American Whistleblower Tour: Models of Courageous Citizenship
March 5, 2014 to March 27, 2014 - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Syracuse University and the Government Accountability Project (GAP) announce the American Whistleblower Tour: Models of Courageous Citizenship. ArtRage is co-sponsoring this tour and will be hosting two films as a “warm up” to the week of scheduled events. Additionally, we’ll also be hosting a community public event on March 25th at 7pm; A conversation with Whistleblower Michael Winston. You can read more about that here – http://artragegallery.org/the-american-whistleblower-tour-conversation-with-michael-winston . A major public event at Syracuse University will be on March 26th when all five Whistleblowers from GAP will appear on a panel at Hergenhan Auditorium in Newhouse 3 on campus. (See schedule below)
As part of the Tour, there will be an exhibition of the paintings of Robert Shetterley (Americans Who Tell The Truth) at an SU Gallery, 914Works. Rob has painted the portraits of nine Whistleblowers: Thomas Drake, National Security Agency (Will be in Syracuse); Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers; Bunny Greenhouse, US Army Corps of Engineers; James Hanson, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; John Kirakou, CIA (in prison); Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, US Army Intelligence (in prison); Coleen Rowley, FBI; Jesselyn Radack, Dept of Justice and GAP (Will be in Syracuse); Edward Snowden, National Security Agency. These portraits and nine others will be on display at the gallery from March 18 thru April 11, 2014. ArtRage will display posters of the Whistleblower portraits in their store windows with info about the exhibition at 914Works. To keep updated visit http://whistleblower.syr.edu/
Robert Shetterly – Robert´s paintings and prints are in collections all over the U.S. and Europe. His painting has tended toward the narrative and the surreal, however, for more than ten years he has been painting the series of portraits Americans Who Tell the Truth. The exhibit has been traveling around the country since 2003. The portraits have given Shetterly an opportunity to speak with children and adults all over this country about the necessity of dissent in a democracy, the obligations of citizenship, sustainability, US history, and how democracy cannot function if politicians don’t tell the truth, if the media don’t report it, and if the people don’t demand it. Visit http://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org/
AMERICAN WHISTLEBLOWER TOUR: Models of Courageous Citizenship
Wednesday, March 5 at 7pm
Film: We Steal Secrets at ArtRage Gallery
Wednesday, March 12 at 7pm
Film: The Insider at ArtRage Gallery
March 18 thru April 11
Exhibit: Portraits of Americans Who Tell The Truth
914Works Gallery – 914 E. Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY
Tuesday, March 25 from 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Conversation with Dr. Susan Wood – Seminar at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, Upstate Medical University
2231 Weiskotten Hall, 766 Irving Avenue, Syracuse, NY
Tuesday, March 25 from 4:30 – 5:30 PM
Conversation with Jon Oberg and Louis Clark
Hall of Fame Room, SUNY Cortland, Cortland, NY
Tuesday, March 25 from 7:00 PM
Conversation with Michael Winston at ArtRage Gallery
Wednesday, March 26 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM
American Whistleblower Tour Panel
Hergenhan Auditorium in Newhouse 3, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
Thursday, March 27 at 8:00 PM
Concert: Contemporary Music Ensemble
Setnor Auditorium in Crouse College
Setnor School of Music, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
GAP’s American Whistleblower Tour is a dynamic Tour that seeks to educate the public − particularly our country’s incoming workforce − about the phenomenon of whistleblowing. The Tour brings notable whistleblowers to colleges and universities across the country to share their stories about how they discovered serious wrongdoing, decided to speak out about the problem they witnessed, and what they experienced after “blowing the whistle.” Some whistleblowers share stories of suffering shocking forms of reprisal; some share stories of powerful vindication of their concerns. All share how the experience of putting ethics into practice profoundly affected them personally and professionally.
