Whistleblowers I-L

Robert Isakson is a former FBI agent, who filed a whistleblower suit against contractor Custer Battles in 2004. Isacson said that the company bilked the U.S. government out of tens of millions of dollars by filing fake invoices and padding bills for reconstruction work in Iraq. A federal jury ruled in favor of Isakson and his co-plaintiff, William Baldwin, awarding a $10 million dollar judgment against the now-defunct firm. It was the first ever civil verdict for Iraq reconstruction fraud. In 2006, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III overturned the jury award. He said Isakson and Baldwin failed to prove that the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S.-backed occupier of Iraq for 14 months, was part of the U.S. government. Isakson said, “It’s a sad, heartbreaking comment on the system… I tried to help the government, and the government didn’t seem to care.”

Lois Jenson blew the whistle on prevalent and severe sexual harassment at the male-dominated Eveleth Taconite Co. coal mine, where she was employed. In 1988, she filed the first class-action sexual harassment lawsuit in U.S. history. Jenson’s case dragged on for 10 years. During the lawsuit, she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and quit her job. In 1998, just before another trial was to begin, fifteen women settled with Eveleth for $3.5 million dollars. In 2005, Jenson was portrayed by Charlize Theron in the feature film, “North Country”.

Jamie Leigh Jones blew the whistle on rapes and abuse of women that was covered up by Halliburton. In 2005, she was gang-raped by her Halliburton/KBR co-workers in Baghdad. After reporting her rape, Jones was locked in a shipping container for 24 hours and was threatened with termination of her employment. She was not allowed to call the police or be examined by a doctor of her choosing. Jones was forced to submit to an examination by the company’s doctor, who proceeded to turn over the rape kit evidence to KBR security personnel and not to police. Jones was prevented from filing a lawsuit against Halliburton/KBR, because her employment contract stipulated that any workplace injuries could only be handled through arbitration. Supporting Jones in her plight to seek justice, on October 1, 2009 Senator Al Franken (D-MN) submitted a proposed amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010 “To prohibit the use of funds for any Federal contract with Halliburton Company, KBR, Inc., any of their subsidiaries or affiliates, or any other contracting party if such contractor or a subcontractor at any tier under such contract requires that employees or independent contractors sign mandatory arbitration clauses regarding certain claims.” Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) opposed the amendment, referring to it as “a political attack directed at Halliburton.” In spite of this opposition, the 111th Congress passed the Franken Amendment (S.Amdt. 2588 to H.R. 3326), which was added to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010. On December 19, 2009 it became Public Law No: 111-118.

Anat Kamm served with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Kamm blew the whistle by leaking to the media the evidence that the IDF had been engaging in extrajudicial killings.

