Where Are All of the Whistleblowers?

Catherine J. Frompovich
Activist Post

The World Bank is a closed system. The problem of retaliation is therefore a structural problem. – Beatrice Edwards, Exec. Director Government Accountability Project (GAP)

In December of 2013 Jim Kim, president of the World Bank Group, went on record as saying, “In the developing world, corruption is public enemy number one.” [1] Snidely, this writer has to question if “developing world” means the planetary population as it develops technologically, including industrialized countries; what used to be termed Third World Countries; and nation-states governments. Globally, things seem to be mucked up everywhere while humans suffer the consequences. Corruption, in this writer’s opinion, now is the accepted “norm.”

So, where are the whistleblowers? Why aren’t there whistleblowers at the World Bank in view of Jim Kim’s candid remark? Can the answer be found in a leaked survey taken in 2013 that showed unfavorable concerns about various issues that obviously are discouraging whistleblowers from coming forth, especially at the Washington, DC World Bank headquarters? How sad!

Thirteen thousand employees were surveyed. According to Douglas Gillison of 100Reporters,

The data obtained by 100Reporters, while extensive, does not include results for all bank offices. However, a sampling of questions showed a clear trend in which stronger signs of dissatisfaction emanated from areas including the legal department, the Integrity Vice Presidency, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (which provides political risk insurance to foreign investors), and Operations Policy and Country Services — an office with responsibilities in a variety of areas, from bank policy to work in fragile states. [….]

The survey’s findings appeared to support criticisms of bank policy, according to which staff are pushed to make deals but dissuaded from sounding the alarm about potential pitfalls, leaving environmental and social problems to arise after those financing the deals have long since moved on. [2]

Probably, the saddest insight gathered from the survey is that employees within the Word Bank anti-corruption office, the Integrity Vice Presidency, were the most fearful about speaking up about wrongdoing. What does that tell you? Fear reigns supreme! With all the financial and legal attacks brought against whistleblowers, is there any wonder no one wants to do the right thing?

How about elsewhere?

The Veterans Administration Hospital(s)

Dr. Samuel Foote and others, e.g., Dr. Katherine Mitchell, have become whistleblowers regarding the problems being hidden at the Phoenix (AZ) Veterans Affairs hospital, viz.:

…records that show the hospital was using a secret list to hide the long wait times veterans faced. According to the Republic, [newspaper] Mitchell sent the documents to the paper after receiving a call from a coworker that evidence was being destroyed. [5] [6]

VA scheduling clerk, Brian Turner, is the most recent to come forward. NBC News reports that

he was “coached” on how to “cook the books” to conceal long wait times for patients, adding to concerns that the alleged falsification of records first alleged at a Phoenix VA hospital might be widespread.

“We were changing numbers, we were changing dates,” Brian Turner, an Army medic turned VA scheduling clerk, told NBC News. “We were cooking the books.”

One would think that in view of what’s been going on at VA hospitals, President Obama would be ready to discharge Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, which the American Legion is calling for. It seems as though shades of Sebelius-type ineptness seem to be showing through. However, according to radio reports, President Obama supports and will stand behind Shinseki. [7] More importantly, what remains to be seen is whether Drs. Foote and Mitchell, and now Turner, will be worked over as “whistleblowers,” as many have who reported wrongdoing. The Government Accountability Project (GAP) [10] represented numerous high-level whistleblowers like Thomas Drake, Edward Snowden, and John Kiriakou.

The Obama Administration

Recently, the Obama Administration is threatening Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times reporter James Risen with federal contempt charges if he does not reveal one of his confidential sources he apparently used while writing his 2006 book. [3] Interestingly, the George W. Bush Administration gave up on trying to get Risen to divulge the source, but now the Obama Administration probably will be pressing full court, just as they did with CIA waterboard whistleblower John Kiriakou, who is serving 30 months in the federal pen at Loretto, Pennsylvania, and for something that did not happen during the Obama Administration. What kind of example is the Obama Administration trying to establish?

The answer may be found in what Matthew Rothschild, senior editor at The Progressive Magazine said,

He [Risen] said the Obama Administration’s effort to go after him is part of its policy of “aggressively investigating whistleblowers and reporters in a way that will have a chilling effect on the freedom of the press in the United States.” [….]

The Freedom of the Press Foundation has called the government’s effort to force Risen to reveal a source “one of the most significant press freedom cases in decades.” [3]

Probably nothing speaks more clearly to how President Obama regards a free, investigative press than what his very first Presidential Executive Order addressed: No accessibility to his or his family’s personal information! See Presidential Executive Order No. 13489, signed the day after he was sworn into office in 2009. You know PEOs can’t be written overnight; he had to be stewing on that for a while. In that PEO Obama set forth “Claim of Executive Privilege by Incumbent President,” thereby apparently making his or his administration’s information exempt, i.e., “the Archivist shall not disclose the privileged records unless directed to do so by an incumbent President or by a final court order.” [CJF emphasis added]

Isn’t it about time someone started procedures leading up to court orders on various issues and problems plaguing the U.S. since September 11, 2001?

