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NEWS
July 20, 2011
Since I believe Thomas Drake is a hero for blowing the whistle on incompetence and possible malfeasance at the National Security Agency, I attended his sentencing hearing ("No jail time for ex-NSA official," July 16). I appreciated the fact that U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett excoriated the government's treatment of Mr. Drake. Unfortunately, the judge did not go far enough. To prevent future government abuse of whistleblowers, he should have congratulated Mr. Drake for his efforts to expose a shoddy government program.
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NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | August 29, 2014
A Baltimore Police officer who became a prosecution witness against other officers convicted of misconduct is leaving the department amid an investigation of his own conduct, his attorney confirmed. Det. Joseph Crystal, who said he found a rat on the windshield of his car in November 2012 after he cooperated with prosecutors, is resigning because he continues "to feel uncomfortable and unsafe," according to his attorney, Nick Panteleakis.  The move also comes as he is being investigated for an off-duty car accident in Baltimore County involving a take-home department vehicle.
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NEWS
November 21, 2011
It was shocking to see that the National Security Agency is still persecuting Thomas Drake, the whistleblower who exposed a wasteful computer system and then was prosecuted ("NSA whistle-blowers want seized computers returned," Nov. 18). He and his colleagues tried to do the right thing for the taxpayers. As often happens to whistleblowers, Mr. Drake was fired, lost his pensions, and was consumed financially by a bogus legal case. This was a warning to those considering blowing the whistle.
NEWS
May 29, 2014
Accused National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden was handed a golden opportunity to justify himself Wednesday when he was asked by NBC's Brian Williams whether the American public should view his unauthorized release of thousands of classified U.S. government documents to the media as a principled act of civil disobedience or as a betrayal of his country — and he blew it. The interview, taped last week, took place at a hotel in Moscow, where...
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | August 29, 2014
A Baltimore Police officer who became a prosecution witness against other officers convicted of misconduct is leaving the department amid an investigation of his own conduct, his attorney confirmed. Det. Joseph Crystal, who said he found a rat on the windshield of his car in November 2012 after he cooperated with prosecutors, is resigning because he continues "to feel uncomfortable and unsafe," according to his attorney, Nick Panteleakis.  The move also comes as he is being investigated for an off-duty car accident in Baltimore County involving a take-home department vehicle.
BUSINESS
Jay Hancock | September 17, 2011
Something didn't look right. Maxim Healthcare nurses were showing up at Richard West's house according to one schedule. But Maxim was billing the government according to another. West complained to the state: The company was charging for hundreds of hours of work it never did. Officials blew him off, he said. He alerted Medicaid, the state and federal program that paid for his care. Nothing happened. He told a social worker. She expressed concern, but did nothing. But West, a Vietnam vet with muscular dystrophy, kept pushing and pushing, building a giant, accusatory snowball that landed last week — eight years later — on Maxim's Columbia headquarters.
BUSINESS
By Bruce Japsen and Bruce Japsen,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 21, 2003
A Chicago-area whistleblower's disclosure about illegal competition between two drugmakers culminated yesterday in a guilty plea by a British pharmaceutical giant, closing a chapter on a $1.2 billion health-care fraud scheme, the largest in U.S. history. London-based AstraZeneca PLC signed an agreement with the Justice Department to pay a $355 million penalty and plead guilty to a criminal charge of conspiring with doctors to bill government insurers for free samples of its prostate cancer drug, Zoladex.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | July 15, 2005
WASHINGTON - Despite Democratic demands for the scalp of Karl Rove, often described - not entirely derogatorily - as "Bush's brain," the White House seems determined to ride out the storm over the revelation that he did talk to a Time reporter about outed CIA agent Valerie Plame. In a deft effort to make this particular sow's ear into a silk purse, Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, a Rove political offspring, has cast the president's chief political strategist not as a squealer but as a noble whistleblower trying to save the reporter from error.
NEWS
July 7, 2002
THIS INDEPENDENCE Day weekend, Americans find themselves engaged in two wars -- one against terrorism and one against the Bush administration's penchant for abridging their civil liberties. The safest course for Americans would be to prevail in both conflicts. But so far, the first struggle has led to significant losses in the latter. Long before terrorists toppled the World Trade Center last September, this administration had struck a pattern of keeping an unusual degree of information -- even on routine matters -- from Congress and the public.
NEWS
May 29, 2014
Accused National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden was handed a golden opportunity to justify himself Wednesday when he was asked by NBC's Brian Williams whether the American public should view his unauthorized release of thousands of classified U.S. government documents to the media as a principled act of civil disobedience or as a betrayal of his country — and he blew it. The interview, taped last week, took place at a hotel in Moscow, where...
