Susan Collins: I Stand With Crazy Pete the Twit-Leaker in Opposing Intelligence Whistleblowers

I’ve been covering the misplaced priorities of Crazy Pete Hoekstra–who doesn’t want federal Intelligence Community employees to have a way of alerting Congress to fraud and wrong-doing without exposing classified information and/or losing their jobs, but who is happy to Twitter sensitive information about his and Minority Leader Boehner’s travels in Baghdad.

It seems that Susan Collins has the same misplaced priorities. She single-handedly axed the House-backed provision to include whistleblower protection in the stimulus package–and with it, prevented a key means of making sure taxpayer funds were spent wisely.

But, according to a person following the bill closely, Collins used today’s conference committee to drastically water down the measure, citing national security concerns as the reason for her opposition. In the end, the protections were so weakened that House negotiators balked, and the result was that the entire amendment was removed.

According to the person following the bill, Collins was the "central roadblock" to passing the protections.

To make matter worse, Collins is the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs commitee, which, as an oversight committee, might be expected to see its role as protecting whistleblowers. She also sits on the Senate appropriations committee, giving her a strong position from which to wield influence during today’s negotiations.

Though Senate leader Harry Reid supported the protections, said the source, he wasn’t willing to strong-arm Collins on the issue, given her central role in negotiations over the stimulus bill as a whole. [my emphasis]

I guess that about sums up the state of Republican approaches to both Homeland Security and Appropriations that they would work hard to deprive taxpayers of the protection from fraud and wrong-doing they need.  

46 replies
  1. AZ Matt says:

    Frankly, I think Collins is trying to cover “asses” for past or current things. She doesn’t want the stuff under Bush and Cheney coming out.

    • FreedomNow says:

      No, Republicans don’t want National Secrets to be leaked in the name of some made up “whistle-blower”…

  2. JohnJ says:

    A friend of the family was retired CIA. He told me that 80% of all classified information was classified to cover someones fuck-up.

    At one time, (I don’t know about now) it was possible to have a document you wrote classified so that you could no longer read it.

  3. PJEvans says:

    They’re afraid of what would come out if the whistleblowers get loose.
    I say, let the whistleblowers run, and give them protection.

    • JimWhite says:

      Yeah, I called his office today and thanked him for co-sponsoring the state secret protection act but told him I couldn’t add my name to his petition for a commission because I prefer prosecutions.

  4. klynn says:


    A little OT…Your “twitter” posts had me thinking about the Young College Republicans in Green County/Montgomery County, Ohio who put their voter fraud scheme on their website-blog this last election…

  5. TheraP says:

    Thank you for this post, EW. I’ve been specifically watching this very provision, especially since Panetta assured CIA officers that the lower level folks will not be prosecuted (unless they strayed beyond the supposedly legal set of authorized interrogation methods).

    It seems clear to me that the repubs are bent on making sure the truth does not come out. And for that reason we need to redouble our efforts to make sure the truth-tellers are protected.

    Your post here helps that goal.

    Susan Collins is clearly akin to the Vichy government in France.

  6. pajarito says:

    If your banker was stealing your money and the bank teller alerted you, wouldn’t you want to praise/protect/reward the bank teller?

    Why is it different in government? It is our money, our government.

  7. pajarito says:

    I was a whistleblower. The first letter threatening my firing from federal service used the term “Subversive.”

    These people hide behind a star-spangled cloak and immediately play the patriot angle.

  8. Blub says:

    most Mainers I know are quite sensible. May I make a polite request for y’all to kindly vote that woman out of office at some point in the next few years?

  9. perris says:

    this is nice to see;

    Jack Reed (D-RI) added his name to a growing list of congressmen endorsing either congressional or Justice Department investigations into Bush administration wrongdoings:

    I think we have to seriously investigate allegations of torture. … I think our political system as well as our judicial system is strong enough to conduct these investigations fairly and then to bring those people the law to justice. I don’t think we should be afraid of that.

    we need to be afraid of NOT doing that

  10. smartlady says:

    What was his reply? That his way was faster than prosecutions which could be tied up too long? I think I heard him say that on TV. I got an email from him asking me to sign a petition…. I’m going to explain to him why I don’t want to sign it.

  11. perris says:

    marcy, you’re gonna take a great interest in this;

    Pentagon Officials Censor Letter To Obama Detailing Gitmo Detainee’s Rendition And Torture»

    Obama Detailing Gitmo Detainee’s Rendition And Torture»
    Lawyers for Binyam Mohamed — an Egyptian-born British resident and current Guantanamo Bay detainee — have been engaged in a long-running legal battle to prove his innocence and ultimately win his release. Last week, the British High Court ruled against releasing documents describing torture techniques used against Mohamed while in U.S. custody, reportedly because the documents also prove British collaboration in his torture.

