September 8, 2005

 

NSWBC SENDS LETTER TO CONGRESS URGING INVESTIGATION INTO THE CASE OF DEA WHISTLEBLOWER

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sibel Edmonds, sedmonds@nswbc.org

 

In a letter addressed to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman, Susan Collins (R- ME), National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC) urges the committee to investigate and hold a hearing in the case of Mr. Sandalio Gonzalez, the former Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration in El Paso.

 

Mr. Gonzalez, a thirty-three year veteran of law enforcement, has suffered retaliation for reporting concerns that the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, along with federal law enforcement agents, supported and protected a confidential informant who they knew had “supervised” torture and murder of people, and who they knew would engage in similar activity in the future. After discovering that the informant murdered at least one person, law enforcement agents and the U.S. Attorney’s Office allegedly stood by as he participated in, and aided and abetted numerous other killings.  The actions alleged by Mr. Gonzalez also placed United States agents in Mexico at risk and resulted in the near abduction and murders of a DEA agent and his family in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

 

“Government employees should never be forced to choose between career and conscience when faced with agency wrongdoing,” said Sibel Edmonds, Director of the NSWBC. ”Universally respected and loved by the agents under his command, Mr. Gonzalez was retaliated against, forced into retirement, and took with him a vast amount of institutional memory and an extensive repertoire for securing our nation against its enemies. This is our country’s loss, thus congress must act.”

 

Copies of the letter were sent to the Senate & House Judiciary Committees.

 

 

Dear Senator Collins:

 

A member of our organization, Mr. Sandalio Gonzalez, the former Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration in El Paso, has suffered retaliation for expressing concern that the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, along with federal law enforcement agents, aided, supported, and protected a confidential informant who they knew had “supervised” torture and murder of people and who they knew would engage in similar activity in the future.  After discovering that the informant murdered at least one person, law enforcement agents and the U.S. Attorney’s Office allegedly stood by as he participated in, and aided and abetted numerous other killings.  This informant was protected in order to preserve and prosecute cases made against drug traffickers and cigarette smugglers.

 

The actions alleged by Mr. Gonzalez also placed United States agents in Mexico at risk and resulted in the near abduction and murders of a DEA agent and his family in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.  As a senior executive service manager in the DEA, Gonzalez rightly felt that it was his duty to speak up and attempt to insure that federal agencies conduct themselves according to law and stated policy.  For this, Mr. Gonzalez, a thirty-three year veteran of law enforcement, was punished.  Universally respected and loved by the agents under his command, Mr. Gonzalez was forced into retirement and took with him a vast amount of institutional memory and an extensive repertoire for securing our nation against its enemies.  We would point out that Mr. Gonzalez did not blow the whistle in the normal sense; everything he did was in-house and not directed at the media or members of Congress.

 

Out of all the cases we run across we bring this one to your special attention because it involved multiple agencies and for the egregious consequences agency misbehavior may have had in this case.  Arguably, as a result of the failure to follow policy and simple ethical practices at least one wholly innocent United States resident was abducted, tortured, and murdered, and numerous Mexican nationals were killed.

 

Because of the seriousness of the agency failures alleged by Mr. Gonzalez and the special credibility due his observations we pray for the following actions:

 

                      That the Committee on Homeland Security, or individual members of the Committee, request a confidential briefing from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas, and the Drug Enforcement Administration on the government actions surrounding the allegations by Mr. Gonzalez.

 

 

 

                      That the Committee on Homeland Security schedules a hearing on the actions concerning Mr.

Gonzalez’ allegations of malfeasance and retaliation and subpoena appropriate witnesses to describe and explain those actions.

 

We attach Mr. Gonzalez’ letter of concern to the Bureau of Immigrations and Custom Enforcement and the United States Attorney’s Office that precipitated agency retaliation, and also the letter of complaint to the Department of Justice Inspector General.  Mr. Gonzalez joins us in the requests we put forward here, and we look forward to your response.

 

 

Respectfully,

National Security Whistleblowers Coalition

 

Sibel D. Edmonds

Director

 

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For more information and a copy of Mr. Gonzalez’ letter to the Bureau of Immigrations and Custom Enforcement, please contact Sibel Edmonds at sedmonds@nswbc.org

About National Security Whistleblowers Coalition

National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), founded in August 2004, is an independent and nonpartisan alliance of whistleblowers who have come forward to address our nation’s security weaknesses; to inform authorities of security vulnerabilities in our intelligence agencies, at nuclear power plants and weapon facilities, in airports, and at our nation’s borders and ports; to uncover government waste, fraud, abuse, and in some cases criminal conduct.           The NSWBC is dedicated to aiding national security whistleblowers through a variety of methods, including advocacy of governmental and legal reform, educating the public concerning whistleblowing activity, provision of comfort and fellowship to national security whistleblowers suffering retaliation and other harms, and working with other public interest organizations to affect goals defined in the NSWBC mission statement. 

For more on NSWBC visit www.nswbc.org

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