Think Tank: How do we protect whistleblowers?

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posted on Aug, 16 2013 @ 05:42 AM
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I recently started a thread about whether ATS could function as a think tank and Charles suggested if we clearly communicated the parameters for participation we might be able to do so to some degree. So here it is: Posters will only post their idea as to how to solve a problem. No one will judge, condemn, or comment on any one's idea. Hopefully, we will find our global community addressing issues that impact all of us. The problem to comment on this time around is what do we do to preserve and protect whistleblowers?
edit on 06/02/2011 by grayeagle because: punctuation




posted on Aug, 16 2013 @ 07:02 AM
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reply to post by grayeagle
 


I think there needs to be a panel set up consisting of citizens and government personal. I would recommend 8 citizens and 4 government representatives. In this case, citizens have a stronger voice than government.

I don't feel all whistle blowers should be subject to a panel review, only those cases where the possibility of damaging a country's security should be recommended.



posted on Aug, 16 2013 @ 04:58 PM
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Because this is a global issue I believe it needs to be addressed at the U.N. level. I think it will require the weight of international law to provide protection for whistleblowers. I believe there needs to be some forum for addressing these issues with some type of international amnesty available to protect individuals from being ushered away and silenced.



posted on Aug, 16 2013 @ 05:12 PM
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I think it should work like this -


It is in the public interest that the law protects whistleblowers so that they can speak out if they find malpractice in an organisation. Blowing the whistle is more formally known as 'making a disclosure in the public interest' so it is important you can do so knowing that you are protected from losing your job and/or being victimised as a result of what you have uncovered and made public.


That is taken from Northern Irish law, im sure there should be similar laws elsewhere?

If it comes down to it then maybe a vote by the public as to whether it was in their interest?



posted on Aug, 16 2013 @ 08:10 PM
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'The law' has not much to do with it in intelligence circles since their methods are all based on circumventing the law, in fact not even really circumventing, just doing what you do with a stroke of the mouse. At that level a whistleblower is able to agree or disagree on the activity Et All. That the military should be allowed to detain someone under their own righteousness is a duplicity in a different sense from the law of the land, and when the facts of military wrondoing are already known to be true, as in the Manning case, who was basically convicted for spying..on a computer, but not to aid the enemy which was another, {Imo ridiculous) charge.



posted on Aug, 16 2013 @ 11:22 PM
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I want to thank everyone who has commented so far for adhering to our premise of brain storming as a think tank. Offering possible solutions without fear of criticism is such a nice change. As we work through the various solutions perhaps at some point we can find the salient points and list the most popular as seen by the number of stars they receive. How does that sound?



posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 03:56 PM
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reply to post by grayeagle
 

Dear greyeagle,

I'm sorry I was away for so long, I was out yesterday. This is going to be particularly tough for me, I really enjoy commenting on another person's ideas, but I'll behave myself.

This is the third time I've thrown out my entire post and started over, thanks greyeagle, I'm getting a headache from this one. (It's just dawned on me, half way through this effort, are we trying to protect him up to making the contact and passing the information, or after he passes it?) I'm assuming that we have no trust at all in going to the agencies' Inspectors General. If we do have trust in them, then all we have to worry about is protecting the whistle blower after the information is passed.

Starting from the viewpoint of the whistle blower (WB), he has to be able to contact someone to start the process. How? Whatever contact information is provided to the WB, the government also knows. Contact numbers, addresses, names, anything you tell the WB in order to make contact, the government will know.

Three problems come together here, one securing the channel of communication, and two, hiding the identity of the WB's contact. The reason for part 2, is that if the contact's identity is exposed, then the government will simply begin 24-hour total surveillance on the contact to see who communicates with him. And three, of course, allowing the WB to initiate contact in an entirely unsuspicious manner.

I don't see how electronic communication can be used at any stage. I would think that all contact has to be by mail, or face-to-face, at least in these early stages. Here's just one thought, and I hope we can get to the point where people can come up with others, or criticize mine.

This would require legislation and support from the American Bar Association, but there are ways to make sure it happens, trust me. Let the country know that if you are a WB, you should go to any medium or large law firm, and ask for any lawyer. Inform the lawyer that you are a potential WB. Lawyer-client privilege is instantly invoked, with instant and automatic disbarment and a $5 million dollar fine if it is breached.