Janis Karpinski served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a career officer. She is now retired. Karpinski commanded the forces that operated Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq, at the time of the scandal related to torture and prisoner abuse (2003-2004). She blew the whistle by publicly revealing that prisoner abuse was committed by contract employees trained in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. Karpinski stated that those contractors were sent to Abu Ghraib under direct orders from the former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. In a May 2004 military investigation of the Abu Ghraib abuses, Karpinski also reported seeing children as young as twelve years of age incarcerated at Abu Ghraib. Karpinski insisted she had no knowledge of prisoner abuse, since that particular wing of the prison was under the control of military intelligence “twenty-four hours a day.” Karpinski said that Army intelligence officers encouraged guards to torture prisoners as an aid to interrogation. In an interview with BBC Radio, Karpinski recounted that Major General Geoffrey Miller, who was sent from Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay to improve interrogations at the Iraqi prison, told her to treat prisoners “like dogs” in the sense that “if you allow them to believe at any point that they are more than a dog then you’ve lost control of them”. In an interview with Spain’s El País newspaper, Karpinski stated that she had seen a letter signed by Donald Rumsfeld that allowed civilian contractors to torture prisoners during interrogation. According to Karpinski, Rumsfeld’s handwritten signature was above his printed name, followed by the same handwriting in the margin that said, “Make sure this is accomplished.” On April 8, 2005, Karpinski was formally relieved of command of the 800th Military Police Brigade. On May 5, 2005, President Bush approved Karpinski’s demotion to Colonel from the rank of Brigadier General. She was accused of dereliction of duty, making a material misrepresentation to investigators, failure to obey a lawful order and shoplifting. Military sources alleged that Karpinski had been arrested in 2002 on MacDill Air Force Base for stealing makeup, but Karpinski has denied the arrest took place. It’s very common for whistleblowers to be accused of criminal activities or administrative violations, unrelated to the substance of their disclosures. This is routinely done to discredit the whistleblowers, in an attempt to invalidate their disclosures. Karpinski said that her demotion was political retribution and that she was merely a scapegoat. Neither the Pentagon, nor the U.S. army spokespersons would provide comments to address Karpinski’s whistleblowing disclosures. They were later corroborated by the release of the Torture Memos, revealed in 2008 as a result of a Senate hearing into enhanced interrogation techniques, including one issued by John Yoo on March 14, 2003 to the General Counsel of the Department of Defense. In one of the Torture Memos, Yoo advised that federal laws related to torture and other abuses did not apply to interrogators overseas. By encouraging torture and human rights violations, Yoo and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez justified departures from the Geneva Convention. On March 8, 2006, in Karpinski’s interview to Dateline on the Australian SBS network, she was asked who was ultimately responsible for the actions of torture and humiliation depicted in the photographs. Karpinski responded: “When the Secretary of Defense, when General Miller, when General Sanchez, when General Taguba, when they testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, they were very careful to say, in response to a question about the photographs, that they knew nothing about the photographs. However, nobody on the Senate Armed Services Committee asked them “Did you know anything about the actions depicted in those photographs?” Because they would have had to give a truthful answer and the answer would have been yes, in fact they authorized the actions depicted in those photographs. The Secretary of Defense authorized it, in conversations with General Miller, his Under-Secretary for Intelligence not only authorized those actions but was staying on top of the progress of those actions and those activities.” In 2005, Karpinski published a book about her experiences, entitled “One Woman’s Army”.

Douglas D. Keeth filed a qui tam suit in 1989 against his employer, the United Technologies Corporation. Keeth revealed that the company inflated its billing in Sikorsky Aircraft division. The corporation offered Mr. Keeth a $1 million severance not to reveal its wrongdoing. He refused to accept the bribe. The United Technologies Corporation had to pay the U.S. Government $150 million and Keeth received a whistleblowing reward of $22.5 million dollars.

Dr. David Kelly was a British weapons expert, who revealed the government’s manufactured evidence that was presented to justify the invasion of Iraq. Shortly after being exposed as the source of a BBC story about weapons of mass destruction, Dr. Kelly was found dead. Member of Parliament (MP) Norman Baker believes that the scientist was killed to stop him making further revelations about the lies that took Britain to war. In his book, “The Strange Death of David Kelly”, Baker claims that British police knew about the murder plot, but failed to act in time. He states that Dr. Kelly’s death was later made to look like a suicide to prevent political and diplomatic fallout. Baker said that Dr. Kelly’s integrity might have “signed his own death warrant”.

Barbara R. King was the Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program Manager at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. She encountered cover-ups by her superiors in the handling of sex crimes against women, wherein the perpetrators were shielded from accountability. King opposed and protested the mishandling of sexual assault cases. In retaliation for her whistleblowing, King was demoted and ostracized by management and co-workers. She filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), but it was dismissed. King filed a case against the Air Force with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and prevailed against the agency (Barbara R. King v. Department of the Air Force, DOCKET NUMBER: DA-0752-09-0604-B-1).  

John Kiriakou blew the whistle on torture and rendition by the CIA. He earned numerous commendations in nearly 15 years of working for the agency, some of which were spent hunting terrorists undercover. Kiriakou was the leader of the team that located Abu Zubaydah, a terrorist logistics specialist for Al Qaeda, as well as other militants, whose capture was considered to be a major victory in the war on terror. While none of the people responsible for torture and renditions have been prosecuted, Kiriakou was indicted for providing the covert officer’s name to a reporter. The interrogator in question, Deuce Martinez, was an analyst, who never operated undercover. His contact information was listed on a business card and also shared on a public website. Kiriakou gave it to help the writer find a potential source, without any intention of making that information public. Identity of the officer in question surfaced only after criminal charges were brought against Kiriakou. He argued that the prosecution against him was retaliatory, because of his media appearances that exposed the CIA in a negative light, but the judge rejected those arguments. He was convicted and will serve 30 months in prison.

