21:12 GMT +318 September 2018
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    This April 13, 2016 file photo shows the seal of the Central Intelligence Agency at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

    Expert: Proper Avenue Needed For Whistleblowers to Expose Government Wrongdoing

    © AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster
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    In 2016, a CIA officer going by the pseudonym James Pars filed a lawsuit against the agency for allegedly retaliating against him for reporting waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement he witnessed at an undisclosed station overseas.

    According to the lawsuit, Pars noticed that his base chief paid little regard to security concerns and asked him on several occasions to go out shopping to places that were in an active war zone. Fed up with the situation, the agent decided to file a report to his superiors. However, Pars would not fare well — he was later recalled back to the US, stripped of his official position and asked to resign from the agency.

    Speaking to Sputnik Radio's Loud & Clear, Brad Birkenfeld, whistleblower and author of "Lucifer's Banker: The Untold Story of How I Destroyed Swiss Bank Secrecy," told show hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou that Pars' situation shows the need for change and the necessity of whistleblower protections in the security sector.

    "The problem here is that there isn't a good mechanism in place," Birkenfeld said. "You can talk about inspector generals investigating, but there isn't a proper avenue for these people to take their grievances forward."

    "I think that's the real issue here… that these people are committed, they took an oath to the US Constitution, but yet when they expose the fraud, they're the bad guy and that's the problem with the system," he added.

    When asked what a good solution would be in the matter, Birkenfeld responded by suggesting that Congress needs to step up its game.

    "Congress should step up and change these laws," he told Kiriakou. "What they should be doing is getting rid of the inspector general and putting people in place that are whistleblowers… so they can implement a proper and fair system."

    "It's a difficult task, because obviously not everyone is on board with whistleblowing, but in the end it's the best for our society — a better place to live, a better place for our children and the next generation."

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    whistleblower, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
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