Jesselyn Radack joined the Department of Justice through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. As an ethics advisor at Justice, she became embroiled in 2001 in the case of the so-called “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh, one of the most prominent prisoners of the Afghan war.
In our first glimpse of American-sponsored torture, a trophy photo circulated worldwide that showed Lindh naked, blindfolded, and bound to a board with duct tape. Against this backdrop, when the Justice Department sought Radack’s opinion about the ethical propriety of the FBI interrogating Lindh without his attorney, she advised that his counsel must be present.
When her advice was disregarded and then purged from the office file in contravention of a federal court discovery order, she resigned and blew the whistle. The “Justice” Department retaliated by making Jesselyn the target of a federal criminal “leak investigation,” by referring her to the state bars in which she is licensed as an attorney (based on a secret report to which she did not have access), and by putting her on the “No-Fly” List.
Not one to be intimidated, Radack began writing and speaking publicly about torture, “enemy combatants,” legal ethics and whistle blowing. In June 2005, she was elected to and served on the D.C. Bar Legal Ethics Committee, despite still being “under investigation” by the disciplinary arm of the bar.
The Justice Department decided not to refer the authors of the “torture memos” to the D.C. Bar, yet the bar referral against Radack is still pending.
Three years ago, in a major stoke of luck for whistleblowers past, present, and future, Jesselyn became the Director of National Security & Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project — the country’s leading whistleblower organization, where she focuses on issues of torture and government secrecy and surveillance. She is one of the lawyers who represented Tom Drake under circumstances that closely resembled her own.
Presented this 21st day of November 2011 in Washington, DC, by admirers of the example set by former CIA analyst, Sam Adams.
Posted on February 4, 2016 by dandelionsalad
“Don’t Shoot the Messenger” – Julian Assange, Embassy of Ecuador, Knightsbridge, London
Image by chrisjohnbeckett via Flickr
US, other nations targeted Assange & WikiLeaks – whistleblower
RT America on Feb 4, 2016
Whistleblower and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may be freed from his four-year refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Will he still face charges from foreign or American governments even if he’s cleared by a UN council? RT’s Lindsay France is joined by whistleblower and privacy advocate Jesselyn Radack to get a full view of what Assange still has to face.
(Full article with more links here.)
Seven prominent national security whistleblowers Monday called for a number of wide-ranging reforms – including passage of the “Surveillance State Repeal Act,” which would repeal the USA Patriot Act – in an effort to restore the Constitutionally guaranteed 4th Amendment right to be free from government spying.
(Photo of (left to right) Kirk Wiebe, Coleen Rowley, Raymond McGovern, Daniel Ellsberg, William Binney, Jesselyn Radack, and Thomas Drake by Kathleen McClellan (@McClellanKM) via Twitter)
Several of the whistleblowers also said that the recent lenient sentence of probation and a fine for General David Petraeus – for his providing of classified information to his mistress Paula Broadwell – underscores the double standard of justice at work in the area of classified information handling.
Speakers said Petraeus’s favorable treatment should become the standard applied to defendants who are actual national security whistleblowers, such as Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and Jeffrey Sterling (who has denied guilt but who nevertheless faces sentencing May 11 for an Espionage Act conviction for allegedly providing classified information to New York Times reporter James Risen).
In a news conference sponsored by the ExposeFacts project of the Institute for Public Accuracy at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., speakers included William Binney, former high-level National Security Agency (NSA) official; Thomas Drake, former NSA senior executive; Daniel Ellsberg, former U.S. military analyst and the Pentagon Papers whistleblower; Ray McGovern, formerly CIA analyst who chaired the National Intelligence Estimates in the 1980s; Jesselyn Radack, former Justice Department trial attorney and ethics adviser, and now director of National Security and Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project; Coleen Rowley, attorney and former FBI special agent; J. Kirk Wiebe, 32-year former employee at the NSA.
(Interview on January 22, 2015 of SAAII awardee William Binney and other participants Thomas Drake, Jesselyn Radack and Coleen Rowley.)
Article by Linda Lewis on “Whistleblowing Today”
Four national security whistleblowers and a former CIA analyst appeared onstage Tuesday at Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall for a roundtable discussion, “Beyond Orwell: Surveillance, Secrets & Whistleblowing in the Security State.”
Keynote speaker Daniel Ellsberg, the famed “Pentagon Papers whistleblower,” fired a broadside at the political establishment, saying the republic has been lost. An “executive coup” occurred on or before 9/11, he said, with the result that “elected monarchs” now rule through secret law. Ellsberg criticized Congress, the judiciary and journalists for failing to hold officials accountable for executive branch abuses of power. (More here.)
National security whistleblowers explained the challenges they faced when trying to expose wrongdoing or violations of the law and discussed the critical balance between civil liberties and national security. Speakers included Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers, and Edward Snowden’s attorney, Jesselyn Radack. Authors Sancy Tolan and Narda Zacchino participated from the audience.
“Whistleblowing and Journalism: The Role of Watchdogs in the National Security Era” was a panel of the Annenberg School event, “Patriot or Traitor? Whistleblowing and Journalism in the Age of Government Surveillance,” which was part of the Government Accountability Project’s “American Whistleblower Tour: Essential Voices for Accountability.” (CSPAN video here.)