction to this many private organizations have formed whistleblower legal defense funds or support groups to assist whistleblowers; one such example in the UK is Public Concern at Work. Depending on the circumstances, it is not uncommon for whistleblowers to be ostracized by their co-workers, discriminated against by future potential employers, or even fired from their organization.

      Whistleblower law

      Legal protection for whistleblowing varies from country to country. In the UK, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 provides a framework of legal protection for individuals who disclose information so as to expose malpractice and matters of similar concern. In the vernacular, it protects whistleblowers from victimisation and dismissal.

      In the United States, legal protections vary according to the subject matter of the whistleblowing, and sometimes the state in which the case arises. In passing the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Senate Judiciary Committee found that whistleblower protections were dependent on the "patchwork and vagaries" of varying state statutes. (Congressional Record p. S7412; S. Rep. No. 107-146, 107th Cong., 2d Session 19 (2002).) Still, a wide variety of federal and state laws protect employees who call attention to violations, help with enforcement proceedings, or refuse to obey unlawful directions.

      The patchwork of laws means that victims of retaliation need to be alert to the laws at issue to determine the deadlines and means for making proper complaints. Some deadlines are as short as 10 days (for Arizona State Employees to file a "Prohibited Personnel Practice" Complaint before the Arizona State Personnel Board; and Ohio public employees to file appeals with the State Personnel Board of Review). It is 30 days for environmental whistleblowers to make a written complaint to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA]. Federal employees complaining of discrimination, retaliation or other violations of the civil rights laws have 45 days to make a written complaint to their agency's equal employment opportunity (EEO) officer. Airline workers and corporate fraud whistleblowers have 90 days to make their complaint to OSHA. Nuclear whistleblowers and truck drivers have 180 days to make complaints to OSHA. Victims of retaliation against union organizing and other concerted activities to improve working conditions have 180 days to make complaints to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Private sector employees have either 180 or 300 days to make complaints to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (depending on whether their state has a "deferral" agency) for discrimination claims on the basis of race, gender, age, national origin or religion. Those who face retaliation for seeking minimum wages or overtime have either two or three years to file a civil lawsuit, depending on whether the court finds the violation was "willful."

      Those who report a false claim against the federal government, and suffer adverse employment actions as a result, may have up to six years (depending on state law) to file a civil suit for remedies under the U.S. False Claims Act (FCA). 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h). Under a "qui tam" provision, the "original source" for the report may be entitled to a percentage of what the government recovers from the offenders. However, the "original source" must also be the first to file a federal civil complaint for recovery of the federal funds fraudulently obtained, and must avoid publicizing the claim of fraud until the U.S. Justice Department decides whether to prosecute the claim itself. Such "qui tam" lawsuits must be filed under seal, using special procedures to keep the claim from becoming public until the federal government makes its decision on direct prosecution.

      Federal employees could benefit from the Whistleblower Protection Act (5 U.S.C. § 1221(e)), and the No Fear Act (which made individual agencies directly responsible for the economic sanctions of unlawful retaliation) if the Office of Special Counsel will uphold their case.

      The Military Whistleblower Protection Act (10 U.S.C. § 1034), protects the right of members of the armed services to communicate with any member of Congress (even if copies of the communication are sent to others).

      The HOPE Scholarship in Georgia is the only incentive to report corporate, government, or religious crimes. This scholarship provides four years of free tuition to a tech school or University in Georgia for children of whistleblowers or those researching corporate crime.

      For more information about how whistleblowers can file an initial complaint, see External links

