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Interview: Whistleblower Don Soeken, author, "Don't Kill the Messenger!"

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Joan Brunwasser       (Page 3 of 5 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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The last stage is the most difficult to reach, and most of them don't reach it.

JB: In your book, you zeroed in on a handful of whistle blowers. You've worked with hundreds. How did you choose?

DS: I chose the best examples of how government agencies and one private corporation treated whistleblowers. Some of my clients are under gag orders. Some of the best stories remain untold because they are sealed.

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I was successful in stopping the Executive and Legislative Branches from routinely using the forced psychiatric fitness for duty exam. The next target is to stop misuse in security clearance by psychiatric "hired guns" that the various agencies hire.

The public ought to be outraged that psychiatric professionals cook up exams to discredit targets with biased, false, misleading, distracting, and useless psychological reports.

JB: Were you ever concerned that you yourself would be a target for retaliation?

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DS: Yes. I have lost my career because I advocated for a whistleblower. I have known their pain. When I went to Congress in 1978 to report my findings about the forced fitness for duty exams, I got permission from HEW [Department of Health, Education and Welfare, now the Department of Health and Human Services].

In 1992, I blew the whistle regarding the death of a patient at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in DC, and became a witness for her and her family.

I faced blowback after I was in a Parade Magazine article written by Jack Anderson [August 18, 1991, "A Haven for Whistleblower" by Jack Anderson with Tim Warner contributing] in which he praised my work exposing the government's use of Forced Fitness for Duty Exams. I had close friends who warned me I could be retaliated against.

After I was constructively retired, I spent two weeks on the Brian Hyatt case against Northrop [chapter seven in my book]. Mr. Hyatt won his case with my assistance and testimony.

JB: Lucky for both of you! How do you think your book will be received?

DS: This book is a must read for everyone who has a career. It's a must read for every taxpayer, for every patient in a hospital, every person who wants a strong defense, and wants to preserve our jobs. For anyone who believes we need to return to truth-based politics.

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I wrote the book because I want America to persist. We can only continue if our policies are fact-based. The average American does not know how profound truths are being suppressed.

I expect a tidal wave of sales of Don't Kill the Messenger! once we get the word out.

JB: I like that positive attitude, Don! Have conditions for whistleblowers improved over the four decades spanning your career? How's the current president doing?

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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