Jeffrey Sterling, a whistleblowing former CIA employee, emerged from prison last month after serving most of a 42-month sentence. Like his trial, his release drew little media attention, but his case has important implications for all Americans at a critical time in US history.
Heroic whistleblower-nun “Sister Cathy” died in valiant effort to stop brutal sexual abuse at her high school, witnesses say
by Tom Nugent
BALTIMORE – More than 47 years after a 26-year-old teaching nun was found murdered in a garbage-littered patch of scrubland on the outskirts of Baltimore, there is convincing new evidence that she died in a tragic bid to blow the whistle on rampant sexual abuse involving both priests and police officers at the nun’s Catholic high school.
The still unsolved killing of Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik – for several years a youthful and high-spirited English teacher at Archbishop Keough High School in southwest Baltimore – still looms as one of Maryland’s most puzzling and enigmatic “cold cases,” according to many law enforcement officials and journalists who have studied the murder over the years.
Journalist Tom Nugent, author of our headlined story, “‘Sister Cathy’ murder cold case warms up,” appears as himself in the Netflix documentary series, “The Keepers.” Over seven gripping episodes, the story of murder and alleged child sexual abuse unfolds with Nugent providing narration. The documentary, which some call addictive, has an impressive 96% favorable rating at the film review website Rotten Tomatoes.
The Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence gathered recently in Washington, D.C., to present an award to investigative journalist Seymour (Sy) Hersh. Hersh revealed in 1969 the massacre of civilians at My Lai (Viet Nam), and exposed torture at Abu Ghraib in 2004. More recently, he challenged the truthfulness of government accounts of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria.
“My guilt will never go away,” former Marine Matthew Hoh explained to me. “There is a significant portion of me that doesn’t believe it should be allowed to go away, that this pain is fair.”
If America accepts the idea of fighting endless wars, it will have to accept something else as well: that the costs of war are similarly endless. I’m thinking about the trillions of dollars, the million or more “enemy” dead (a striking percentage of them civilians), the tens of thousands of American combat casualties, those 20 veteran suicides each day, and the diminished lives of those who survive all of that. There’s that pain, carried by an unknown number of women and men, that won’t disappear, ever, and that goes by the label “moral injury.”
History shows that federal agencies are prone to be dismissive of whistleblower complaints. Nevertheless, it’s shocking to read that the Comptroller of the Currency, the federal banking regulator, failed to investigate 700 whistleblower complaints about fraudulent Wells Fargo practices, an internal review disclosed.
Chelsea Manning left Ft. Leavenworth prison today at 2 a.m. Central Time. She had served seven years of an extreme 35-year sentence for whistleblowing, a sentence President Obama commuted just before leaving office.
In prison, the Army private, formerly known as Bradley Manning, struggled for transgender rights and wrote about her upcoming release, “For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea, I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world.” Upon release, she expressed appreciation for “the wonderful support that I have received from so many people across the world over these past years.”
President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order on April 27 establishing, within 45 days, an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection, to be led by a Special Assistant to the Secretary.
The office will “work closely with relevant VA components to ensure swift and effective resolution of veterans’ complaints of wrongdoing at the VA” and to “ensure adequate investigation and correction of wrongdoing throughout the VA, and to protect employees who lawfully disclose wrongdoing from retaliation.”
In a recent article, “Democrats on Capitol Hill ask White House not to gag federal employees“, the Washington Post quotes from a Congressional letter to President Trump.
“As the new Administration seeks to better understand what problems exist in this area, this is an appropriate time to remind employees about the value of protected disclosures to Congress and inspectors general in accordance with whistleblower protection law,” their letter added.