FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- April 26, 2006
Contact: Sibel Edmonds, National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, firstname.lastname@example.org
Congress Not Allowed to Receive Information from NSA Whistleblower
The Chairmen of the House & Senate Intelligence Committees Dodge Oversight Responsibility; Again!
On December 22, 2005, the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC) made public the request by a former NSA intelligence analyst and action officer to report to Congress probable unlawful and unconstitutional acts conducted while he was an intelligence officer with the National Security Agency (NSA) and with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). NSWBC urged the congress to hold hearings and let Mr. Tice testify. Today, more than four months after Mr. Tice’s letters were sent to the chairs of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees and publicized in the media, he has yet to receive a response and be given an opportunity to lawfully disclose his first-hand account of criminal acts conducted by the National Security Agency.
“Here you have a responsible veteran intelligence officer who has been trying to reach out to the so-called appropriate channels, including the United States Congress, to appropriately and lawfully make disclosure of government wrongdoing; yet, as we have seen time and time again, these attempts prove to be futile. Amazingly enough, congressional representatives such as Senator Pat Roberts, the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) continue to mislead the public by making false statements regarding the availability of appropriate channels for whistleblowers to disclose government waste, fraud, abuse and/or criminal activities. We would like for Senator Roberts to come out, in light of all these documented cases of whistleblowers’ attempts to report to congress cases of agency wrongdoing, and explain to the public what he means by the ‘availability of appropriate channels for Intelligence whistleblowers to report other than the media’, and when the system will be fixed so we do not have to throw out the best in government to expose the misdeeds of the worst.” stated Sibel Edmonds, the director of National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC).
On December 16, 2005, Russ Tice wrote to the chairs of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees requesting a classified briefing to report to Congress probable unlawful and unconstitutional acts conducted while he was an intelligence officer with the National Security Agency (NSA) and with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). In his letter, Mr. Tice stated that these acts involved the Director of the National Security Agency, the Deputies Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, and were conducted via very highly sensitive intelligence programs and operations known as Special Access Programs (SAP). SAP programs and operations are more commonly referred to as “black world” programs and operations (To read Mr. Tice’s Letter to Congress Click Here)
On January 09, 2006, NSA sent a letter addressed to Mr. Tice and asserted that no senators, congressmen or staff on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) or the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) possessed high enough security clearance to be briefed by Mr. Tice. (To read NSA’s letter to Mr. Tice Click Here)
Today, in a letter sent by Mr. Tice to the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Pat Roberts, he states: “To this date I have not received a response from you or the SSCI addressing my request to testify about these SAP programs.” Further the letter reads, “As the responsible committee for intelligence in the Senate, I have been waiting for your directions on this matter. If another committee is the proper place for me to testify, I believe it is your responsibility to forward my request to that committee and keep me informed of the process.” (To read the entire letter Click Here)
Professor William Weaver, NSWBC Senior Advisor stated:” In our system of government the People are the fail-safe mechanism of accountability. When no other avenue works, when no one in political power will listen, when the government colludes to deceive the citizens, it is the People who represent the final court of accountability for those acts and failures. Whistleblowers in national security agencies have no safe way to report illegal governmental activity; their careers, and even their safety, are put in danger by utilizing official channels of reporting. They become whistleblowers outside the system as a last resort, after they have been failed by agencies, inspectors general, Congress, and oversight organizations. They give the decision to the People in a last and desperate act to make sure that right is done. They also know that by giving the power of knowledge to the public they are sacrificing whatever is left of themselves and their careers.”
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