Mark Klein is a retired AT&T employee, who worked for the company for over 22 years. Klein blew the whistle about AT&T’s participation in extensive warrantless surveillance against American citizens. In a sworn statement to the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 2006, Klein described a secret room in San Francisco, where powerful Narus computers were copying and sorting all of the telecom’s foreign and domestic Internet traffic. Glass prisms split signals from each network into two identical copies. One of them was directed to the NSA’s secret room, the other proceeded to its destination.This data was being forwarded to a centralized location at the NSA headquarters via a high-capacity fiber-optic cable. A semantic traffic analyzer was also contained in the secret room, which indicates that the NSA was conducting content analysis of the communications it collected. Steve Bannerman, Narus’s marketing vice president, said in an interview that the Narus Insight system is “the world’s most powerful Internet traffic processing engine.” He said it is used to detect worms, as well as to capture information to help authorities stop criminal activity. Bannerman confirmed that it can track a communication’s origin and destination, as well as its content. He declined to comment on AT&T’s use of the system. Documents produced by Klein in support of his revelations revealed that AT&T, Verizon, BellSouth, Sprint and Qwest (as well as more than a dozen of other global and regional telecommunications providers) had secretly opened their electronic records to the government, in violation of communications laws. Contrary to the government’s claims that its surveillance programs were targeting overseas terrorists, Klein reported that much of the data sent through AT&T to the NSA was purely domestic. The ongoing debate about the scope of the ever-expanding surveillance in the United States was propelled to the forefront of public attention by Edward Snowden’s disclosures in 2013.

Eric Kolchinsky is a former analyst for Moody’s Investors Service, who blew the whistle on misconduct within the credit ratings industry, which was widely criticized for failing to identify risks in securities backed by subprime mortgages, triggering the financial meltdown. The whistleblower exposed inflated ratings and conflicts of interest that are prevalent in the industry. Kolchinsky told lawmakers that Moody’s violated securities laws by issuing credit ratings the firm knew to be inaccurate.  The recent emergence of Re-Remics, repackaged securities backed by commercial properties sold as new products, supported by credit ratings, could spark the next financial blowup. Credit rating agencies, dominated by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, are crucial financial gatekeepers, rating the credit worthiness of public companies and securities. In retaliation for his whistleblowing disclosure, Kolchinsky was suspended.

John Kopchinski is a former Pfizer sales representative and West Point graduate. Kopchinski’s 2009 qui tam whistleblower lawsuit launched a massive government investigation into Pfizer’s illegal marketing of Bextra, a dangerous prescription painkiller. Pfizer paid $1.8 billion dollars to the government to settle the case. That payment included a $1.3 billion dollar criminal fine imposed against Pfizer. This was the largest criminal fine in history. The Bextra settlement was part of a $2.3 billion global settlement, the biggest healthcare fraud settlement in U.S. history.

Ryszard Jerzy Kuklinski passed top secret Warsaw Pact documents to the CIA between 1971 and 1989. These documents included strategic plans regarding the use of nuclear weapons, technical data about the Warsaw Pact armies’ tanks and missiles, the whereabouts of anti-aircraft bases in Poland and German Democratic Republic, the methods used to avoid spy satellite detection of Warsaw Pact armies’ military hardware, plans for the imposition of martial law in Poland among others. On May 23, 1984 Kukliński was sentenced to death, in absentia, by a military court in Warsaw. After the fall of communism in Europe, the sentence was changed to 25 years. In 1995 the court cancelled the sentence. The conclusion followed that Kuklinski was “acting under special circumstances that warranted a higher need.”

