Whistleblowing in Society: Tales from Two Who Told the Truth
Department:WWS Office of Public Affairs and Communications
Audience:Open to the Public
Woodrow Wilson School and the Program in Law and Public Affairs
Panel Discussion at Princeton University Features Prominent Government Whistleblowers
The Woodrow Wilson School will co-host a panel discussion with the Program in Law and Public Affairs titled, “Whistleblowing in Society: Tales from Two who Told the Truth” at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall.The panel will feature Cathy Harris, a former senior inspector for the U.S. Customs Service (USCS) who disclosed the USCS practice of discriminatory racial profiling, and Thomas Tamm, former Justice Department attorney who disclosed warrantless wiretapping. They will be joined in conversation with Dana Gold, Senior Fellow at Government Accountability Project and American Whistleblower Tour Director. Harris is credited with disclosing the USCS practice of discriminatory racial profiling, verifying her suspicions women of African descent were wrongfully targeted for detention and strip searches as possible drug couriers. While only three percent of those women were actually found to be carrying drugs, drugs were found on 30 percent of white travelers who were detained and searched. Harris’s revelations resulted in a damning U.S. Government Accountability Office study of USCS profiling practices, and federal legislation to reform these unconstitutional practices. Tamm was a Justice Department attorney in the capital cases unit who, in 2003, transferred to the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR) – perhaps the most sensitive unit within the Justice Department. While working there, Tamm became aware of a program that bypassed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. After Tamm’s inquiries about the program repeatedly ran into walls of silence, he contacted The New York Times, which in 2005 ran an explosive Pulitzer Prize-winning cover story about the George W. Bush administration’s NSA warrantless wiretapping program. The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization. A nonpartisan nonprofit organization, GAP’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. It does so by litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns, developing legal reforms, and engaging in public education.