How the FBI Silences Whistleblowers

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Talking reality to energy has ruined Darin Jones, a former FBI contract specialist who reported proof of severe procurement improprieties. He ought to be the final federal whistleblower victimized.

(CN) — The concept of “whistleblowing” has been within the information a fantastic deal.

Is the nameless writer of a latest New York Times op-ed eviscerating the president a whistleblower?

Is the sufferer of an alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court docket nominee Brett Kavanaugh a whistleblower?

I’m lucky to have access to the media to speak about torture after blowing the whistle on the CIA’s program. I believe Ed Snowden, Tom Drake and others would say the identical factor concerning the aftermath of their very own whistleblowing.

Price of Doing the Proper Factor

The issue is that we’re the exception to the rule. Most whistleblowers both endure in anonymity or are personally, professionally, socially and financially ruined for talking reality to energy. Darin Jones is a type of folks. He’s one of many folks silenced in Barack Obama’s warfare on whistleblowers. And he continues to endure below Donald Trump.

Jones was an FBI supervisory contract specialist who in 2012 reported proof of serious procurement improprieties to his superior. Jones maintained that Pc Sciences Company (CSC) had been awarded a $40 million contract improperly as a result of a former FBI official with accountability for granting the contract then was employed as a advisor at CSC. Jones mentioned, rightly, that this was a violation of the Procurement Integrity Act. He made seven different disclosures alleging monetary improprieties within the FBI, and he was promptly fired for his troubles.

Bear in mind, the USA has a Whistleblower Protection Act.  Any federal worker who brings to mild proof of waste, fraud, abuse, illegality, or threats to the general public well being or public security is protected below federal statute.

The FBI didn’t care, although. Jones was a troublemaker. He was speaking about his fellow FBI brokers. And he needed to be silenced.

Instantly upon his firing, Jones appealed. He was not reinstated, nevertheless, as a result of he had made his revelation to his supervisor and to not one of many 9 folks on the FBI leadership-approved list of who might hear a whistleblower grievance. Jones appealed once more, starting a greater than four-year odyssey.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is the champion of whistleblowers on Capitol Hill, whether or not you want his politics or not. Jones contacted Grassley and requested for assist. His dismissal was clearly retaliation for his revelations and was unlawful, based on the whistleblower safety regulation. Grassley agreed and wrote three separate letters to then-FBI director James Comey and then-Deputy Legal professional Basic Sally Yates. None have been answered.

Grassley urged the Justice Division to reinstate Jones, saying that his dismissal was a violation of the Whistleblower Safety Enhancement Act of 2016, which strengthened the unique whistleblower safety regulation. He added that when Yates appeared earlier than his Senate Judiciary Committee for her affirmation hearings earlier within the yr, she promised “to enhance the method for adjudicating claims of retaliation, together with increasing the checklist of individuals to whom a protected disclosure could also be made.”

She by no means did that. The truth is, Yates ordered the director of the Justice Division’s “Skilled Misconduct Evaluation Unit” to jot down to Jones and to inform him, “The Deputy Legal professional Basic’s evaluate is full and her choice is closing. Your case is now not pending. You shouldn’t count on to obtain any future communications that you simply or every other group or people could submit with regard to your whistleblower reprisal case.” In different phrases, the official coverage of the Justice Division was to disregard the regulation and to present the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman and the whistleblower himself the center finger.

The FBI’s response was equally unhealthy, albeit predictable. The FBI’s Workplace of the Basic Counsel wrote to Jones, “The FBI has suggested you that it’s going to not conduct additional investigation into your allegations that the FBI eliminated you from employment since you reported a compliance concern and retaliated towards you in violation of relevant whistleblower retaliation safety rules. The FBI has met its authorized obligations and considers this matter closed with none foundation for additional evaluate or reopening. Please be suggested that the FBI won’t reply to any further correspondence or emails associated to or arising from the termination of your employment.”

That’s one other center finger.

Be aware additionally that the FBI refers to “whistleblower rules.” It’s not a regulation. It’s a regulation. And the FBI, too, has to respect and comply with the regulation even once they don’t wish to.

Finish Victimization of Whistleblowers

The underside line right here, although, is that Darin Jones did the appropriate factor.  He did the honorable factor. He did the moral, authorized, and ethical factor. And he paid for it along with his profession.  Like different federal whistleblowers, he’s ruined financially. Family and friends members have walked away from him. He can’t discover a job. I can inform you from firsthand expertise that the psychological weight of the fallout from whistleblowing is typically an excessive amount of to deal with.

Jones’ associates and supporters are making a GoFundMe marketing campaign to assist him by this horrible interval.

We additionally must sustain the warmth on the FBI, the CIA, NSA, TSA, and each different governmental group that victimizes whistleblowers.

We’ve to assist Chuck Grassley and others on Capitol Hill who’re attempting to guard whistleblowers.

We’ve to power our personal elected officers to do the identical. In spite of everything, they work for us.

Our objective ought to be a easy one. Work onerous to make sure that Darin Jones is the final federal whistleblower to be handled this manner.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate International Relations Committee. John turned the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration below the Espionage Act – a regulation designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in jail on account of his makes an attempt to oppose the Bush administration’s torture program.