Karen Kwiatkowski is a retired Lieutenant Colonel, who served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years. She served on the Air Force Staff, Operations Directorate at the Pentagon, and on the staff of the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA). Kwiatkowski exposed political corruption of military intelligence, leading up to false justifications for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. She is unofficially perceived as the anonymous source for Seymour Hersh and Warren Strobel on their exposés of pre-war intelligence. Kwiatkowski was appalled to see the Bush administration (including her Pentagon superiors), squashing internal dissent, ignoring its own intelligence and relentlessly pushing for war in Iraq. Kwiatkowski left the military in March 2003, the same week that troops invaded Iraq. She started to call herself “a soldier for the truth,” accepting public speaking invitations.

Gerard Lambert is one of three doctors involved in a major whistleblowing incident in the Canadian public service. Doctors Shiv Chopra, Margaret Haydon and Gerard Lambert went public with their concerns that bovine growth hormones might be a risk to human health. In the end, the hormone was never approved for use in Canada. Shiv Chopra and Margaret Haydon also warned that Canada’s measures to prevent mad cow disease were inadequate. Health Canada called their actions insubordinate and fired them in 2004. After a lengthy appeal, Gerard Lambert got his job back; the other two scientists are appealing. In 2011, all three were received the Integrity Award by the advocacy group, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression.

Floyd Landis blew the whistle in the Lance Armstrong scandal, exposing his use of performance-enhancing drugs to win high-level cycling competitions. Landis filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Armstrong under the Federal False Claims Act, which will likely be joined by the Justice Department. The lawsuit alleges that Armstrong defrauded the U.S. government based on his years of denying use of performance-enhancing drugs. The U.S. Postal Service was a longtime sponsor of Armstrong’s racing career. Floyd Landis was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after failing a drugs test. Landis said that he received testosterone from Armstrong in 2002, EPO from him in 2002 and 2003 and saw Armstrong use EPO in 2004. He also reported receiving blood transfusions with Armstrong at 2002 and 2003 Tours de France. After Landis went public with his allegations, he was accused of being a liar and vilified in the media by Armstrong and his representatives. As the result of these revelations, Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and has been banned from professional cycling for life. The US Anti-Doping Agency considers this one of the greatest, most sophisticated doping conspiracies in the history of sport. After years of denying the charges and character assassination of the whistleblowers, in January 2013 Armstrong finally admitted that the allegations of doping were in fact true.

Cathy Leaverton is a former administrator of at the state’s largest nursing home, Wisconsin Veterans Home. She blew the whistle on donations that were being mismanaged. Leaverton warned then-Commandant Bill Crowley that the Veterans Home wasn’t honoring wishes of their donors and was depositing donations in the wrong accounts. In retaliation for her whistleblowing complaint, Leaverton was fired. When the Veterans agency finally decided to review relevant documents, whistleblower’s report was confirmed. The audit found discrepancies involving 50 checks totaling $60,000 dollars.

Shamai K. Leibowitz worked for the FBI as a contract Hebrew translator. He leaked secret transcripts of conversations caught on F.B.I. wiretaps of the Israeli Embassy in Washington to blogger Richard Silverstein of Tikun Olam. Leibowitz was sentenced to 20 months in prison Judge Alexander Williams Jr. of United States District Court in Maryland. At the time of sentencing, Williams admitted: ”I don’t know what was divulged other than some documents, and how it compromised things, I have no idea… All I know is that it’s a serious case.” Leibowitz was sent to an FBI halfway house in Maryland, and prohibited by his plea agreement from discussing anything he learned while working for the agency.

Linda Lewis worked for 13 years for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a planner and analyst specializing in weapons of mass destruction before retiring in 2005. In 1996, Lewis served as an emergency preparedness evaluator for USDA. She was working on a state-federal program, examining hypothetical scenarios to evaluate the preparedness in case of an accident at the Salem Nuclear Power Plant in New Jersey, on the border with Delaware. Lewis determined that the federal government and the Delaware state government weren’t adequately prepared to protect the public from contaminated food in the event of an accident. In spite of the importance of her findings, Lewis was discouraged from including them in the final report. State officials did not wish to have anything negative reflected in her evaluation. Lewis expressed her firm belief that aides to Delaware Governor Tom Carper, who was up for re-election the next month, exerted political pressure to exclude her findings out of the final report. Lewis proceeded to report these events to her Supervisors up the chain of command. No one acted or intervened. This prompted Linda Lewis to make a whistleblowing disclosure, by reporting these events to members of Congress. Lewis was informed by her Supervisor that unnamed top government officials were “very unhappy” with her actions. She was removed from usual duties and confined to an office that was actually a storage closet. Lewis was later subjected to a forced psychiatric exam. Her security clearance was taken away. Linda Lewis also disclosed a course manual, teaching USDA employees how to infiltrate and spy on citizen organizations. Like most whistleblowers, Lewis was unable to find justice through the administrative appeals process.

