On February 17, 2010 a group of whistleblowers gathered before an invited audience in New York City to share their experiences as defenders of the public interest. Included were two legendary figures: Daniel Ellsberg and Frank Serpico: both heroes whose stories have been the subject of movies.
The discussion ranged from the extraordinary abuses that they uncovered, to the reprisals that they faced for telling the truth, their struggle for vindication, and personal reflections on what they might have done differently.
The complete video lasts 105 minutes. (Note that it is broadcast in a loop, and may not start at the beginning.)
Guests for the event included:
- Daniel Ellsberg – The patriarch of modern whistleblowing, his disclosures (the Pentagon Papers) as a Rand Corporation/DoD analyst exposed deceit and concealment involving the government’s handling of the Vietnam War.
- Kit Foshee – Meat safety whistleblower who exposed serious problems with ammoniated beef product from a major supplier.
- Mike German – Former uncover FBI agent who infiltrated terrorist groups before blowing the whistle on his field office’s illegal wiretaps on suspects.
- Cathy Harris – U.S. Customs official who blew the whistle on African-Americans being unfairly targeted as potential drug smugglers.
- Dr. David Kessler – Former FDA Commissioner who worked with “The Insider” Dr. Jeff Wigand to challenge tobacco companies.
- Babak Pasdar – Computer security expert who exposed that a major telecommunication company provided the federal government unfettered access to its customers’ private communciations.
- Coleen Rowley – FBI whistleblower on intelligence breakdowns in relation to the 9/11 attacks, and Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2002.
- Frank Serpico – NYPD whistleblower whose story is memorialized by the film Serpico.
GAP co-produced this event in conjunction with Participant Media – producer of such popular films as Charlie Wilson’s War, An Inconvenient Truth, Syriana, and Good Night and Good Luck – and the magnificent Paley Center for Media in Manhattan, where the event took place.