McClatchy reports: When Ilana Greenstein blew the whistle on mismanagement at the CIA, she tried to follow all the proper procedures.
First, she told her supervisors that she believed the agency had bungled its spying operations in Baghdad. Then, she wrote a letter to the director of the agency.
But the reaction from the intelligence agency she trusted was to suspend her clearance and order her to turn over her personal computers. The CIA then tried to get the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation of her.
Meanwhile, the agency’s inspector general, which is supposed to investigate whistleblower retaliation, never responded to her complaint about the treatment.
Based on her experience in 2007, Greenstein is not surprised that many CIA employees did little to raise alarms when the nation’s premier spy agency was torturing terrorism suspects and detaining them without legal justification. She and other whistleblowers say the reason is obvious.
“No one can trust the system,” said Greenstein, now a Washington attorney. “I trusted it and I was naive.”
Since 9/11, defense and intelligence whistleblowers such as Greenstein have served as America’s conscience in the war on terrorism. Their assertions go to the heart of government waste, misconduct and overreach: defective military equipment, prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, surveillance of Americans.
Yet the legal system that was set up to protect these employees has repeatedly failed those with the highest-profile claims. Many of them say they aren’t thanked but instead are punished for speaking out. [Continue reading…]