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | April 9, 2014
The FBI is investigating a former University of Maryland contract worker who said he took College Park administrators' personal information from the campus network and posted online about the stunt to draw attention to major security flaws. David Helkowski said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun that he noticed vulnerabilities months before a February attack exposed nearly 300,000 sensitive records. Frustrated that issues continued even after he raised concerns while working on a university website, Helkowski said, he took the data to raise alarm.
NEWS
July 14, 2013
I'm a bit late, but I would like to lend my support to Melvin A. Goodman for his commentary regarding whistle-blowers ("We need more whistle-blowers," June 23). Whistle-blowers can make contributions toward better government. But now our government is making it too dangerous for most people to even think of doing this; we have become fearful of the consequences of criticizing our own government. "Dissent is patriotic" is to some degree no longer tolerated. I have recently heard that sales of George Orwell's "1984," in which "Big Brother" is constantly watching, have soared.
NEWS
June 27, 2013
As a former co-worker of Thomas Drake, whose work I held in highest regard, I was deeply incensed to see his name linked with those of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden ("We need more whistle-blowers," June 23). Mr. Drake was a mature, ethical, skilled professional and a true whistle-blower. He was not a callow youth with a dangerously limited understanding or appreciation of the intelligence community, or someone whose revelations were driven by personal ignorance and hubris. Mr. Drake saw a situation in which the National Security Agency was wasting valuable time, manpower and money designing and developing a project that, in many ways, duplicated existing systems that actually did the job better.
NEWS
By Melvin A. Goodman | June 23, 2013
A major problem in the United States is not that there are too many whistle-blowers. Rather, there are too few. Where were the whistle-blowers when the CIA was operating secret prisons; conducting torture and abuse; and kidnapping individuals off the streets in Europe and the Middle East and turning them over to foreign intelligence agencies that conducted torture and abuse? Where were the whistle-blowers when the National Security Agency violated the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution against "unreasonable searches and seizures" and conducted widespread, warrantless eavesdropping?
NEWS
June 10, 2013
The 29-year-old former CIA employee who admitted over the weekend to leaking documents about the National Security Agency's targeting of phone records, email accounts and Internet use of millions of Americans exemplified the ethical dilemma facing those who consider themselves government whistleblowers: They may firmly believe their fellow citizens have a right to know what the government is doing in their name, but if everyone with access to sensitive...
NEWS
June 6, 2013
Thanks again for giving proper coverage to the Trial of the Century ("Manning trial begins at Fort Meade," June 4). As a Pfc. Bradley Manning supporter, I am biased, but the court martial has attracted interest around the world. On Monday as the court martial began, I was outside the main gate to Fort Meade with other Manning supporters. In an opening statement, an Army prosecutor stated that Mr. Manning knew that the documents he released "would endanger fellow U.S. soldiers. " Such poppycock astonishes me, but the U.S. government wants more from Private Manning than just a pound of flesh.
NEWS
November 29, 2011
It was a tremendous disappointment to read that Sen. Ben Cardin is still pursuing that noxious legislation which will only punish whistleblowers that expose government malfeasance ("Cardin's spy bill draws anger," Nov. 25). Presumably, my senator wants to protect those in power who violate the public trust. Surely Senator Cardin followed the National Security Agency's persecution of Thomas Drake, the whistleblower who exposed a wasteful computer system and then was prosecuted. Surely Ben Cardin knows about Daniel Ellsberg and his release of the Pentagon Papers.
NEWS
May 2, 2013
"Despicable, unconstitutional, ridiculous, immature, idiotic, and mendacious. " And that's just how Tennessee newspapers characterized the state's "ag-gag" bill now awaiting Gov. Bill Haslam's signature. "Ag-gag" bills criminalize whistleblowing that exposes animal abuses, unsafe working conditions, and environmental problems on factory farms. Instead of encouraging whistleblowing and preventing these violations, ag-gag laws ensure that consumers and regulatory authorities are kept in the dark.
NEWS
By Joe Davidson, The Washington Post | May 17, 2013
The Justice Department's secret review of Associated Press telephone records gives advocates for federal employees one more reason to doubt the Obama administration's full commitment to protecting whistleblowers, particularly those in national security agencies. Revelations about the department's broad prying into the work, home and mobile phone records of AP journalists in Washington, New York and Hartford, Conn., sent a chill through news organizations. Perhaps that was the point.
NEWS
May 2, 2013
"Despicable, unconstitutional, ridiculous, immature, idiotic, and mendacious. " And that's just how Tennessee newspapers characterized the state's "ag-gag" bill now awaiting Gov. Bill Haslam's signature. "Ag-gag" bills criminalize whistleblowing that exposes animal abuses, unsafe working conditions, and environmental problems on factory farms. Instead of encouraging whistleblowing and preventing these violations, ag-gag laws ensure that consumers and regulatory authorities are kept in the dark.
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