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  • The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building.

    The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 February 2018

Of 190 cases of alleged retaliation against whistleblowers, only one was vindicated.

A report, which was operated out of the Intelligence Community Inspector General office and discontinued last year, revealed rampant whistleblower reprisals within six top U.S. intelligence agencies. The watchdog report conducted an inquiry into 190 cases of alleged retaliation against whistleblowers. Of that total, whistleblowers received a favorable ruling by intelligence bureaucrats only one time.

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In effect, the report uncovered a shocking pattern, that intelligence agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the National Security Agency (NSA), routinely failed to protect intelligence staff members who reported incidents such as abuse, fraud, waste and even criminality up the chain of command, according to The Daily Beast.

It took a total of 742 days to rule in favor of the sole whistleblower who was not condemned. In all of the other cases, though some remain open - one since 2010 – intelligence inspectors ruled that whistleblower was wrong.

The suppressed report read, in part, that “Absent a review process which adheres to mandated legal standards for reprisal investigations, the protections remain weak with minimal chance for a complainant to have a reprisal complaint substantiated.”

Apart from the numbers, the inspectors also discovered countless stumbling blocks in the way whistleblower safeguards in the intelligence community. For example, there was no clear standard for undertaking investigations dealing with reprisals.

The investigation was almost complete as it neared six months of inspection. However, the project was terminated last April when Wayne Short, the department's acting head, discovered that one of the inspectors was also a whistleblower who was embroiled in a federal lawsuit against the CIA, according to The Daily Beast.

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