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Date: 2024-05-24 Page is: DBtxt003.php txt00010510

Whistle Blowers

Jerry Ashton ... The Sad Fate Of America’s Whistleblowers

Thank you Jerry for this post ... the problem you describe is very profound and very disturbing. Sadly some of the institutions like organized religion, for example, have also dropped the ball in terms of standing up for basic ideas of social and economic morality.

I was told early in my US career that nice guys finish last ... something that had not been part of any formal education class I had ever taken. I left college thinking that merit and ability and decency were going to drive my career.

And in fact they have. I have always put integrity ahead of expediency ... and when you are working with financial numbers at quite high levels this becomes difficult. Few people have any appreciation of the scale of corruption and kick-backs in the modern world ... everywhere, not just in developing countries and failed states. The World Bank, the UN and the development agencies are all deeply complicit ... though never responsible! Bottom line ... this killed my fairly successful consulting career, put me in fear for my life and diminished my financial security!

As an accountant, I follow the money ... and it distresses me that many wrong money flows are (with good lawyers) defined as being legal. Being legal still does not make them right.

Again, than you Jerry

Peter Burgess
Peter Burgess

The Sad Fate Of America’s Whistleblowers 36 views11 Likes4 CommentsShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookShare on Twitter History may smile on these guardians of the public trust, but during their lifetimes they remain outcasts. What is it about whistleblowers that the powers that be can’t stand? When I blew the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program, I was derided in many quarters as a traitor. My detractors in the government attacked me for violating my secrecy agreement, even as they ignored the oath we’d all taken to protect and defend the Constitution. All of this happened despite the fact that the torture I helped expose is illegal in the United States. Torture also violates a number of international laws and treaties to which our country is signatory — some of which the United States itself was the driving force in drafting. I was charged with three counts of espionage, all of which were eventually dropped when I took a plea to a lesser count. I had to choose between spending up to 30 months in prison and rolling the dice to risk a 45-year sentence. With five kids, and three of them under the age of 10, I took the plea. Tom Drake — the NSA whistleblower who went through the agency’s chain of command to report its illegal program to spy on American citizens — was thanked for his honesty and hard work by being charged with 10 felonies, including five counts of espionage. The government eventually dropped the charges, but not before Drake had suffered terrible financial, professional, and personal distress. This is an ongoing theme, especially in government. Chelsea Manning is serving 35 years in prison for her disclosure of State Department and military cable traffic showing American military crimes in Iraq and beyond. And Edward Snowden, who told Americans about the extent to which our government is spying on us, faces life in prison if he ever returns to the country. The list goes on and on. (more at link)

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