'They treat a whistle-blower like a virus'
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of USA Today
Posted: November 26th, 2006
Most people first heard about Russell Tice last December when the former National Security Agency intelligence analyst asked to testify before Congress about NSA programs he claims are illegal. But his confrontation with his employer began much earlier. In 2001, Tice reported suspicions that an employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency, which oversees the NSA and other intelligence-gathering agencies, was spying for China. When he followed up on the allegations several years later, Tice was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation. Although he had passed his regular exam nine months earlier, the in-house psychologist conducting the latest evaluation decided Tice had psychotic paranoia. After almost 20 years in intelligence, Tice's security clearance was revoked. He was transferred to a maintenance position at the NSA vehicle pool, and then to a government furniture warehouse. Just days after publicly urging Congress to pass stronger protections for federal intelligence agency whistle-blowers facing retaliation, he was fired in May 2005. "They treat a whistle-blower like a virus which they basically surround with buffers in an attempt to marginalize, isolate and prevent from having an impact on an organization," says Tice's lawyer, Joshua Dratel.