I have two items today which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."
I was afraid I wouldn't have a primary link for this section, because I worked from an email. But, bless them, Roots Action has links to many months of emails on their site, so I do. The subject line of this email was "Irony-free zone: Congress 'appreciates' whistleblowers."
It seems the U. S. Senate has approved a resolution to designate July 30, 2016, as "Whistleblower Appreciation Day." July 30 – hey, wait! That's today! Well, come on, let's appreciate us some whistleblowers!
Unfortunately, Jeffrey Sterling is not available; he is still in a Federal Prison. But Thomas Drake and John Kiriakou are out now, so let's appreciate them. Did you know John was the only CIA agent to go to prison over the CIA's torture program? Fact. Because he didn't take part in it. He blew the whistle on it. Two years in prison. I don't know as much about Tom's story, except that his revelations were about mass surveillance; I just know his personal finances also were wrecked through vindictive prosecutions. Now here are some quotes from John and some from Tom:
Senator Chuck Grassley said … "These brave citizens should not be penalized, they should be praised." Somebody should tell the Justice Department. Legitimate whistleblowers are charged under the Espionage Act, a draconian law meant to punish traitors and spies, not truth tellers…. The goal is not just to punish. It’s to ruin, professionally, personally, and financially. Still we went into this with our eyes open. It might sound crazy, but we would blow the whistle again. We don't need the Senate's "appreciation." What we need is for the Justice Department to respect the laws already on the books, to support whistleblowers exposing waste, fraud, abuse, and illegality. Over to you, Tom.
Congress has yet to invite John or myself in front of Congress to testify before any committee regarding our whistleblowing on torture and mass surveillance, respectively. We both came forward at great risk and to this day are the only two people* who have paid a very high price for exposing government wrongdoing and criminal conduct regarding these two state-sponsored programs…. We upheld our oath to defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic (including our own government), faithfully serving our country in the line of duty at the CIA and the NSA — even when our agencies didn’t and wouldn’t.
(*He must have said this before Jeffrey went to prison, because they both took part in a demonstration with Jeffrey's wife Holly to ask for Jeffrey's pardon.)
Here's a link to the group which pushes for this appreciation day – on a year-by-year basis, knowing, I am sure, what an irony it is, but hoping to eventually come to a time and place where it can mean something. Maybe you ladies can put on your Eumenides hats and try to attain some justice for John, Tom, Jeffrey, and all the others.
But here is a situation where you can simply go after some killers. You may (or may not) have been reading about deaths in hospitals resulting from the use of tainted medical scopes (specifically endoscopes). Well. Those scopes all came from a device manufacturer called Olympus Corp., based in Japan.
In 2012, two dozen infections linked to the use of these scopes were reported in hospitals in France and The Netherlands. As early as June 2012, an investigator hired by a Netherlands hospital and Olympus concluded that the scope's design could allow blood and tissue to become trapped in it and spread bacteria across patients. The recommendation was to conduct a world wide investigation and if a similar problem turned up to recall all the scopes. Seven months later, when the company alerted its European customers to potential problems, they knew about at least three outbreaks, affecting an estimated 46 patients. The third one was in Pittsburgh, PA. But the company issued no alerts in the United States.
Since the internet never forgets, we know that this email exchange occurred:
Should [we] also be communicating to our users the information that [Olympus Europe] is communicating to their European users?” Laura Storms, vice president of regulatory and clinical affairs in Center Valley, Pa., asked in an email to Tokyo headquarters on Jan. 31, 2013.
No, that’s not necessary, said Susumu Nishina, the company’s chief manager for market quality administration in Tokyo in a Feb. 6, 2013, reply.
It is “not need[ed] to communicate to all the users actively,” Nishina wrote, because a company assessment of the risk to patients found it to be “acceptable.” However, he added that Storms should respond to questions from a customer.
I'm not sure what "risk is acceptable" to Nishina. Patients and familes in the US would appear not to find the risk acceptable, judging from the crop of lawsuits which have spring up. As well as the Federal prosecutors who are investigating. Over the three years – 2013 to 2016 – there have been outbreaks of infection in Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Denver, just to name a few. 35 people have died from these infections. Others have remained hospitlized for up to a year trying to get over them.
The Times has a link to all the emails. Sorry, I haven't read them all. Just from what is in the article, it appears to me that Storms tried (maybe not for the right reasons, but she tried), but that Nishina is a murderer. Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone, you are good at sorting these things out, and I am sure you will manage. Way back in the day, I mentioned Fudō Myōō, who is described as an ancient Japanese sword-brandishing angry wisdom king. Perhaps he would be upset with these actions too. There are also creatures, such as tengu (wise bird-like demons – you may have heard of them in D&D or Guild Wars, but they are originally from very, very, very old Japan), he could send as reinforcements.
The Furies and I will be back.
Cross-posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4001959