Lucas Dare, Staff Writer
John F. Kennedy was outspoken against the secret government growing behind the curtains of American democracy. In his address to American publishers and the media in 1961, two years prior to his public assassination, he remarked about the nature of secrecy and the dangers of allowing our government to operate without our consent and beyond our knowledge, warning the press to consider the importance of their role in protecting American liberty from the emergence of the Deep State. In essence, JFK was the first major American whistleblower.
“The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings.” ~John F. Kennedy
Today, as the world hangs on every Wikileaks release coming from Edward Snowden, it is clear that the role of whistleblower in our society is critical to the survival of freedom, and also clear the public demands the truth.
The Science of Destroying Whistleblowers
There is a definitive science to preventing and destroying whistleblowers which includes a continuum of intimidation tactics that are very effective at keeping government employees from going public with information that could be harmful to the state.
Author of From the Company of Shadows, and a decorated former CIA officer and anti-terrorism specialist turned whistleblower, Kevin Shipp, recently spoke in a public awareness event in Northern California on the issues moral people face when confronted with evidence of state corruption. He begins by asking why there are not more whistleblowers in a world where government secrecy and covert activity has become the norm.
“I come from the belly of the best. I was a interviewer, interrogator, I was a counter intelligence agent. I was a polygraph examiner. I was an internal investigator, and on and on and on. So I know this system and I know it well, and then I experienced it personally. Why don’t people come out in these secret programs that they know are illegal and unconstitutional? Why don’t they come out and blow the whistle and tell people what’s going on?” ~Kevin Shipp
Speaking from his personal experience, both as a witness from inside the CIA and as a person who is directly taking the risks associated with exposing government corruption, he reveals his insight into this issue, offering a solid explanation of why more people don’t come forward with the truth about our government’s unconstitutional and immoral activities.
According to Shipp, there is a complete game plan in play that covers all the bases of intimidation, harrasment and coercion, and as outlined below, here are the main things that prevent more people from becoming speaking out.
1.) Binding Secrecy Agreements
Ninety-nine percent of all would-be whistleblowers are convinced to look the other way by use of binding secrecy agreements as terms for employment or promotion.
Essentially, in order to work for the government in any capacity that would involve one in any of the many unconstitutional programs it operates today, employees must sign binding secrecy agreements where they cannot talk without going to prison for doing so. This type of agreement was originally designed as a way to legitimately protect sources, methods and technology, however the intention has changed dramatically and it is now used broadly as a form of intimidation used to conceal criminal activity.
These agreements are forfeitures of constitutional rights such as the right to a jury trial, the right to sue the government, and all rights to due process.
2.) The Intelligence Community and the State Secrets Privilege
“There is a massive, mammoth, complex secret mechanism in the U.S. Government, it’s called theintelligence community. It is so powerful that not even the Congress or the Senate can control it. Matter of fact, it controls them. It does whatever it wants. They have these Senate investigations, and they’ll come and they say, ‘sorry Senator, we can’t tell you what we’re doing because you don’t have the agency clearance.’ And that’s where it’s shut down.” ~Kevin Shipp
By using the state secrets privilege, which was created by the executive branch of the U.S. Government, the intelligence community can prevent and stop any investigation into sensitive issues, it can prevent disclosure of pertinent information in an investigation, and it can stop any lawsuits it wishes to shut down.
“The state secrets privilege (SSP) is a common law privilege that allows the head of an executive department to REFUSE to produce evidence in a court case on the grounds that the evidence is secret information that would harm national security or foreign relation interests if disclosed.” [Source]
3.) Direct Personal Intimidation and Harassment
If someone persists on going public with state secrets, or even indicates an intention to do so, there is are a number of tactics that can be applied to embarrass, intimidate, and directly penalize them. This may come in the form of demotion, of giving someone embarrassing or compromising assignments, or by directly intervening in their personal lives in illegal ways such as financially destroying one’s family by blocking retirement funds or by raising interest rates on credit union loans so their vehicles and homes become unaffordable.
4.) Psychological Re-Education
This tool is used to officially discredit a potential whistleblower before they actually go public so that if they succeed at drawing attention to an agency their character is already defamed and documented as being unstable.
“What they’ll do is they’ll say, ‘we can see that you’re very stressed out by all of this, and we want to help you, so, we’re going to refer you to the office of medical services so you can undergo some psychological counseling to help you sleep at night and make you better and get rid of your anxiety, so, we’re going to set up an appointment for you to meet with a psychologist.’
Now, where do you suppose that goes? The interview’s over, the document is falsified, ’employee is paranoid, obsessive-compulsive, and disgruntled.’ That goes in the file, so if it ever does get to the Congress or Senate or court, they pull it out and say, ‘well look, he or she went under an evaluation and they’re basically unstable, end of story, shut the case down.’” ~Kevin Shipp
5.) Internal Investigation by the Offices of Inspectors General
Inspector generals are presented as an objective and honest safeguard in the bureaucratic process, however this is not always true.
When a significant case is presented with overwhelming evidence is presented against the state, the inspector general for any agency can step in with their own conclusions citing there is no problem nor wrong-doing, and that their internal investigation had not revealed anything. This effectively prevents any outside body from being able to fully examine whistleblower allegations.
“They will destroy you. They’ll destroy your career, your finances, destroy your family. They’ll take you all the way down as far as they can.” ~Kevin Shipp
All in all this creates a culture of fear within all government agencies, effectively silencing dissent before it happens.
We’ve seen what happened to Bradley Manning who was prosecuted under the espionage act for releasing military documents to Wikileaks. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden have been living for years in exile under the protection of foreign governments for their roles in exposing how the state is violating our constitutional rights. Even at the civil level people who expose state corruption are persecuted beyond common sense as is evidenced in the case of Ramsey Orta, the only person going to jail in relation to the murder of Eric Garner by the NYPD, after he filmed Garner’s murder in 2014.
In light of all of this, it is no wonder that more people do not speak out on government programs that violate our natural and civil rights, for it takes tremendous courage and incurs significant risk to do so.
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