Power of Story Send a Tweet        

Share on Google Plus 1 Share on Twitter 4 Share on Facebook 2 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (7 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   5 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

James Comey, a Whistleblower, Really?

By       Message John Kiriakou       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 3   Supported 3   Must Read 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H1 6/7/17

Author 503310
Become a Fan
  (39 fans)

From Reader Supported News

From flickr.com: James Comey {MID-123644}
James Comey
(Image by flickr.com)
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

The first time I ever heard former FBI director James Comey described as a "whistleblower," I chuckled to myself. After thinking about it, though, I concluded that, in a way, Comey actually is a whistleblower. The legal definition of a whistleblower is "any person who brings to light evidence of waste, fraud, abuse, illegality, or threats to the public health or public safety." So I guess, technically, Comey fits the bill.

But be that as it may, the truth is that Comey is the enemy of whistleblowers, or at least of national security whistleblowers. He proved that throughout his short tenure at the FBI, where he made life for whistleblowers miserable, despite being warned repeatedly by the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI was not in compliance with current whistleblower protection laws.

Indeed, a Senate Judiciary Committee report published last year found that the FBI routinely takes action against employees who expose wrongdoing in the Bureau. The report found that "whistleblowers play a critical role in keeping our government efficient and honest, yet they also risk retaliation from their employer, sometimes being demoted, reassigned, or fired as a result of their actions."

- Advertisement -

Congress last year passed a new whistleblower protection law, which, while exempting other national security whistleblowers from its protections, covered FBI employees. The legislation sought to "expand reporting opportunities for whistleblowers, improve the lengthy and opaque adjudication process, and strengthen protection for employees who expose bureau waste, fraud, and abuse." But it didn't turn out that way.

A normal whistleblower "chain of command" is to report wrongdoing to one's supervisor. If the whistleblower gets no satisfaction there, he or she is then supposed to go to the Inspector General, the General Counsel, and, ultimately, the Congressional oversight committees. It's something that government employees are taught during their first day on the job.

A Government Accountability Office report found, however, that the FBI did not include supervisors in the "list of approved officers" to whom a whistleblower could report. The result, according to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), was that "FBI employees have long faced vague and confusing rules for how to properly disclose problems because of the FBI's unusual exemption from the normal whistleblower protections for other federal employees. The confusion and lack of an independent process has landed too many people in hot water for simply telling the truth."

- Advertisement -

That's exactly what happened to FBI supervisory agent Darin Jones. Jones reported evidence of procurement improprieties to his supervisor and was promptly fired. He appealed, of course, but he was not reinstated because he had made his complaint to his supervisor and not to one of the nine people on the FBI leadership-approved list of who could hear a whistleblower complaint. Jones's appeal has entered its fourth year. There's no end in sight. This is a violation of the law and is exactly what the GAO and the Judiciary Committee complained about.

The FBI's illegal behavior hasn't been lost on Grassley. He wrote to Comey on April 14, saying that "the FBI's official whistleblower policy directive still does not reflect changes to the law. It was apparently last reviewed on February 19, 2017 and still posted on the FBI's internal system as of yesterday -- nearly four months after the FBI WPEA (Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act) became effective. Yet, it erroneously tells FBI employees that they are only protected for disclosures to the certain, specific officials that could receive protected disclosures before the new law." Grassley demanded that the Comey correct the record and issue a new policy statement immediately. There is no indication that he did so before being fired by President Trump.

I have mixed feelings about Comey (and about special counsel and former FBI director Mueller, for that matter. It was Mueller who was FBI director when I was investigated and charged with five felonies after blowing the whistle on the CIA's torture program). Comey is getting ready to provide a public service in the coming days. He's going to talk about Trump, Trump's people, and the Russians. With any luck, he'll bring this president down.

But when Comey finally testifies on Capitol Hill about his investigation into Trump's involvement with the Russians, let's remember that he is not the American hero the press is making him out to be. He's the enemy of transparency. We can still hope, though, that whistleblower or not, he does the right thing.


- Advertisement -

Well Said 3   Supported 3   Must Read 2  
View Ratings | Rate It


John Kiriakou spent 14 years at the CIA and two years in a federal prison for blowing the whistle on the agency's use of torture. He served on John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations Committee for two years as senior investigator into the Middle (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Forcing the Innocent to Plead Guilty, an American Disgrace

An Incompetent FBI Dropped the Ball on Syed Farook

If Hillary Clinton Gets a Pass on Espionage From President Obama, So Should Whistleblowers

The US Postal Service Is Spying On Us

Kathleen Kane: Another Whistleblower Goes to Prison in America

I Went to Prison for Disclosing CIA Torture. Gina Haspel Helped Cover It Up.