FW: Good Story for Black America Since Many are Veterans - Re: VETERANS AFFAIRS (VA) WHISTLEBLOWER
I called you today to tell you about another good whistleblowing story of a VA Whistleblower where they are actually trying to kill this brother out of Los Angeles, CA.
Subject: FW: Good Story for Black America Since Many are Veterans - Re: VETERANS AFFAIRS (VA) WHISTLEBLOWER
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2013 13:54:55 -0800
Subject: Good Story for Black America Since Many are Veterans - Re: VETERANS AFFAIRS (VA) WHISTLEBLOWER
My name is Cathy Harris, a former U.S. Customs Service (now called Customs and Border Protection) Whistleblower. You can read about my story at www.TheCathyHarrisStory.com.
I was the sister who exposed the U.S. Customs Service in 1998 that were violating black women international travelers by subjecting them to the racist practices of racial profiling.
The reason I was successful as a whistleblower and eventually won my case against Customs and retired and now have my own empowerment company, Angels Press (www.AngelsPress.com) is because I initially went to the NNPA.org for help.
Dorothy Leavell who was President at the time assisted me by giving us a reporter to help expose the atrocities against black travelers and black employees. She assigned Linn Washington from Temple University to expose this and the rest is history.
The articles started appearing every two weeks all over the U.S. and once mainstream media saw the stories, they picked the stories up and even though I was retailated against by the agency by being forced out on 15 months of unpaid stress leave where I eventually lost my home, I was finally vindicated when changes occurred.
I was successfully vindicated in three different reports and investigations:
I was vindicated in March 1999, by the Fox 5 Investigative News Team, which won the Peabody Award for my story, "Singled Out by U.S. Customs." They confirmed that the Port of Atlanta, where I worked as a Senior Customs Inspector, GS-11, for 11 years, "went after Black travelers."
I was then vindicated by the March 2000 GAO Report which was ordered by Senator Robert Durbin (D-IL) which confirmed that U.S. Customs Inspectors nationwide "went after Black female intl. travelers" for these demeaning and intrusive searches. Custom officials also admitted that they do use profiles in the searches, but continue to deny that RACE is a criterion.
I was vindicated once again by an Independent Panel Report in June 2000, which indicated that U.S. Customs needs outside advice and that the "Customs Personal Search Procedures" indeed had major flaws. The panel offered 20 recommendations on matters from agency staffing levels to the need to inform passengers of the factors that could prompt a search.
After I blew the whistle on the agency, U.S. Customs quickly held Congressional and Senatorial hearings and the following changes occurred:
The entire Personal Search Handbook was rewritten.
Two bills were introduced to protect international travelers “The Reasonable Search Standards Act” by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) (1999 & 2001) and the “Civil Rights for International Travelers Act” by Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) (1999 & 2001).
New and updated brochures, signs and other informational material including the Customs declaration were rewritten and reproduced.
The decision to conduct a personal search of a passenger must now be decided by a GS-12, supervisor rather than a non-supervisory Inspector, including a brand new Customs Inspector.
The Customs Managers at the GS-14 or GS-15 levels must now approve all x-ray examinations of a passenger at hospitals.
If a personal search of an individual lasts longer than two hours, a Customs supervisor will make a phone call to a person of the passenger’s choice.
Customs now requires that all Secondary Data collections include race.
CBP Officers are now wearing name tags so they can be easily identified for complaint letters.
Body scan machines can now take the place of pat-down inspections.
I called you today to tell you about another good whistleblowing story of a VA Whistleblower where they are actually trying to kill this brother out of Los Angeles, CA. The message he sent me is below and I would hope that NNPA.org also take a lead on his story and help him like they helped me expose my agency, U.S. Customs.
I feel passionate about his case because I am also a veteran. The quicker we can get his story in the media would mean protection for him.
Basically he has proof that the VA is deleting veteran's files from the past 15 years TOTALLY out of computers because of a backlog. This needs to be exposed! It's mandatory that veterans are treated within 30 days but due to the backlog it is taking 6 months for treatment -- where many are dying by that time.