      Famous whistleblowers

      • Richard Convertino is a former federal prosecutor who obtained the first conviction of a defendant in a terrorism case post-9/11. After Convertino testified before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee in September 2003 about the lack of Bush Administration support of anti-terrorism prosecutions post-9/11, Convertino alleges the Justice Department leaked information and violated a court order to publicly smear him in retaliation for his whistleblowing. Additionally, the Justice Department indicted Convertino for obstruction of justice and lying, which Convertino alleges is further whistleblower retaliation.
      • Sibel Edmonds - a former FBI translator naturalized American citizen of Turkish descent, who was fired in 2002 by the FBI for attempting to report coverups of security issues, potential espionage, and incompetence. She has been gagged by the State Secrets Privilege in her efforts to go to court on these issues, including a rejection recently by the United States Supreme Court to hear her case without comment. She is now founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC) that is looking to lobby congress and help other whistleblowers with legal and other forms of assistance.
      • Christoph Meili - a night guard at a Swiss bank. He discovered that his employer was destroying records of savings by Holocaust victims, which the bank was required to return to heirs of the victims. After the Swiss authorities sought to arrest Meili, he was given political asylum in the United States.
      • Linda Tripp - former White House staff member who disclosed to the Office of Independent Counsel that Monica Lewinsky committed perjury and attempted to suborn perjury, and President William J. Clinton committed misconduct, by denying the Clinton-Lewinsky relationship in the Paula Jones federal civil rights suit.
      • Jeffrey Wigand - former executive of Brown & Williamson who exposed his company's practice of intentionally manipulating the effect of nicotine in cigarettes on the CBS news program 60 Minutes. Famously known as the man who blew the whistle on Big Tobacco and almost single-handedly revealed the health dangers of smoking to the public.
      • Frederic Whitehurst - Chemist, Federal Bureau of Investigation, was the FBI Laboratory's foremost expert on explosives residue in the 1990's, and became the first modern-day FBI whistleblower. He reported lack of scientific standards and serious flaws in the FBI Lab, including in the first World Trade Center bombing cases and the Oklahoma City bombing case. Dr. Whitehurst's whistleblower disclosures triggered an overhaul of the FBI's crime lab following a report by the U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General in 1997. Dr. Whitehust filed a federal lawsuit claiming whistleblower retaliation, and he reached a settlement with the FBI worth more than $1.16 million. [3] Whitehurst now directs the FBI Oversight Project of the National Whistleblower Center.[4]
      • A. Earnest Fitzgerald - Department of Defense auditor, was fired in 1973 by President Richard M. Nixon for exposing to Congress the tidal wave of cost overruns associated with Lockheed's C-5A cargo plane. After protracted litigation he was reinstated to the civil service and continued to report cost overruns and military contractor fraud, including discovery in the 1980's that the Air Force was being charged $400 for hammers and $600 for toilet seats. Mr. Fitzgerald retired from the Defense Department in 2006

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      8 August 2006 A WHISTLEBLOWER cop has been awarded £15,000
      over threats to sack him.

      PC Douglas Fisher, 32, was told he faced "almost certain dismissal" if he continued to make official complaints about work practices.

      He had raised health and safety concerns about plans for police to patrol alone on his tough beat in Hilltown, Dundee.

      After a row with his police federation representative, he prepared a protest motion signed by almost 70 officers.

      He also raised the matter with MSP Rose anna Cunningham, who backed their concerns.

      But his supervisors sent him a letter, warning him: "If you value your future prospects in this job, you will do well to transmit more positive signals."

      Douglas, who has 10 years service with the force, was also denied promotion from constable to sergeant.

      He took the force to a Dundee employment tribunal who unanimously ruled in his favour yesterday.

      They said the letter he had received had been "offensive" and "job-threatening".

      Tayside Police had tried to stop the case going ahead, arguing Douglas had not complained through the proper channels.

      But the tribunal ruled that he had been reasonable in raising his concerns.

      Yesterday, Douglas, of Dundee, said he was "delighted and relieved" at the decision.

      He added: "My only intention throughout all of this was to safeguard the health and safety of police officers."


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      The Times August 29, 2006

      Junk mail 'whistleblower' faces sack


      Postman may lose job after telling householders how to avoid the daily avalanche of unwanted mail

      Click here to see how you could stop unwanted post

      AFTER more than ten years as a postman, Roger Annies was feeling weighed down by the increasing amounts of junk mail he was being told to deliver.

      Fed up with householders’ complaints about the avalanche of takeaway menus, credit-card offers, leisurewear catalogues and other unsolicited adverts dropping through their letterboxes, he took matters into his own hands.

      Knowing that a simple “No junk mail” notice might not be enough to ward off the unwanted items, Mr Annies, 48, from Barry, South Wales, began delivering his own leaflets, informing residents how they could evade the unaddressed letters and flyers officially known as “door-to-door items”.

      As a result he has now been suspended from his job by the Royal Mail Group, for whom junk mail is a lucrative source of income.

      Last year the group delivered 3.3 billion door-to-door items — 12.1 per cent more than the previous year. There had been a self-imposed limit of three items per household each week, but Royal Mail last week lifted the cap, leaving holidaymakers to face bigger piles of junk mail when they return home.

      Mr Annies has been accused of misconduct for notifying residents of an opt-out service that the Post Office provides on request. He could face being dismissed.

