An official charged with investigating whistleblower cases within the U.S. intelligence community is himself blowing the whistle on alleged “public corruption,” according to new reporting by McClatchy.
Journalist Marisa Taylor describes Daniel Meyer as “the Obama administration’s top official overseeing how intelligence agencies handle whistleblower retaliation claims.” Previously, he worked on whistleblower cases within the Pentagon—after having become a tipster himself in 1989.
She writes that according to records obtained by McClatchy, Meyer has lodged a complaint with the government’s Merit Systems Protection Board accusing “his former Defense Department bosses of ‘manipulation of a final report to curry favor’ with then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.”
The inspector general’s report concluded that Panetta had leaked classified information to the makers of the film Zero Dark Thirty, Meyer said. That conclusion was later removed after then-acting Inspector General Lynne Halbrooks met privately with Panetta, he said. Meyer does not accuse Panetta or Halbrooks of making the change.
In April, the Office of Special Counsel, an agency that handles complaints of retaliation by whistleblowers rejected Meyer’s claims, citing a lack of evidence.
In support of his retaliation claims, Meyer filed a sworn affidavit by his former boss, John Crane, a onetime assistant Defense Department inspector general. Crane was fired in 2013 and now alleges he, too, was retaliated against because of his involvement in the Zero Dark Thirty case and other controversial whistleblower claims, including one filed by former high-ranking National Security Agency official Thomas Drake.
For his involvement in this and other cases—and possibly, he says, because he is gay—Meyer told McClatchy he was “passed over for promotions and raises and his career suffered other unfair setbacks.”
But as one congressional staffer, who asked to remain anonymous, told McClatchy in 2014: “Dan Meyer has been a relentless advocate for whistleblowers in making sure they don’t fall through the cracks. If action is taken against him, it could have a chilling effect on whistleblowers coming forward.”
As Taylor notes, “Meyer’s claims add to a barrage of allegations that the federal government’s handling of defense and intelligence whistleblower cases is flawed.”
The news comes just ahead of National Whistleblower Appreciation Day on July 30.
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