Whistleblowers perform a vital public service exposing government complicity in torture, terrorism, corruption, war and other human rights abuses.
Recently a group of whistleblowers gave a talk at the Oxford Union. These genuine public servants, realising their bosses were betraying the public and engaging in wrong-doing, sacrificed their careers for the public interest.
For many of them, despite the persecution they faced, this has been a liberating experience.
Introduced by Ray McGovern (CIA) the speakers include Annie Machon (MI5), Tom Drake (National Security Agency), Ann Wright (US diplomat), John Brady Kiesling (US diplomat) and Craig Murray, (British Diplomat):
In her speech, Annie Machon explains how she revealed some of the crimes and utter incompetence of the unaccountable British spy community.
Tom Drake explains how narrow ‘intelligence’ is being hidden behind a veil of secrecy instead of shared, leading to its use by the powerful in the interest of militarism and against the public interest. He contrasts this with genuine intelligence which insists on telling truth to power.
Ann Wright resigned in opposition to the illegal war on Iraq after years in the government and now puts her experience to use as an active citizen protesting against the US government including the drone assassination campaign.
John Brady Kiesling also resigned in opposition to the illegal war on Iraq and advises the students in the audience to go into public service inside the system for 20 years and then raise the cost for poiticians of going against the public interest by resigning at the opportune moment.
Craig Murray blasts the Oxford students for not demonstrating against war criminal John Bolton but protesting against whistleblower Julian Assange. He explains how he resigned/was sacked as a result of his opposition to torture and extraordinary rendition. Whistleblowers are needed as governments can’t be trusted and governments regularly use smear tactics against whistleblowers to undermine their message. Whistleblowers, and Wikileaks in particular, is also needed as the mainstream media is dominated by militaristic interests.
Unlike other human rights groups, which dilly dally around these issues, Human Rights Investigations fully supports whistleblowers and recognises them as performing an essential role in defending human rights. In particular, we support the work of Wikileaks and recognise Bradley Manning as a prisoner of conscience.