Some whistleblowing stories this week were very newsy, like the one involving Chelsea Manning and (according to the government), her Wikileaks co-conspirator Julian Assange. You may have that Assange was indicted this week for obtaining and publishing military documents in 2010. We’ll be transfixed to see how the courts handle the First Amendment conflicts on that one.
For those who may pay no attention to the news but network TV, of series on CBS, about on FAA whistleblowers. The network spoke to “roughly a dozen FAA inspectors from across the country. Some risked their jobs to blow the whistle on how they say they are told to overlook important problems.”
They say managers at the FAA pressure inspectors like them to ignore critical safety issues like corrosion or making sure vendors were FAA compliant and retaliated if inspectors refused to back off.
"I've been flat out told to back off," one inspector said. "I've had airlines contact my management and ask them not to assign me any inspections to that airline."
The other inspector said they've "repeatedly" been punished for finding a problem and reporting it and they're not alone: "It's very widespread."…
One of the inspectors said, "We're on the verge of an issue happening …. we're talking about a crash inside the United States borders."
They both pointed to incidents like the and – both related to U.S. manufacturer Boeing whose own relationship with the FAA is under scrutiny as indicators of what could happen. They hope that what they told CBS News will be a wake-up call.
And if that’s not enough to make your blood boil, consider this about the abuse and neglect of children in facilities run by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As by CNN,
For years, [Dr. Scott Allen’s and Dr. Pamela McPherson’s] expert opinions, like the facilities they inspected, remained out of the spotlight -- unseen by most lawmakers and unheard by members of the public.
That changed, they say, when the Trump administration's policies left them no choice. The doctors became whistleblowers, speaking out with a dire warning. Family detention isn't safe, they said, and children's lives are at stake.
"We are writing to you, members of Congress with oversight responsibility, because we have a duty to raise our concerns about the ongoing and future threat of harm to children posed by the current and proposed expansion of the family detention program," the doctors said in .…
That letter was sent nearly a year ago.
For the doctors, “what started with one letter to Congress has become a quest with no end in sight.” Yet this story isn’t the only whistleblowing story about ICE abuse, or even the only one this week. As The Intercept also ,
Ellen Gallagher was stunned when she first learned that immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement were sometimes placed in isolation with no human contact for 22 hours a day. …
“I could not believe that so many people who were listed as suffering with serious mental illness, for example, were being assigned extended periods in solitary confinement,” said Gallagher, who worked as an advocate for mentally disabled school children in New York before joining the federal government in 1995. …
Gallagher, whose first job in the federal government was as a lawyer working to deport immigrants, embarked on a yearslong process to raise the alarm about what was taking place in ICE detention centers. …
Her concerns about the use of segregation in ICE detention centers are consistent with findings of a monthslong investigation by The Intercept and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Our review of more than 8,400 solitary confinement incident reports spanning 2012 to early 2017 show that in nearly a third of the cases, detained immigrants were described as having a mental illness. The records show at least 373 instances of individuals being placed in isolation because they were potentially suicidal, and another 200-plus cases of people already in solitary confinement being moved to “suicide watch” or another form of observation — in many cases another solitary cell.…
Gallagher has now decided to tell her story, she said, because “until there are enough people that do that, then this same set of circumstances will not stop, and I think it’ll actually get worse.”
Story ideas for next season, perhaps?