Susan Lindauer is a whistleblower, who reported that the government failed to act on intelligence information that could have prevented the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In retaliation for her disclosures, Lindauer was arrested, imprisoned and declared mentally incompetent when she demanded a trial by jury. She was eventually released and authored a book, entitled “Extreme Prejudice”.

Bernard Lisitza is a Chicago pharmacist, who filed a whistleblower lawsuit against generic drugmakers Par Pharmaceuticals of Woodcliff Lake, N.J., Alphapharm PTY of Australia and Canada’s Genpharm ULC for scheming to overcharge the government for generic drugs. In 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s office joined in the lawsuit. The three companies got pharmacies to illegally switch from generic versions of Prozac and Zantac to Par’s products, so it could charge Medicaid significantly higher prices. Lisitza has participated in other whistleblower cases, helping to recover more than $120 million for federal and state governments in Medicaid fraud. Those cases brought settlements of $35 million dollars from Walgreens, $50 million dollars from nursing home pharmacy Omnicare Inc. and $37 million dollars from CVS Caremark Corp. The settlement covers allegations that Walgreens switched Medicaid patients from a cheaper version to a more expensive version of three drugs: Ranitidine (generic Zantac), Fluoxetine (generic Prozac) and Eldepryl or Selegiline (generic Eldepryal) – to boost its reimbursements from the Medicaid program. The whistleblower wanted the government to get to the heart of the drug-switching schemes, exposing drug manufacturers who were touting increased pharmacy profits at taxpayers’ expense.

Dr. Michael Lissack worked as a banker at the Smith Barney brokerage. In 1995, he blew the whistle on a fraudulent scheme, known in municipal financing as “yield burning.” Dr. Lissack filed a whistleblower lawsuit against more than a dozen of Wall Street firms under the False Claims Act. In April 2000, 17 investment banks agreed to pay approximately $140 million dollars to settle charges that they defrauded the federal government by overpricing securities sold in connection with certain municipal bond transactions. The U.S. Government has recovered more than $250 million as the result of Dr. Lissack’s whistleblower action. His allegations have brought on more than a dozen of civil and criminal investigations by the SEC, IRS and the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Lissack has written editorials about whistleblowing for the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times and has been profiled in many international publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Fortune, Business Week, the Economist, and USA Today.

Ed Loomis is a former Senior Computer Systems Analyst, who worked for the NSA. The explosive growth of the Internet during the 1990s created a vulnerability for the NSA, as the agency was unable to timely process and analyze massive amounts of data it was collecting. NSA scientists created a program (ThinThread) that could appropriately isolate relevant data. ThinThread also had a built-in capability for ensuring the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens to privacy. This program was ready to deploy eight months prior to the attacks of 9/11. However, NSA leadership elected to abandon ThinThread in favor of a multi-billion dollar program, Trailblazer, which was still in its planning stages. The culture of NSA profiteering and cronyism caused the agency to prefer expensive projects like Trailblazer that would benefit private contractors, instead of smaller internal projects, like ThinThread, which was developed with existing NSA resources. Several NSA whistleblowers are confident that the implementation of ThinThread in January 2001 would have detected the movements of al-Qaeda in the days leading up to the attacks of 9/11 and important warning signs would not have been missed by the NSA. After the terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush approved new domestic surveillance programs, including Stellar Wind. This program was unconstitutional and did not contain any of the necessary built-in privacy protections. Stellar Wind enabled the NSA to target any American by their name, telephone number, or other attributes. The program collected information on domestic phone calls, recording 320 million calls a day. Stellar Wind also allowed the inspection of domestic e-mail communications. The program allowed the NSA to engage in massive warrantless surveillance. The agency also made deals with the biggest telecommunications companies, who agreed to facilitate the surveillance for the NSA. AT&T gave the agency complete access to its domestic and international billing records. Verizon turned over its data for “over a billion and a half calls per day.” Millions of communications were intercepted by the NSA on a daily basis. Disheartened by the agency’s blatant disregard for the constitutional rights of American citizens, Loomis resigned from his position at the NSA. In an attempt to prompt much-needed changes at the agency, Loomis filed a complaint with the Department of Defense Inspector General, along with his former NSA colleagues William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe, as well as House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffer Diane Roark (an NSA budget expert on the House Intelligence Committee). Their report exposed the NSA’s expansive fraud, waste, and mismanagement, with respect to the agency’s arbitrary rejection of ThinThread in favor of the overpriced and ineffective Trailblazer. Years later, the DoD Inspector General substantiated the allegations made by NSA whistleblowers. The ongoing debate about the scope of the ever-expanding surveillance in the United States was propelled to the forefront of public attention by Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013.