Each Federal Court House would have a judge or more assigned, in addition to their regular duties, to handle WB cases. Everybody, of course, would know that as well. The lawyer comes to the Court House and drops documents off with the judge (not his clerk), as he always does. One of the documents is the signal that the lawyer has a WB that looks promising.

The judge notifies the D.C. Circuit, or the Supreme Court by using the same method, although this would not be common knowledge. D.C. opens a file and prepares on their end, and gives the "go ahead." two members of the Court's security team are instructed to go to a certain place, bar, sporting event, what have you, where the attorney and the client hand over the information in a sealed container. The security team identifies themselves and takes the package. The WB is not identified to the security team but is a little sepearted to identify them later if needed, he could even snap a cell phone picture of the transaction.

The team returns the package to the District Court judge who checks the seals and reminds them of the non-disclosure agreement and threatens them however he chooses.

The package, still unopened, goes to D.C. for handling (which I described in length in a post I deleted).

The Government (Executive and Legislative is still unaware) but we can't be sure that they will be forever. At some point we have to assume the goevernment "reverse engineers the information and narrows the possible WB's to a few and begin to show interest in our man.

I see only two solutions in that case. Either keep him in the country under a form of witness protection created and run by the Judicial Branch exclusively, or send him on trips from country to country, with whatever false identities the Court's can create. A "no publicity" Snowden thing. I'm pretty sure an administration could send an assasination team anywhere if they thought it worthwhile. There would be no evidence of murder if the tam was anywhere near professional. So, his identity would have to be hidden forever.

Good luck with this project.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 08:23 PM
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I am thinking there will be different levels of whistle blowing information, from civil to criminal and from domestic to international. It seems to me we would need some kind of international protection administered by an international court for the big issues. The WB would petition the International Court for protection while the issue were being resolved. Member countries would be required to keep hands off the WB until such time as the court judges the WB has acted in a criminal manner and should be remanded into the custody of the country bringing charges.



posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 08:48 PM
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reply to post by grayeagle
 

Dear grayeagle,

Please forgive me, I propose to break your rule by commenting on your idea. I'll take whatever punishment you see fit.

I agree that in countries like the US, China, Russia, Iran, etc. there will be secrets which can easily affect the entire world. Somalia, Monaco, St. Thomas Virgin islands? Maybe not so much.

Taking the case of an American, how does he get in touch with the ICC that the US can't intercept? Short of driving there, I don't know how to get to my mother without being intercepted, and if they put a watch on her garage and get my license plates from DMV, it would get even tougher.

Could the ICC open offices in most of the world's major cities? That would make it easier, but each country would have a camera aimed at their door to see who went in or out.

But OK, let's say we get all that solved. I don't know, maybe some kind of unbreakable encryption program guaranteed to have no back doors somehow?

Is there some way we can talk the countries of the world into giving the ICC power over this kind of thing? Would China allow the ICC to have power within China? The US, China, Russia all have vetoes on the UN Security Council. Maybe we could figure out a way to give the ICC a police force strong enough to go into China if they refused to cooperate.

This might work more easily if we didn't bring the ICC into it until after the WB's information had been passed. They could get him passports and transportation to any place in the world, and declare him a protected person. That's not going to stop the WB from being "suicided" or possibly "Breitbarted," but I don't know how to protect against that.

With all that aside, how can I help you to make this thread work the way you wanted it to. You've got a good idea, and I'd like to be associated with it.

With respect,
Charles1952

Oh, and with the different levels you're talking about? How do we going about assigning the proper category, or would everything go to the ICC right away? I'd also prefer that the WB get protection right away, and automatically. If he has to petition, his home country would hear about it and the WB would be in a terrible spot. If it turns out he's a criminal, then they could remove protection.

But what do we do about Snowden who is a legitimate WB, but also a legitimate criminal? - C -



posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 11:27 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

No chastisement Charles! It will be hard to not comment on others posting as we work through this. I guess my greatest desire would be that if we comment on something others have written it would be done in a respectful manner for clarification or additional consideration. I think we can offer those clarification and consideration that advances our conversation in a productive manner.
I personally believe without some form of involvement of the ICS there would be no way to offer protection for the WB. The mechanism for petitioning the ICS would have to be very carefully constructed. Perhaps the ICS could have representatives in key countries and cities where WB could approach them with as much anonymity as possible. I think the disclosure of the information would then have to be transferred to media after the petition was filed. I realize that leaves a space of time where the WB could be at risk but I believe the WB by petitioning the ICS first would strengthen their position as a WB.



posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 11:37 PM
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reply to post by grayeagle
 


Whistleblowers act when there is dishonesty. The whistleblower provides honesty.