    Two days ago, Clive Stafford Smith, one of Mohamed’s lawyers, wrote a letter to President Obama in an appeal to make the documents public and to inform him of his client’s case. However, the letter was sent back, with the entire section detailing Mohamed’s torture redacted, as Smith told the UK’s Channel 4 News:

    CLIVE STAFFORD SMITH: The world has gone totally mad. We are trying to get the information to the President of the United States so he can assess whether this torture material should be made public. The censors in Washington, the military censors, won’t let their own commander in chief see it. It’s bizarre.

    • bluebutterfly says:

      Does the White House run the Pentagon, or does the Pentagon run the White House? Stay tuned..but, I think we already know the answer.

      • perris says:

        as dwbartoo reminds us, the pentagon is used to a man who simply did not want to know

        they (and we) will find out if the same thing is true for obama

        • bluebutterfly says:

          Testing testing ..1.2..3..What is he going to do?

          ” But as Guantánamo is being drawn down, large-scale construction is under way at a US military prison in Bagram, Afghanistan.

          They argued that federal judges in Washington have no jurisdiction to examine the detention and treatment of terrorism suspects in Afghanistan.

          Last month, US District Judge John Bates asked the Obama administration if it wished to “refine” that position. He gave the new administration until Feb. 20 to announce any changes in legal arguments developed by the Bush administration. “


          • skdadl says:

            Thanks very much for that link, bluebutterfly. It’s always in the back of my mind — GTMO is only one — and Bagram, of course, is only one other. The administration has to take account and be held to account for all of them.

        • bluebutterfly says:

          ” Further, FLEOA is calling on President Obama to enact an executive order which would restore the careers of Law Enforcement Officers (including counterterrorism agents) who have had their careers destroyed after blowing the whistle. “


    • DWBartoo says:

      Bu$h, as we all soon learned, was a man totally lacking in curiosity.

      Do you suspect, perris, that this little ’situation’ might pique President Obama’s interest, or is it more likely that he is much too busy to be bothered with such ‘nonsense’.

      One can certainly sympathize with Mr. Smith.

      Perhaps he should go to Washington?

  12. bmaz says:

    Yep, and he has been; they did not take this on a contingency fee basis, is was hourly from the start. You know, I would not have brought the civil suit; i understand the theory behind it, but i would not have done it. For the way Rusty likes to attack, it still has not necessarily been a bad idea, we won’t know until after everything sorts out. the civil case was never a standalone goal in and of itself, so we shall see where the chips fall.

  13. bluebutterfly says:

    ” The Obama Administration hasn’t spoken out about the whistleblower provision’s removal. Thus far, they’ve been relatively accommodating to Republicans’ requests — for example, removing a provision that would have provided money for the prevention of sexually-transmitted diseases.

    Yet, the Administration said they’d be protectors of whistleblowers as recently as last week. During his Feb. 5 confirmation hearing, Deputy Attorney General designate David Ogden told a Senate committee that he was “a big believer” in whistleblowers. “….._0212.html

  14. kittykitty says:

    god haven’t we tried to get rid of collins! she is unbeatable in maine, but not next time. now she’s put her food in it. I do a wicked good collins imitations, btw.

  15. InnocentBystander says:

    What’s to stop the Democrats from doing legislation devoted to whistleblower protection on its own merits? I’m not sure I understand why this was in the stimulus bill in the 1st place.

    But I’m sure I understand Collins’ motivation in not wanting to have her lack of DHS/GA oversight exposed by keeping this legislation in the bill. She was useless in doing oversighe when Bush/Cheney were having their way with Congress through 2006.

  16. Hmmm says:

    Awfully neat parallel to the bankers, don’t you think?: “MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE. What has been going on on the inside has been so depravedly illegal that any public disclosure of same would, in addition to shocking the conscience, cause general panic in the public and pose dangerous financial and legal problems for numerous important and powerful personages; therefore, any possible disclosure of said depraved and illegal acts SHALL NOT OCCUR. Thank you, that is all.”

  17. XC827runner says:

    I thought you might be interested in reading a letter from Halliburton whistleblower Bunny Greenhouse urging all Americans to continue the fight for greater oversight and accountability. You can read Bunny’s letter and help her protect taxpayer dollars by visiting…..d=12666936

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