Dr. Leo Lutwak is a doctor with the FDA, who blew the whistle by revealing troubling data about the diabetes drug, Rezulin, which has been linked to dozens of deaths. Instead of investigating the maker of this dangerous drug, the FDA focused their efforts on the whistleblower who sounded the alarm. Dr. Lutwak was interrogated by Internal Affairs and said there is a culture that ignores and intimidates scientists who disagree with popular opinions. He was accused of leaking documents about the dangers of Rezulin to the media and threatened with criminal prosecution and five years imprisonment. FDA management sided with the drug maker, Warner-Lambert, in spite of a consensus among the FDA scientists that Rezulin is a dangerous drug and needs to be pulled from the market. Researchers who conducted clinical trials of Rezulin were urged to downplay problems with the drug. While FDA documents showed tests of the drug found liver enzyme levels six times the normal levels, manufacturer reported levels of “2 to 3 times…normal,” a figure the company later acknowledged was “not correct.” When alternative drugs for treating diabetes were approved, Rezulin was removed from pharmacy shelves. To date, the FDA has linked 63 deaths to Rezulin. Instead of listening to the scientists, who tried to prevent additional deaths from the drug, the FDA did its best to intimidate them. “In my own agency… I’m treated worse than a criminal! I’m accused, I’m threatened, I’m taken away from my work,” said Dr. Lutwak. Facing whistleblower retaliation, Dr. Lutwak chose to retire. In 2009, Warner-Lambert merged with Pfizer.

Amber Lyon is a former CNN reporter, who blew the whistle on the network providing “positive” reporting about some of the most repressive regimes around the world, in exchange for monetary compensation from the governments of those countries. Lyon publicly addressed the refusal of CNN International (CNNi) to broadcast a 2011 award-winning documentary, “iRevolution”, because it was highly critical of the violent brutality of Bahrain’s regime against peaceful protesters. Bahrain is one of the most aggressive participants in CNN’s “positive reporting for money” arrangement. CNNi produces certain programs “in association with” the government of a country, offering them the ability to pay for specific shows, such as CNNi’s “Eye on” series, or “Marketplace Middle East”. These sponsored infomercials profile the purchasing countries in the best possible light. Viewing audiences are misled into thinking that they’re watching standard news reports from the network. One of the most active purchasers of such opportunities at CNNi is the Bahrain Economic Development Board (BEDB), whose mission is “marketing the Kingdom of Bahrain abroad”. The agency is chaired by “His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince”. The regime of Bahrain has spent more than $32 million dollars in PR fees, since the Arab Spring started in February, 2011, including payments to some of Washington, DC’s biggest firms and politicians. Since Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are very close allies of the US government, their complaints about any critical news coverage result in amended or removed programming. Because of such complaints, Lyon’s award-winning “iRevolution” never aired on CNNi. Amber Lyon said, “I want to encourage mainstream journalists to speak up when they discover their companies are misleading the people, doing PR for corporations and governments and disguising it as journalism.”

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