Dissenters’ Digest for April 1-7
Dissenters’ Digest takes a look back at the week’s stories covering whistleblowers, watchdogs, and government accountability. Look for it every Saturday evening at www.mspbwatch.net/digest.
Justice Department Indicts Former CIA Officer, Whistleblower, and Torture Opponent: NPR reports that John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer and outspoken torture opponent, has been charged with violating the Espionage Act by sharing secret information with reporters. The Government Accountability Project notes that Kiriakou is the first and only person to be indicted by the U.S. government who is associated with the Bush Administration’s torture program. GAP further notes that Kiriakou is the sixth whistleblower to be prosecuted by the Obama Administration. Emptywheel has additional coverage.
Watchdog Uncovers State Department Memo Casting Doubt on Legality of Bush Administration’s Interrogation Techniques: As reported by Firedoglake, a 2006 State Department memo casting doubt on Justice Department arguments approving the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” has been uncovered. The author of that memo, Philip Zelikow, was a counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. It is believed that the Bush Administration attempted to destroy all copies of that memo, but the non-profit National Security Archive obtained one from the State Department through a Freedom of Information request. Emptywheel has additional coverage. Zelikow’s memo can be found here.
New York Times Report Portrays FDA as Victim of White House Politicization: The New York Times reports that FDA officials were instructed to reverse decisions such as publicizing the caloric content of movie-theater popcorn. The overall tenor of the piece portrays White House officials as shrewd and pragmatic, with FDA officials seen as public-minded, if not “naive.” However, there may be some image management going on following recent and troubling reports of retaliation and spying on whistleblowers, who came forward to allege corruption within FDA and the improper approval of unsafe medical devices. The Office of Special Counsel has opened an investigation into these allegations. GAP and the National Whistleblowers Center have coverage of the FDA.
Below the Fold:
–President Obama signs the STOCK Act, requiring financial disclosure by members of Congress and federal executives.
–The Obama Administration quietly appoints a new FAA chief counsel with extensive ties to the White House.
–EEOC is urged to tackle conflicts of interest in discrimination complaint process.
–The U.S. government aims to protect secrecy in Bradley Manning’s court martial.
–The Office of Special Counsel is currently experiencing an 8-9 month delay in processing FOIA requests, according to recent communications with its FOIA officer.
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