Jesselyn Radack: From Goverment Ethics Attorney to Whistleblower

We have been remiss in not writing before about Jesselyn Radack. Ms. Radack was a Government Ethics Advisor at the Department of Justice during the John Walker Lindh case. She disagreed with the Government's tactics, revealed misconduct by DOJ officials in the questioning of John Walker Lindh and told her bosses about evidence that should have been turned over to the defense to assist in trial preparation, but was not.

Since then she's lost two jobs -- pushed out of her Justice post and then fired from the firm that had taken her in -- and now finds herself unemployed and in limbo. Her personal challenges are daunting: under criminal investigation, ailing from multiple sclerosis, and expecting a third child in January. But far from singing the victim's song, Radack appears composed and stalwart...

....Her story grows more ominous as new details emerge about how far the government will go in pursuit of one of its own.

Read the story, and this petition written by Ms. Radack that calls on the U.S. Government not to trample civil rights and liberties in responding to terrorism.

The Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press reports here, and Sen. Ted Kennedy wrote a letter to Ashcroft requesting answers to why she was forced out of her job. Kennedy elaborated on Ms. Radeck in his comments to the Judicary Committee concerning the confirmation of Justice Department official Michael Chertoff to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals:

According to the New Yorker article published on March 10, 2003, two weeks after the Justice Department filed charges against Lindh, Ms. Radack, a highly qualified employee who received a merit bonus the previous year, received a "blistering" performance evaluation which severely questioned her legal judgment, and she was advised to get a new job. Mr. Chertoff has told me that has no knowledge of the facts surrounding Ms. Radack's employment, performance, or departure from the Department, and I take him at his word. Nevertheless, I remain very concerned about Ms. Radack's situation. According to press reports -- and the Department has never issued any statement disputing them -- Ms. Radack was in effect fired for providing legal advice on a matter involving ethical duties and civil liberties that higher-level officials at the Department disagreed with. Furthermore, after Ms. Radack notified Justice Department officials that they had failed to turn over several e-mails requested by the federal court, Department officials notified the managing partners at Ms. Radack's new law firm that she was the target of a criminal investigation. I submitted questions to Attorney General Ashcroft regarding this matter in March, and I await his response.

[Thanks to Joanne Mariner of Human Rights Watch and columnist for Findlaw for the heads-up and reminder]

< White Supremacist Matthew Hale Denied Law License | Howard Dean Condemns Racial Profiling >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort: