Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016


By Domenick J. Maglio PhD. Traditional Realist

There are plenty of people who release false personal information on someone to destroy that person, politician or businessman’s career. The intent of the pronouncement is to hurt others not to protect unaware and innocent people. The accusations they make are mostly based on innuendo, which is stated to promote them over an adversary or seek revenge over a perceived wrong. The same nasty intentions can motivate a whistleblower. Whistleblowers are not always honorable guys; they can be scoundrels too. Some of these people’s acts are not behaviors to be celebrated but ones to be condemned by fair-minded people.

Whistleblowing can be an heroic act. It puts an individual in jeopardy of being attacked as an opportunist, a rat or worse, a traitor to his organization’s mission. When an employee of a company puts his own livelihood on the line to protest evil acts, it is courageous and should be applauded. The exposing of falsifying positive test results when the product is causing serious physical damage to others is another moral act of substance. Standing up against wrongdoing the person (the whistleblower) should be protected from retaliation by business or government officials. The problem is determining whether the person is a disgruntled individual lying for his own ends or a person committed to justice. This should be determined before an unknown official designates the person as a whistleblower.

In the case of Rear Admiral Brian Losey, the verdict concerning his behavior depends on whose word one believes. Retired four-star general, Bill McRaven, US Special Operations Commander from 2011-2014 stated, “Brian Losey is without question one of the finest officers I have ever known for 30 years. I have seen him in every possible leadership position.” The General noted Washington politics, not malfeasance was the driving force for his not being promoted. The community of SEAL Team Six acknowledged he was highly respected as a fair, by-the-book commander. The decision not to promote Admiral Losey was outside the normal chain of command.

These political difficulties began when Losey was assigned to lead the Special Operations component in Africa. His commanding style conflicted with the existing, relaxed anything-goes culture. The clash produced two civilian and one military personnel filing whistleblower statements. After an exhaustive examination, the Navy Review Board voted 3-0 to promote him and grant him a second star. However, some members in the Senate, led by John McCain, protested the promotion.  The Navy shortly overturned the Navy Review Board’s recommendation. Brian Losey was forced to retire. Was it a just verdict or a means of eliminating a strong military leader who would not bow to political pressure?

The Edward Snowden whistleblower revelations in 2013 became the most explosive story of the year or perhaps a decade. Political elites lined up to opine about either the harm or the virtue of his actions. Mr. Snowden released documents showing the NSA, National Security Agency, had detailed information on every American citizen. According to the proponents of the NSA the information would only be reviewed in extraordinary cases that challenged our Homeland Security.

This invasion into our privacy caused a strong reaction. Many people were horrified that the government had fingertip access to any and all information on every individual American. They expressed that personal data on Americans could be used by power-seeking individuals to intimidate the masses into the acceptance of a totalitarian regime.

It is true that our adversaries could use the information released by Snowden against our national security interests. It exposed many of our security techniques, information and identified specific personnel. Snowden’s released information made many individual’s lives more vulnerable and showed Americans the power of the national government to spy on its own people, very few of which had any inkling of it.  This incredible surveillance program of all Americans was an eye opener of the power of our central government.

Before Mr. Snowden’s indisputable evidence that the NSA had the ability to spy and blackmail anyone, this notion would have been laughed at as a conspiratorial wacko theory. Currently we are more aware of the sophisticated intelligence, power and dangerous potential of our government officials. This should send a chill down the spine of every law-abiding citizen. The people of the USA have a right to open a debate especially since our government has been prone to lie to us on numerous occasions. We have to determine whether we should go down this path or not.

Rear Admiral, Brian Losey, a person whose reputation was called into question by whistleblowers, and the most recognized whistleblower, Edward Snowden, who revealed sensitive governmental spying on every American are on the opposite ends of the spectrum of the whistleblowers law.  Each of the accused and the accuser have to be judged on the evidence of their actions and should have the right to due process of the law.

The reality is not every whistleblower is a hero or everyone a self-promoting selfish person out for revenge or notoriety. A self-proclaimed whistleblower has to be investigated for motives as any accuser of someone to determine their testimony’s validity. The decision of the whistleblower’s impact, whether it was a virtuous or evil act, can only be made on a case-by-case basis by a jury of his peers not by an edict from an unknown bureaucratic government official.

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