Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Of whistleblowers and bullies

In the light of the fuss and bother over the NSA eavesdropping scandal, and the role of whistleblower Edward Snowden in its exposure, I found it instructive to read about the experience of State Department whistleblower Aurelia Fedenisn.  Here's an excerpt.

Fedenisn's life changed dramatically last Monday after she handed over documents and statements to CBS News alleging that senior State Department officials "influenced, manipulated, or simply called off" several investigations into misconduct. The suppression of investigations was noted in an early draft of an Inspector General report, but softened in the final version.

. . .

After the CBS News made inquiries to the State Department about the charges, Schulman says investigators from the State Department's Inspector General promptly arrived at Fedenisn's door. "They talked to both kids and never identified themselves," he said. "First the older brother and then younger daughter, a minor, asking for their mom's place of work and cell phone number ... They camped out for four to five hours."

Schulman says the purpose of the visit was to get Fedenisn to sign a document admitting that she stole State Department materials, such as the memos leaked to CBS. Schulman says it was crucial that she didn't sign the document because her separation agreement with the State Department includes a provision allowing disclosures of misconduct. Furthermore, none of the materials were classified.

There's more at the link.  Bold underlined text is my emphasis.

Here's the bottom line.  If any individual or organization makes threats and tries heavy-handed intimidation instead of handing over the entire affair to law enforcement right from the start, they know their case is weak and/or unsustainable.  They're trying to achieve by intimidation what they think they won't be able to achieve by due process of law.  Therefore . . . tell 'em to take a running poke at a rolling donut.



Anonymous said...

It's the fed.gov's new approach - the Chicago Way. "We wouldn't want nuthin' should happen to you".

SiGraybeard @ work.

Old NFO said...

+1 on Sig... EXACTLY the new approach...