      His leaflet read: “As you will have certainly already noticed, your postman is not only delivering your mail; he/she also has to deliver some (anonymous) advertising material called door-to-door items. For the near future, Royal Mail plans to increase your advertising mail. This will mean a lot more unwanted post in your letterbox.

      “You may be interested in reducing your unwanted advertising mail, and reduce paper usage in order to help save the environment. If you complete the slip below and send it to the Royal Mail delivery office, you should not get any of the above mentioned unwanted advertising.”

      Within days his local sorting office received at least 70 completed forms demanding an end to junk mail. A fellow postman said that Mr Annies’s leaflet came in response to householders complaining about the level of unwanted mail. The postman, who did not wish to be named, said: “I can’t see what he’s done wrong. He was just providing a service to the customers. They filled in a form saying they don’t want it any more.”

      The direct-marketing industry has nearly doubled in size in the past five years. Door-to-door mail accounts for a quarter of all unsolicited mail. Banks and financial institutions are the biggest spenders in an industry estimated to be worth £17 billion last year.

      Mr Annies, a father of two, refused to comment on his suspension while it is under investigation.

      Anthony Vaughan, a resident on his round, said: “No one wants this junk mail building up. It’s a nuisance. I’m astonished that no one was told before about opting out.

      “He should definitely not lose his job for being a good postman who thinks about the people he’s delivering to first and foremost.”

      A Royal Mail spokesman said: “A postman employed at Barry delivery office has been suspended on full pay pending further investigations following an alleged misconduct issue. We would not comment further on an individual case. If we did not deliver unaddressed promotional items then someone else would. The door-to-door service is very important for the prosperity of many businesses and charities across the UK.

      “Customers can chose to opt out of Royal Mail’s door-to-door service by contacting the Post Office. A note on the door saying ‘no junk mail’ or an unauthorised letter is not part of that process.”

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      ANTI-JUNK POSTMAN SUSPENDED...

      A BARRY postman has been suspended by the Royal Mail after he decided he no longer wanted to burden his customers with junk mail.

      Roger Annies was suspended on Monday after he drew up a form and delivered it to residents on his Gibbonsdown round, asking them if they wanted junk mail delivered again.

      A colleague of Mr Annies, who did not want to be named, contacted the Barry & District News and told us about Mr Annies' suspension.

      He said that a recent increase from three loads of junk mail a week to five loads had prompted a rash of complaints from residents fed up with it coming through their letter boxes.

      He told us that Mr Annies, concerned with the rise in complaints, had drawn up a form for his round in Gibbonsdown and that last week the sorting office was inundated with requests for more forms and that within days more than 70 forms had been sent back.

      The unnamed postman said: "I can't see what he's done wrong. He was just providing a service to the customers. They filled in a form saying they don't want it anymore, no one wants this junk mail.

      "Customers are always moaning, but it's more money for the Royal Mail."

      When contacted by the Barry & District News, Mr Annies would not make a comment about his suspension because it was an ongoing matter between himself and his employers.

      A Royal Mail spokesman said: "We can confirm that a postman employed at Barry Delivery Office has been given a precautionary suspension on full pay pending further investigations following an alleged misconduct issue. We would not comment further on an individual case."

      In a separate statement, the spokesman said: "Customers can chose to opt out of Royal Mail's Door to Door service which is used by businesses and charities to distribute unaddressed promotional items alongside the regular post. To opt out of this service, customers should follow the official process which is to contact Royal Mail on 08457 950 950. Alternatively, customers can write to: Door to Door Opt Outs, Royal Mail, Kingsmead House, Oxpens Road, Oxford OX1 1RX.

      "A note on the door saying 'No Junk Mail' or an unauthorised letter is not part of that process. People can reduce the amount of personalised, addressed mail they receive by contacting an organisation called the Mailing Preference Service (MPS), DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London W1W 8SS by ringing 08457 034 599 or by visiting http://www.mpsonline.org.uk


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      Accountant was sacked after uncovering £33,000 fraud at company

      AN ACCOUNTANT who blew the whistle on a colleague's £33,000 fraud was sacked himself.

      Alan Park, 40, claims he was unfairly dismissed from his £31,000-a-year job as finance manager by herbal medicine company Bioforce after the incident. The company said he should have spotted the fraud sooner.

       

      A Glasgow employment tribunal heard Mr Park ordered an inquiry after a credit-card company noticed irregularities.

      Credit controller Bob Ross, later jailed for 32 months at the High Court in Kilmarnock, had been diverting credit card refunds to his own bank account.

