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Whistleblowers and Journalists Honored at Ridenhour Event

April 22nd, 2009

The POGO gang had a great time at the sixth annual Ridenhour Prizes, held last week at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The Prizes are awarded to “recognize those who persevere in acts of truth-telling that protect the public interest, promote social justice or illuminate a more just vision of society.”

After a moving video tribute to Ron Ridenhour, and a heartfelt speech by Randy Fertel describing Mr. Ridenhour’s work, the Prizes were handed out to this year’s recipients.

Thomas Tamm received the Truth-Telling Prize for courageously blowing the whistle on the NSA’s illegal wiretapping program. Jane Mayer received the Book Prize for The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into A War on American Ideals, a chilling account of the government’s anti-terrorism policies following 9/11. New York Times columnist Bob Herbert received the Courage Prize for bringing “moral clarity and a sense of outrage to his ongoing depiction of injustice.” And a special Ridenhour Prize for Reportorial Distinction was awarded to Nick Turse for his “investigative reportage on the systemic atrocities of the Vietnam War.”

We applaud this year’s recipients for their courage and dedication, and we extend our gratitude to whistleblowers and journalists everywhere who work tirelessly to expose the truth.

Click below to see our pictures from the event (please wait a few seconds for the pictures to load):

POGO Brown Bag Lunch with Lou Fisher

July 23rd, 2008

During the summer, POGO hosts a weekly Brown Bag Lunch for Everett interns in the D.C. area who are curious about issues related to government oversight.  Our goal for the series is to educate upcoming generations about the importance of government accountability, and to give them the tools necessary to convert that knowledge into action.  The luncheons give us a unique opportunity to connect with top government experts in a casual setting (and to score some free pizza!).

At the beginning of the summer, we learned about the media’s coverage of defense issues from veteran reporters Tony Capaccio and Mike Fabey. On July 11th, we got the chance to hear from Louis Fisher from the Law Library of Congress, a widely respected expert on separation of powers.

Mr. Fisher spent most of the lunch talking about the history of the “state secrets privilege,” in which the government, particularly the executive branch, can deny access to documents, particularly for use in court, by claiming that the documents contain state secrets.

Mr. Fisher also discussed Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and NSA surveillance, the CIA’s “extraordinary renditions” program (in which terrorist suspects are abducted and transported to other countries to be imprisoned and often tortured or abused), examples of executive branch misconduct, the failure of the legislative and judicial branches to provide proper checks on power, and widespread misconceptions about how the Constitution separates powers.

— John Cappel
POGO Everett Intern

Check out some pictures below from the lunch!

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Partying at the Newseum

July 9th, 2008

A few weeks ago, we joined over 100 of our friends and supporters at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the release of David Einhorn’s new book, “Fooling Some of the People All of the Time: A Long Short Story.”

Einhorn, who’s the president of Greenlight Capital, has spent years investigating Wall Street corruption. In his latest book, Einhorn paints a disturbing picture of a financial system that has been plagued by fraudulent corporate accounting practices, lax oversight by government regulators, and other factors that have contributed to the recent economic meltdown. The book has received rave reviews from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and others.

Einhorn has decided to give POGO a portion of the proceeds from the book. He notes that “the book shows, if nothing else, that we need better investigative journalism and effective government watch dogs.”

The party was a smashing success! Thanks to everyone who joined us, and we hope you had as much fun as we did. Click on the picture below to see our slide show from the event. (Sometimes the Simpleviewer takes a couple of seconds to load.)


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