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TSA Whistleblower Robert MacLean Tells His Story, and Rifts Are Exposed in Whistleblower Community

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Following another whistleblower story, we talk to Robert MacLean and his attorney, Tom Devine, and they address critics of MacLean and Devine; one of those critics, Joe Carson, joins us in segment 2 with attorney David Pardo, and we relay written comments from Julia Davis.As PBC explains in the podcast introduction, this episode took some unexpected turns.

It started with this article about MacLean and retroactive classification by the government, written by State Dept. whistleblower Peter van Buren.  That story is recounted by MacLean and Devine in the first part of the podcast, and raises important issues about retroactive classification and retaliation against whistleblowers.

After inviting MacLean to be interviewed, PBC sent the van Buren article to whistleblowers Joe Carson (Energy Dept.) and Julia Davis (Homeland Security).  Carson responded with critical comments of Tom Devine and his organization, the Government Accountability Project.  Davis responded with a link to this article she wrote in 2011, which is quite critical of MacLean.

In segment 1, you will hear the unedited interview with MacLean and Devine, who both respond to the comments of Carson and Davis near the end.

In fairness, PBC invited Davis and Carson to respond.  Davis sent a written statement, which is read at the start of segment 2, which begins at 48:30    Carson agreed to be interviewed, and asked that David Pardo be on with him.  Pardo is an attorney who was fired from the Federal Aviation Administration, and operates a whistleblower website.  To enable them to react to the comments of MacLean and Devine, PBC sent the audio file of their interview to Carson, Davis, and Pardo.  Without PBC’s knowledge, Pardo posted quotes from the MacLean/Devine conversation, which prompted MacLean to cry “foul” and produced a flurry of emails, tweets and blog posts about an incomplete, unpublished interview package.

We proceeded to the interview with Carson and Pardo, in which they express concerns about GAP and Devine, and suggest that Devine is too powerful in the lobbying for better laws to protect whistleblowers, and that GAP benefits from the broken system of the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Office of Special Counsel.

While it was not the intention to focus on divisions in the whistleblower community, we do not duck controversy, or try to protect our listeners from conflicts and disagreement.  We seek to present the issues in a fair and honest way.  You are invited to listen, follow the links here to the source materials, and draw your own conclusions.  Please share your comments: