Famous Whistleblowers In Casinos And Politics

image of Edward Snowden, United States whistleblower Source: Imgix Bustle Ever since WikiLeaks was founded in 2006, the term “whistleblower” has been heard around the world with increasing fortitude and notoriety. Whistleblowers stand up for justice and keep organisations and governments in check, giving civilians a voice through the dispensation of critical and potentially dangerous information. Whistleblowers have even had a hand in keeping the casino industry accountable. Discover the top whistleblowers in the casino industry and in the history of politics with this run-down compiled by Royal Vegas.

What Is a Whistleblower?

Generally speaking, a whistleblower is someone who figuratively “blows the whistle” on an organization or company, public or private, who is committing wrongs against society. The whistleblower calls attention to these wrongdoings to end the injustice. When it comes to the federal government, whistleblowers are often employees who report violations of law or ethics. These watchdogs of the government report wrongdoings to the Office of Inspector General, which oversees all government agencies. While many whistleblowers have gone through the government process, some stand up for what’s right using their own channels of information, providing a lively debate for those who deem whistleblowers heroes versus those who believe whistleblowers are treasonous. Trump Whistleblowers – One of the hot topics circulating current United States news is that of at least two whistleblowers calling President Trump out on allegedly asking a Ukrainian leader to dig up dirt on Democratic 2020 contender, Joe Biden. The first whistleblower, a currently anonymous CIA officer, filed a report on August 12th of 2019 stating that Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, spoke on July 25th of 2019. Due to this news, House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, announced a formal impeachment inquiry on September 25. Boiling down the highlights of the nine-page complaint, the bullet points are that the whistleblower believes White House officials have restricted access to transcripts of this July call for political leverage. He also alleges that Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, attempted to secure Ukrainian cooperation in researching the Biden’s and trying to alter the outcome of the 2020 election. Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to the EU, and Kurt Volker, Trump’s former special envoy to Ukraine, decided to help the Ukrainians carry out Trump’s demands. Trump is also being accused of suspending military aid to Ukraine until these investigations are fulfilled. Trump argues that this whistleblower is merely a partisan pawn selected by the Democrats to derail his presidency. He believes that the details of the call with the Ukrainian president have been misinterpreted. However, a rough transcript obtained by the White House seems to back up the claims of the whistleblower, leading the House to continue its impeachment inquiry. A second whistleblower has come forth, protected by DC attorney Mark Zaid. A legal partner of Zaid’s, Andrew Bakaj, has also mentioned they represent multiple whistleblowers, leading some to believe that more than just two whistleblowers know about the August 12 conversation. If they come forward, this could add to the potential end of Donald Trump’s presidency. Snowden – Edward Snowden is one of the world’s most famous whistleblowers. He has been living in exile in Moscow since 2013 after he was banished from the United States by President Barack Obama. He was forced to leave his beloved home country after he released millions of pages of documents to journalists from the National Security Agency. A native of North Carolina, Snowden was a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee and subcontractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013. He witnessed numerous global surveillance programs and activities that he believed were illegal and an unconstitutional breach of privacy. He fled his home in Hawaii with a thumb drive full of these classified files and flew to Hong Kong. There, he met with journalists over the course of a few days to leak this history-changing material, including the United States government’s access to cellphone records, interception of global Internet browsing activity, and cellphone call transcripts of world leaders. He would never go back home after this unveiling of information. Willingly leaving Hong Kong on his own, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange helped him seek refuge in Moscow where he remains to this day. Erin Brockovich posing and smiling Source: Paper City Mag Julian Assange – Possibly more famous (or infamous) than Snowden is Julian Assange. An Australian editor, publisher, and activist who vehemently believes in scorching subjective journalism, Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006. WikiLeaks is a global non-profit organization that focuses on publishing news leaks and classified information from anonymous sources. In 2010, Assange and WikiLeaks became famous when the organization published numerous leaks via Chelsea Manning, an American activist and whistleblower. These leaks included a video called Collateral Murder, which shows footage from a 2007 U.S. Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad, Iraq. This attack killed nine men, including a Reuters photographer and his driver. The Iraq and Afghanistan war logs were also released in July and October 2010, revealing hidden information about civilian deaths, the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and Iran supporting militants in Iraq. CableGate (November 2010) was also a major leak that made the news. The leaks unveiled more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables that ranged from December 1996 to February 2010 (acquiring the nickname ‘CableGate’), verifying that the United States had deployed secret drone strikes on Yemen, mined information on UN representatives, pushed Saudi Arabia’s royal family to encourage the U.S. to strike Iran, and referred to Vladimir Putin as a “virtual mafia state.” Finally, WikiLeaks also published more than half a million messages sent in November of 2009, pointing to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center that left more than 3,000 dead. As a result of this revealed information in 2010, the United States government triggered a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks is still standing today, showing you the resilient power of whistleblowers. Erin Brockovich – While not an employee of the government, Erin Brockovich is a whistleblower whose actions have been memorialized by the 2000 Julia Roberts film, Erin Brockovich. Born and raised in Kansas, Brockovich lacked formal education in law but went on to assist law firms in fighting major corporations accused of harmful and illegal wrongdoing. Most famously, Erin worked as a legal clerk for Masry and Vitroe, a California law firm, in 1993. She played an essential role in helping this law firm build a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) company of California. PG&E had allegedly been contaminating drinking water with hexavalent chromium in Hinkley, California, between 1952 and 1966. The case was settled in 1996 for $333 million USD, the largest settlement ever won in a direction-action lawsuit in the United States. Brockovich took home $2.5 million USD for her assistance in the case. Crown Casino Whistleblower – Outside of the political spectrum, casinos have their own whistleblower heroes. Jenny Jiang was one of 19 employees arrested because of an illegal setup at Crown Casino in Australia. The Crown allegedly attempted to lure big gamblers to their Melbourne and Perth locations, which led to a Chinese government anti-corruption operation in October of 2016.  Jiang believed the casino was more concerned about money than their employees’ safety, giving incentives to staff to break Chinese law after setting up offices in China in 2010. After her arrest in 2016, she has come forward to explain the details of the illegal activities and faces a lifelong criminal record in her own country.

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