American Whistleblower Tour: Speaker Bios:
Louis Clark, (event moderator) is president of the Government Accountability Project and director of its corporate accountability program. Under his leadership GAP has been involved in many of the country’s highest-profile whistleblower cases. In its early years, GAP represented hundreds of whistleblowers at numerous nuclear power plants, including Three Mile Island and Diablo Canyon, and exposed the trillion dollar “Star Wars” anti-missile project for the boondoggle that it was. More recently, GAP investigated numerous scandals at the World Bank, which resulted in the resignation of Paul Wolfowitz as its president, and represented National Security Agency employees who blew the whistle on waste, fraud, and abuse related to the Agency’s domestic spying program.
Thomas Drake, is a former senior official of the National Security Agency (NSA) whom the Justice Department prosecuted under the Espionage Act. In June 2011, the case against him collapsed, but he endured four years of investigation and faced 10 felony counts after he used internal mechanisms to disclose serious wrongdoing concerning a data collection program called “Trailblazer.” That program was costly, wasteful and ineffective; it threatened Americans’ privacy rights, and was wholly undeveloped – despite the availability of a cost-effective, functional alternative that protected Americans’ privacy. Ultimately, the Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped all felony counts against Drake four days before the trial date after a blitz of national media coverage critical of the DOJ’s prosecution, including a lead story by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker and a segment on 60 Minutes. In addition, the judge excoriated DOJ lawyers for their “unconscionable” conduct during the prosecution. Drake is the recipient of the 2011 Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling, regarded in the U.S. as the highest honor that a whistleblower can receive.
Jon Oberg, while working at the Department of Education as a researcher in 2003, discovered illegal payments to student loan lenders of federal tax dollars that department officials instructed him not to investigate further. On his own time, he researched the payments and reported them to Congress, which in 2004 ended the payments prospectively, saving billions of dollars. In 2007, Oberg sued the recipients under the False Claims Act. Three years later, the Department of Justice announced it had settled four of the cases for over $57 million.
Jesselyn Radack, served as an Ethics Advisor in the Department of Justice. In 2001, she learned that FBI agents sought to interrogate “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh. Because Lindh was represented by counsel, she advised the agents they could not conduct the interrogation. They did so anyway. As a result, she correctly advised them that the Lindh testimony was inadmissible in a legal proceeding. When Attorney General John Ashcroft erroneously maintained in public that the seriously injured Lindh had waived his right to legal counsel before speaking with the FBI, Radack’s advice was reported in the news media. Currently, Radack is GAP’s National Security & Human Rights Director.
Michael Winston, was a high level executive at Countrywide Financial, the lending giant taken over by Bank of America in 2008 during the mortgage crisis. Hired in 2005 as an executive vice president in leadership development, he was tasked with helping Countrywide develop better managers to grow the organization. Previously Mr. Winston held executive positions at Motorola, Merrill Lynch, Lockheed Martin, and McDonnell Douglas. When Moody’s Investors Services expressed concern about Countrywide’s succession planning and other governance issues, Mr. Winston was asked by Countrywide’s president to present a report detailing the organization’s extensive succession plans to allay Moody’s concerns. He refused to comply with this request because he knew of no such plan. Soon afterward his budget was frozen and his duties severely curtailed. When Bank of America took over Countrywide in January 2007, he was fired. Mr. Winston sued Bank of America for wrongful termination and retaliation against him for his refusal to mislead Moody’s, and for his filing a complaint with CAL-OSHA when employees in his building were sickened by exposure to toxic chemicals. His trial was the first to compel top Countrywide executives—including its now-disgraced founder Angelo Mozilo—to testify before a jury. In February 2011 he won a $3.8 million jury award, which was subsequently overturned on a legal technicality.
Dr. Susan Wood, served as FDA Assistant Commissioner for Women’s Health for five years. When she concluded in 2005 that Bush administration politics was tying up the approval of Plan-B, not the safety or efficacy of this “morning-after pill,” she resigned and spoke out forcefully that FDA science was being held captive by the “pro-life movement.” Following her resignation, Wood traveled around the country, sharing her story and voicing her concerns over the state of public health policy. Currently, Wood is a Research Professor at George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services.