      Ross had an earlier conviction for a £50,000 sub-post office fraud in 2002 when he was given community service. He was working at Bioforce (UK)'s Irvine plant when Mr Park joined the firm.

      The company said Mr Park could have expressed concerns about having a convicted fraudster working for him.

      Mr Park said: "It is very difficult starting in a new job to tell [the firm] who they can and cannot employ.''

      The tribunal heard Mr Park, from Kilmarnock, was dismissed with three months' notice in August 2004 without a disciplinary hearing on the day Mr Ross was fired.

      The tribunal will issue its judgment later.

      Related topic


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      26 January 2007
      'WE CHEAT SO CALLERS DON'T WIN'.

      THE alleged tricks TV quiz channels use to squeeze cash from viewers have been exposed by a whistleblower.

      Robert Winsor, a former call operator for Big Game TV, claims answers were changed and phones left unanswered.

      He was so concerned that he contacted police, who began a fraud inquiry.

      The case was dropped last month due to insufficient evidence and referred to media regulator Ofcom.

      Yesterday, Winsor gave evidence to the Commons culture, media and sport select committee.

      They have demanded tighter regulation of the phone-in shows and called for them to be classed as gambling.

      Winsor worked at the channel from May 2005 to March last year. He told how, in October 2005, he took calls for a game which asked viewers to name "things you see in a pub".

      He told the committee: "The top answer of pork scratchings was worth £200 and a winner guessed the answer within the first 30 minutes of the game.

      "When the top prize is won this quickly, it is not good for call revenue...

      "Bearing this in mind, the producer moved this top £200 answer down to the £40 answer slot.

      "The producer then entered 'drunk person' as the top answer, depriving the winner of £160."

      Winsor said he was regularly told to take a break and leave the phone unanswered when viewers were in danger of getting a top answer right.

      Calls cost at least 75p per minute, whether the caller got through or not.

      He told of another game which asked viewers to name "things you keep as pets".

      The lower-prize answers - including "cat", "dog" and "mouse" - were won quickly.

      Winsor explained: "These easy, low prize answers may merely act as bait to show viewers that they actually do get through."

      The top answer was "bearded dragon".

      He added: "The producer knows that it is highly unlikely that callers will guess 'bearded dragon' as the pet worth the top £200 answer.

      "So callers are allowed to come through thick and fast to the studio until ideas have been exhausted and the studio software consequently indicates the call volumes are starting to drop.

      "At this point a clue appear sonscreen: 'BEARDED DRAG-N'.

      "Because the callers had been getting through when there was no clue, they have good reason to believe that they will get through again and recoup the money that they have so far spent."

      But, at this point, he said he was told to take a break.

      He said: "These players are unaware that the goalposts have been moved."

      Winsor said he went public with his concerns because he believed players are "the victims of deception".

      The committee report said the quiz shows should be required to tell callers their odds of getting through.

      Tory MP John Whittingdale said: "Viewers may think they have a strong chance of getting through when in fact their odds of getting through are 1000-1.

      "While that may not be illegal, it is patently unfair."

      Responding to the report, ITV said: "We've already taken steps to ensure that our viewers are always able to make fully informed choices about participating."

      Big Game TV were unavailable for comment.


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      27 April 2007
      BANKER SUES FOR £700,000...

      A BANK executive wants £700,000 compensation after being sacked for whistle-blowing.

      Amy Davies claims she was unfairly dismissed after pointing out a potential £100million-plus discrepancy in accounts.

      Bosses at National Australia Group Europe, who own the Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, say she was shown the door because of her "behaviour and lack of people skills".

      Davies, 33, a chartered accountant from Glasgow, is demanding £700,000 for loss of future salary, pension and bonuses plus injured feelings.

      She told an employment tribunal in Glasgow yesterday: "My name has been damaged significantly so I can't get the same opportunities I had before. I have done nothing wrong. I did my job well."

      The bank told the tribunal an independent investigation revealed there was no "large hole in the accounts" but there had been errors in accounting.

      Errors had been rectified but £323,000 had been written off. They say Davies's understanding of events was mistaken.

      The tribunal will issue their judgment in writing later.


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      29 April 2007
      COPS KEEP ARREST TALLY...

      POLICE operated a footballstyle league table and gave each other points for arrests, it was disclosed yesterday.

      Top officers put a stop to the scheme after a whistleblower told bosses in North Tyneside.

      Deputy Chief Constable David Warcup said officers did not arrest without cause.


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