We are looking at ways to protect people who are honest?

My solution would be to initiate a social meme where honesty is rewarded and not punished.

Where having morals, values and principles are not considered a bad thing.

SnF for the concept and the idea.



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 12:02 AM
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reply to post by beezzer
 

We have public service announcements regarding all kinds of other issues why not announcements about not cheating or lying, or hurting others. How about announcements extolling the benefits of being ethical and moral? I find it interesting that the greatest sin of a mafia member is not murder but to be a snitch.
I believe if we don't find a way to protect whistle blowers we will encourage the silencing of democracy.



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 12:06 AM
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reply to post by grayeagle
 

Dear grayeagle,

Ok. I can see international involvement, but should we start this at a national level, then try to spread it, or go right to the top to get it over with more quickly?

What would happen if we took a bunch of little countries, say about 40, and have them implement the system, whatever it is. They probably wouldn't mind, and we could toss in a few extra dollars to get it set up and serve as an initial incentive.

After it works there, they use moral suasion to persuade countries like Canada, Sweden, Iceland, etc. to adopt it. Fairly soon, the only ones without a protective system would be the big boys and the Islamic nations.

This protective system could either be national, or the ICC could institute just among those countries to start. My fear is that, if we try to rope in the countries that might really have something to lose, they'll stonewall it and blue-ribbon commission it to death, and ten years from now we'll have made no progress.

Oh, by the way, when we figure this out, I suggest we send a one or two page summary to the various think tanks that do have some muscle, and maybe the ICC, and see what happens. Yes, I know we'll get a form letter, beginning "Thank you for your submission," but we've got to plant the seed. "You can't win if you don't play."

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 12:28 AM
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Originally posted by grayeagle
reply to post by beezzer
 

We have public service announcements regarding all kinds of other issues why not announcements about not cheating or lying, or hurting others. How about announcements extolling the benefits of being ethical and moral? I find it interesting that the greatest sin of a mafia member is not murder but to be a snitch.
I believe if we don't find a way to protect whistle blowers we will encourage the silencing of democracy.


It's sad when ethics and morals are such an alien topic that it has to be introduced through public/social media, but I agree.

It is a step in the right direction!




posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 12:46 AM
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Very important thread and discussion. I believe this takes something like groups waking up their local areas and having wide awake problem solving public saying no to the corruption and refusing to follow bad orders.

Then it takes round table agreements signatures, millions pledged to protect and all surround those who are hero's, nonstop. Taking turns and trading off.



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 12:50 AM
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Well,giving all the hype and considering rats rat out rats...hmmm

There is no protection,unless a marriage to another rat.


There would have to be an on guard militia at all times....Set them up in heated tents on the continent of Antarctica.



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 05:44 AM
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How to protect whistleblowers?? Make sure the secret they're disclosing is not that huge and damaging to the rulers of this world.



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 07:57 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


I think if we started at the local level we might be able to build a grassroots movement. First actively pursuing what is in place at the local and state level, and then at the national. Finally, pursuing a global agreement that would offer protection to those WBs that have to flee their own country. I am not advocating hiding or giving sanctuary to criminals. Their case would need to be presented to the ICS to maintain protection.



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 06:20 PM
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reply to post by grayeagle
 

Dear grayeagle,

I ran across an article about corruption and fraud in a city in Virginia. ( I don't remember the name.) I found it worthwhile:
pjmedia.com...
By the way, where are all our fellow think tankers? Aren't you paying them enough? It looks like my suggestion wasn't all that good.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 07:26 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

I hope they aren't staying reticent because they miss the excitement of the argument. As I stated earlier, if we allow the WB (honest, moral and ethical people) to be silenced out of fear of reprisal we will lose our democracy. It will truly be the silence of the lambs. Charles, thank you for the link.

I just read the story from the link and it really does identify the huge indifference the public has toward these issues. If we don't hold our local governments accountable then who will watch the watchers? It seems to me that whenever the public begins to hold their elected governments accountable they are quickly branded extremists, conspiracy nuts and anarchists.

But it reinforces my contention that changes will have to begin at the grass roots level if we want to maintain a free and fair society.
edit on 06/02/2011 by grayeagle because: Additional comments





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