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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/8/19

When Courage Blows A Whistle

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Michael McCray (Festival Director) and Marcia Mitchell (Author of the book the film is based upon) at the screening of IFC Films 'Offical Secrets' during the 8th Annual Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival
Michael McCray (Festival Director) and Marcia Mitchell (Author of the book the film is based upon) at the screening of IFC Films 'Offical Secrets' during the 8th Annual Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival
(Image by Michael McCray / Whistleblower Summit)
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All courage is not the same. There is courage in the face of physical danger. The type of courage that allows first responders to rush into burning buildings like the World Trade Center on 9/11 or face machine gun fire on the battlefield. There are other types as well. The type of courage to publicly stand against injustice and face angry mobs or police dogs. Or the courage to speak truth to power. There are many ways to demonstrate courage. Bravery does not always come with a gun, a pulpit, or a megaphonesometimes it blows a whistle.

Unfortunately, more people seem to be willing to risk their lives rather than risk their livelihoods. The personal losses suffered by whistleblowers are often forgotten by the public whose interest we hope to serve. Only the truly committed or the foolish continue and even fools find the risk of loss too great to bear. I blew the whistle on $40 Million at USDA during the Clinton Administration. Now I co-host the annual Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival along with ACORN Whistleblower Marcel Reid. Most of my friends are whistleblowers and the persons I have met on this journey are individuals who have been tested for their moral courage.

Last week was a watershed moment for America and for whistleblowers. Acting Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, had faced tough leadership challenges over his 36-year career. A longtime Yankees fan and former Navy SEAL, Maguire rose to three-star admiral and was the leader of the Naval Special Warfare Command before being tapped for his current role. Mr. Maguire became the acting director of national intelligence last month when a whistle-blower complaint plunged him into crisis.

"In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President's main domestic political rivals. The President's personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well." IC Whistleblower Complaint

The whistleblower is following their civic duty and a time-honored American practice dating back to the midnight ride of Paul Revere "The British are coming" and the founding of our country.

"It is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information to Congress or any other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge," approved on July 30, 1778, with no recorded dissent.

The complaint was received and verified by Inspector General Michael Atkinson verified who also found it urgent. However, instead of forwarding the compliant directly to congress, as required by law he punts. The DNI takes the complaint to the White House and then the Justice Department which quickly buries it despite the inherent conflict of interest presented by the President's and Attorney General's involvement. More importantly, President Trump declared that anyone assisting the whistleblower should be considered as spies [and presumably executed].

We have witnessed Barr's duplicitous conduct before with Robert Mueller and the special counsel report. Mueller was the special prosecutor that Progressives thought would save our republic. A war hero, who had displayed courage under fire, Mueller was awarded a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and two Navy Commendation Medals for his service as a Marine in Vietnam. Mueller was appointed to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election in May 2017.

A life-long Republican Mueller engendered the confidence of the establishment GOP and Democrats alike, who believed he was up to the task because he oversaw the prosecutions of John Gotti and Manuel Noriega. Unfortunately, Mueller refused to declare that he would have indicted the President but for the Justice Department opinion prohibiting that. Instead, he engaged in beltway double-speak "[If] we had confidence that the president did not clearly commit a crime, we would have said so." He kicked the can to congress.

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Michael McCray is a public interest advocate who combats racism and corruption in the government and other institutions which deprive individuals of their basic civil rights, human rights and constitutional liberties. McCray is co-chair of the (more...)

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