Personally, I’ve come to understand that whistleblowers have to be discouraged so no one will investigate or “rat” on anyone in public office, especially if reporting emboldens the manner in which the U.S. government was structured. According to the website Congress for Kids:

Delegates at the Constitutional Convention also wanted to divide power within the federal government. They did not want these powers to be controlled by just one man or one group. The delegates were afraid that if a small group received too much power, the United States would wind up under the rule of another dictator or tyrant.

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To avoid the risk of dictatorship or tyranny, the group divided the new government into three parts, or branches: the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch.

A system of checks and balances prevents one branch from gaining too much power. [4] [CJF emphasis added]

Currently, it seems the executive branch [U.S. presidency and administration] have been on a power grab [11,12] that needs to be reined in – 68% think the country is on the wrong track [13] – and we are teetering on the brink of disaster, financial ruin, and a dictatorship.

As the Benghazi situation [8,9] heats up again in Congress, we have to wonder where are the whistleblowers at the White House and State Department.

The Apparent Double Standard

What really doesn’t seem to comport with regard to whistleblowing at any and all levels is this:

U.S. citizens are encouraged via media advertisements, turnpike signage, public transport, etc., to report suspicious activities whenever they are suspected, whereas committed actions with documentable proof of wrongdoing perpetrated by ‘higher-ups’, government officials, government agencies, banksters, and political candidates either are sloughed off or over as “conspiracy theories” or, if held to have standing at law, whistleblowers are prosecuted with the most vengeful of vengeances while, in many instances—especially within the federal government, criminals get off “Scot- free.” A classic example is former Vice President Dick Cheney. [14, 15, 16]

Furthermore, this video from a congressional hearing indicates the need for whistleblowers.

How come government and corporate crime is ‘untouchable’ anymore? Why are Presidential Executive Orders capable of enforcing or suspending the U.S. Constitution, obviously at one person’s possible paranoid whim?

As someone who has been following presidential events during numerous administrations (since President Eisenhower), I do believe that voters have lost sight about expecting integrity-in-office at the highest levels in all branches of government and federal agencies, including those businesses that interact in a quasi-government fashion like the Federal Reserve and the World Bank. Misspeaking and lies seem to be “coin of the realm” anymore. Heaven forbid that the media should point that out!

One would expect those occupying the highest of offices in the USA to respect and abide by the U.S. Constitution, not give only lip service to it.

One would expect those who serve in public office to do so for the greater good, not personal aggrandizement or financial enrichment, as many in Congress seem to have become millionaires.

One would expect those who are journalists – either citizen, Internet or the media – can function with impunity as members of a free and independent society under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to expose the high crimes and misdemeanors of those who break the law and flagrantly want to get away with it wherever it is found in government, commerce, industry, health, medicine, science—you name it.

A free, independent and non-controlled press must be allowed to do its job as the “fourth branch” of the people’s government, plus be rewarded with the highest of accolades rather than beaten down financially, legally, emotionally, and maybe even physically since we now have drones flying overhead.

Notes:

[1] Press Release
http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2013/12/19/corruption-developing-countries-world-bank-group-president-kim
[2] http://100r.org/2014/05/leaked-survey-shows-corners-of-discontent-at-world-bank
[3] http://rinf.com/alt-news/latest-news/obama-threatens-pulitzer-prize-winner/
[4] http://www.congressforkids.net/Constitution_threebranches.htm
[5] http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/va-hospital-scandal/whistleblower-says-va-hospital-covered-problems-delayed-care-n100851
[6] http://freebeacon.com/issues/whistleblower-phoenix-va-hospital-destroying-evidence/
[7] http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/05/05/american-legion-calls-for-resignation-of-va-secretary-eric-shinseki/
[8] http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/feb/17/vallely-obamas-benghazi-cover-up/?page=all
[9] http://nypost.com/2014/05/03/benghazi-mess-points-to-hillary-and-possibly-criminal-cover-up/
[10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_Accountability_Project
[11] http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/matthew-vadum/republican-leaders-fight-back-against-irs-power-grab/
[12] http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/01/10/obamas-power-grab-at-the-pentagon/
[13] http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/i-fear-for-whats-coming-68-percent-of-americans-believe-the-country-is-on-the-wrong-track
[14] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/29/dick-cheney-canada-arrest_n_4175180.html
[15] http://www.today.com/id/44337958/ns/today-today_news/t/ex-powell-aide-dick-cheney-fears-prosecution-war-crimes/#.U20Yo4bD_9I
[16] http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/rand-paul-dick-cheney-exploited-911-iraq-halliburton

Resources:

100Reporters: New Journalism for a New Age

In Honduras, Audit Faults World Bank Deal with “Death Squad” Client
http://100r.org/2014/01/in-honduras-audit-faults-world-bank-for-deal-with-death-squad-client/

Integrity Vice Presidency

Fraud and Corruption Awareness Handbook (PDF: 84 pages)
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTDOII/Resources/F&C_Awareness_Handbook_Civil_Servants_Procurement.pdf

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.

Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.

Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.

Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008).


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