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Project on Government Oversight




Bureau of Prisons Retaliates – Puts Whistleblower in Danger: FBI Arrests Individual Who Threatens Whistleblower

December 14, 2005 


According to a letter from Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), the Justice Department's Federal Bureau of Prisons has refused to take steps to protect a security officer whose life has been threatened for blowing the whistle.

Earlier this year, Mr. Hikmat (Joe) Mansour was exposed in the media as blowing the whistle on the fact that the Bureau of Prisons was not translating correspondence from prison inmates to fundamentalist Islamic and terrorist organizations. According to the Senators: "Mr. Mansour has served his country patriotically and has been threatened for doing so by militant Muslims."

Prison inmates at the facility where Mr. Mansour works as well as individuals outside the government have threatened to kill or otherwise harm him.

According to the Senators' letter:

"In August, Mr. Mansour received a phone call from Brooklyn , New York , from an individual who threatened his life as a result of his whistle-blowing activities. We understand that the FBI has apprehended this individual and confirmed that he had Mr. Mansour's personal information in his possession."

We do not understand why a transfer request would be denied under these circumstances….The repeated denials for a requested transfer raise serious questions about the appearance of whistleblower retaliation.

We believe that this issue may warrant further investigation, analysis, and Congressional oversight."

The Washington Post wrote an item about Mr. Mansour today. (click here to view the article)

Even by the standards of these dark days when federal bureaucrats have free reign to retaliate against whistleblowers, this is one of the most extraordinary cases we have seen.

POGO has asked readers of its blog to thank Senators Grassley and Schumer for their intervention and to urge the Bureau of Prisons to approve a transfer for Mr. Mansour. 

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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