31 August 2016


 The following letter appeared in The Age newspaper on 31 AUGUST 2016, two days after a front page article in The Age (29 AUGUST 2016) under the heading  
$5m whistleblower bounty.

This is the letter I would have liked to have sent to The Age, but because it has not published any of my letters for so long, I would have done it on my blog anyway.

The letter-writer gives the names of 4 whistleblowers and what the US government has done to them, but there are so many others to add to the list, a few being Edward Snowden and Julian Assange as examples.

The US government under Barack Obama has done more to harm US citizens than any other president since the earliest days of the formation of the United States after its genocide on native Americans after European invasion.

And other so-called western democracies have all been just as vicious and cruel to whistleblowers.

Under no circumstances are whistleblowers protected by their governments and we shouldn't anticipate any favourable changes any day soon. (Mannie De Saxe)


One-way protection

The BHP Billiton case does indeed expose "the weakness of Australia's whistleblower regime" (The Age, 29/8). However, the US is hardly a beacon for appropriate protection of whistleblowers. In the US, one may only blow the whistle one way – to help government bodies. After the spectacular global financial crisis, the US were oh so magnanimous to whistleblowers, treating them to legislation bestowing up to 30 per cent of fines resulting from their disclosure.

But blow that whistle the other way, and look out.
Four names will illustrate my point:

1. William Binney disclosed that NSA collected mass data on its own citizens. The result was a raid on his home, loss of employment and a financial deficit to the tune of $300,000.

2. Thomas Drake disclosed NSA warrantless mass surveillance of US citizens. He was indicted and sentenced to one year probation and community service.

3. John Kyriakou disclosed CIA waterboarding detainees. He was indicted and sentenced to 30 months' jail.

 4. Chelsea Manning disclosed the infamous "collateral murder" footage of an Apache helicopter slaughter of at least eight people in Baghdad, including two journalists and a young father. He was indicted and sentenced to 35 years' jail.

Aliki Pavlou, Albert Park

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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm