'Follow Your Conscience': Whistleblowers Issue Open Call for Truth to Intel Employees

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Ellsberg, Drake, Radack, McGovern among others who publish open letter to those whose jobs are affront to democracy

- Lauren McCauley, CommonDreams.org staff writer

In a plea made directly to the thousands of civil servants whose daily occupation feeds the ever-growing spy state, a group of former whistleblowers published an open letterWednesday in the Guardian urging those individuals to join Edward Snowden and the other brave truth-tellers "to follow your conscience and let us know what's being done in our names."

 

Daniel Ellsberg was one of a number of former whistleblowers who pubished an open letter Wednesday.(Painting by Robert Shetterly/ Americans Who Tell the Truth)

"Blowing the whistle on powerful factions is not a fun thing to do, but despite the poor track record of western media, whistleblowing remains the last avenue for truth, balanced debate and upholding democracy," writes the group, which includes Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, former NSA executive Thomas Drake, and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern among others.

"Edward Snowden just showed you what one person can do," they continue. "But Snowden shouldn't have to stand alone, and his revelations shouldn't be the only ones."

In an open call to those whose days are spent "hidden away" in government offices and intelligence agencies spying, lying to the public and "destroying everything we as a society pretend to care about," the group declares: "You can be part of the solution."

The letter comes at the end of a year when whistleblowers in the United States made great waves and great sacrifice. Edward Snowden remains trapped in Russia facing charges under the Espionage Act after his disclosures revealed the full extent of the American and British surveillance mechanisms. In August, Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison after being charged with aiding the enemy for exposing the brutality and illegality of the American military. And at the beginning of the year, former CIA official John Kiriakou was sentenced to 30 months for exposing the practice of waterboarding to journalists.

Despite promises of protection, the Obama administration has overseen more prosecutions of whistleblowers than all other presidents combined and, along with the 'Insider Threat'peer spying program, has established a culture of threats and intimidation that extends throughout government agencies.

In the face of these threats, the former whistleblowers promise "strength in numbers." They write, "You won't be the first – nor the last – to follow your conscience and let us know what's being done in our names. Truth is coming – it can't be stopped. [...] It's in your hands to be on the right side of history and accelerate the process."

The complete text of the letter is below:

At least since the aftermath of September 2001, western governments and intelligence agencies have been hard at work expanding the scope of their own power, while eroding privacy, civil liberties and public control of policy. What used to be viewed as paranoid, Orwellian, tin-foil hat fantasies turned out post-Snowden, to be not even the whole story.

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N.Y. Fed Fires Examiner Who Took On Goldman Sachs: ProPublica

N.Y. Fed Fires Examiner Who Took On Goldman Sachs: ProPublica

Carmen Segarra outside the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, on Oct. 10, 2013. (Nabil Rahman for ProPublica) | Nabil Rahman for ProPublica


A version of this story was co-published by ProPublica with The Washington Post.

In the spring of 2012, a senior examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York determined that Goldman Sachs had a problem.

Under a Fed mandate, the investment banking behemoth was expected to have a company-wide policy to address conflicts of interest in how its phalanxes of dealmakers handled clients. Although Goldman had a patchwork of policies, the examiner concluded that they fell short of the Fed's requirements.

That finding by the examiner, Carmen Segarra, potentially had serious implications for Goldman, which was already under fire for advising clients on both sides of several multibillion-dollar deals and allegedly putting the bank's own interests above those of its customers. It could have led to closer scrutiny of Goldman by regulators or changes to its business practices.

Before she could formalize her findings, Segarra said, the senior New York Fed official who oversees Goldman pressured her to change them. When she refused, Segarra said she was called to a meeting where her bosses told her they no longer trusted her judgment. Her phone was confiscated, and security officers marched her out of the Fed's fortress-like building in lower Manhattan, just 7 months after being hired.

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5 Years Later, Wall Street Still Sucking Life Out of America Like Vampires at a Blood Drive

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On Sept. 15, 2008, the Lehman Brothers collapse became the 9/11 of the financial world, sending the global economy into panic. Stocks plunged, credit dried up and working people were forced out of their homes. Jobs and pensions were wiped out in the ugliest financial episode since the Great Depression—mostly because the financial sector had gotten out of control..

Five years later, the big banks continue the most expansive crime spree in the history of capitalism, getting bigger, richer and bolder every day. Like undead creatures from a horror film, financial predators have spread themselves into every corner of society, preying and feeding and making us weaker. In an epic failon the part of federal prosecutors and the SEC, no one at Lehman was ever prosecuted for financial shenanigans that included shady accounting practices former CEO Dick Fuld claims he didn't know about. As the five-year anniversary approaches and the statute of limitations runs out, we can be sure that no one will ever pay for Lehmans' crimes—except for us.

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Occupy's Sept. 17th Second Birthday: Whose Protest Is This?

The very famous comedian Jimmy Durante always broke up his audience with a plaintive-yet-dismissive snarl when the stage got overly crowded: "Everybody wants ta get into da act!"

Occupy Wall Street, turning two on Sept. 17, appears to have the same problem -- everybody wants to join in on the party, and everybody wants a share of the Microphone. (Or, in OWS terms, the Mic Check!)

A continuing criticism which has followed Occupy almost from birth, was its presumed inability to tell the public exactly what it wanted. This was a main street media spin, but insiders and hard-grounders (those that slept on the sidewalks) knew better.

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The Repetition Compulsion for War

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Inspired by Norman Solomon CommonDreams Oped.

The news media's tendency to focus on the technical sophistication of the war weaponry, makes the brainwashed forget about the reality of wars and blur the lines between wars, video games and their self created superheroes. But this is not about bragging about US weaponry as if it was Formula 1 racing cars. This is the old, tired pre-war propaganda tape that US main stream media loves to openly play during an illegitimate and intense incestuas act between government and private sector, all at the expense, yet again, of poor, innocent civilians abroad and at home.

In every single war you have the US news media praising the latest in 'state of the art' killing technology from the present moment to the war in Vietnam. It is a perverse spectacle of pseudo masculine mental masturbation, a mix of fake pride and high adrenaline "playoffs rush", a thrill of something BIG to come, framed as if it was the result of true universal progress and prosperity while it is nothing more and nothing less that a pervert act of massive destruction.

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