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Soviet-style Purge in Final Days of Bush Administration: the Silent Coup d’etat

By David Swanson

Half the story has been told. On Tuesday the Washington Post reported that Bush is creating civil service positions for loyal appointees, in order to make it hard for Obama to get rid of them.

Bush has also, for some time now, been terminating large numbers of employees in the federal government, people known as whistleblowers, people suspected of disloyalty. Some of the higher profile cases are well known.

But there is more to the story. And it follows the strategy described in Thomas Frank's recent book, "The Wrecking Crew." I've been given what is believed to be a very incomplete list of 33 names of people terminated or forced to resign. These people are being forced into the ranks of the unemployed. They include, by salary ranking, 13 people classified as GS-15 or GS 14, and another 20 GS-13s and GS-12s. Some of these people do not want their names made public. Others are perfectly happy to talk. They include:

At the EPA:
Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo
Coriolana Simon

At the Department of Commerce:
Janet Howard

At the Department of Labor:
Charolette Yee

At the Department of Transportation:
Taft Kelly

At the Department of Commerce – Trademark and Patent:
Renee Berry
Willie Berry
Norman Wright
Mary Dixon
Fetfum Abramham
Dusta Yevassa

I've spoken with Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Renee Berry. Coleman-Adebayo called what's happening a "silent coup d'etat." The Bush administration, she said, is "embedding their foot soldiers inside the government in order to sabotage any Obama initiatives while at the same time terminating federal employees who they assume would be supportive of the new administration." She compared this process to a soviet purge.

Berry said that people being forced out of work are looking at a future in poverty. "The government refuses, in many cases, to provide good recommendations for these employees, and that leaves them with a 20- to 30-year gap in their employee history."

Coleman-Adebayo has long been known as a whistleblower at the EPA. She worked with me to set up a website advocating the removal of EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, and her story is summarized at

In fact, Coleman-Adebayo's advocacy on behalf of employees dates back to before the Bush Administration, to the days when Bill Clinton ran the White House and Carol Browner ran the EPA. Browner is now being considered for a new position of Environmental Czar in the Obama Administration.

Marcia and Thomas Mitchell, authors of "The Spy Who Tried to Stop A War: Katherine Gun and the Secret Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion," and "The Spy Who Seduced America: Lies and Betrayal in the Heart of the Cold War" (2002), have written the following about Coleman-Adebayo's firing:

Coleman-Adebayo v. Browner

The senior EPA analyst whose historic anti-discrimination case led to legislation protecting whistleblowers is being fired from her job at the Environmental Protection Agency. She sees this as the ultimate act of retaliation against her; a payback for continuing her fight to protect federal employees who speak out against wrongdoing in government agencies.

The election of Barack Obama has given Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo both hope and concern. “I see triumph, but I also see vulnerability in what lies ahead,” she says.

Writing in the New York Times six years ago, Coleman-Adebayo optimistically envisioned the possibilities of passage of what would become the first civil rights law of the 21st century: the Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR). At the time, her optimism was justified. No Fear passed by a unanimous act of Congress –- the first time a major piece of civil rights legislation was so honored. Coleman-Adebayo stood directly behind the President when the act was signed into law.

Change was in the air, but not for long and not for everyone. "I have been the continued target of reprisal and harassment, a common fate of whistleblowers," she says.

Every two years, or 90 days after acceptance into federal service, all employees must take No FEAR training based on her successful legal case, Coleman-Adebayo v. Browner. However, the Agency has not allowed Dr. Coleman-Adebayo to take the No FEAR training course -- a "cruel irony" in her book. Carol Browner, defendant and former EPA administrator, is now serving on the president-elect's transition team and was reported by the Washington Post to be the "obvious choice" if the new administration names an "environmental czar."

This possibility worries Coleman-Adebayo and, she says, "many of us who lived through the Browner administration are worried about the message this sends."

She adds that, "Despite the jury’s verdict, despite the legislation that flowed directly from that verdict, and despite the fact that the Agency decided not to appeal and to accept the jury's findings, Ms. Browner never reprimanded any of the managers under her authority who were found guilty of discrimination and retaliatory tactics."

Coleman-Adebayo says Browner made no attempt to comply with the 1964 Civil Rights Act. "She delivered a chilling message to her subordinates within the agency, saying that it would require more than a civil rights law to change business as usual at the EPA.”

There is no question that Coleman-Adebayo's unexpected departure from the agency where she has worked for nearly 20 years will have ramifications for the new administration. The senior analyst is highly respected and has a substantial following; in fact, Washington insiders have speculated that the new administration might well select her as the next EPA administrator. She certainly is well qualified.

Regardless, Dr. Coleman-Adebayo, whose personal struggle from a working class background to a prestigious MIT doctorate parallels that of the president-elect, will be out of a job by the end of the year. It is rumored that her dismissal -- and that of a handful of others -- is a move to "clean out" the agency, to get rid of "troublemakers" before the present administrator, Steve Johnson, leaves office.

The plaintiff's problems at EPA began in 2001, when she blew the whistle on a U.S. multinational corporation whose operation in South Africa was causing vanadium poisoning throughout an entire community. Her insistence that the problem be corrected led to a pattern of discrimination and harassment against her, and no quick fix for the people suffering and dying from vanadium exposure. She reports having been called a “whiner” and other, more profane names for taking a stand unpopular at the agency.

Ultimately, Coleman-Adebayo and the EPA met in a courtroom, where the jury found in the plaintiff's favor and against the federal agency. What happened that day led directly to NoFear.

It was only the critical first step in an incomplete journey, according to Coleman-Adebayo.

"I urge the Obama Administration, within the first 100 days, to endorse the NoFear II and Congressional Disclosures Acts -- two bills currently before Congress that continue the spirit of the original legislation." They do so she says, while providing the means to enforce compliance by managers who flout the rules.

When Coleman-Adebayo shared optimism for passage of new protective legislation at a recent American University symposium based on the newly released, "The Spy Who Tried to Stop A War: Katharine Gun and the Secret Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion," she had no idea her days as a federal employee were numbered. Present at the symposium and offering support, along with fired British secret service officer Gun, was whistleblower icon Daniel Ellsberg. It was an impressive gathering made more so by the dedication and determination of those present.

There is no question that hope for the future was in the air. And hope is what it's all about at the moment.

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Eric Schwing

With every despotic act, every criminal act, the corporate fascist elites become ever more emboldened, thanks to the spinless PELOSI, OBAMA and democratic class appeasers.

Are we just going to take this ?

IMPEACH BUSHCO & RICO PNAC/FARA AIPAC...PNAC is Bush/Cheney's "Helter Skelter" !


re. Base

It may be understandable why the Democrats would chase after swing voters to win elections, but where would they be without their base?

Greens look nice.

If the recent isn't a mandate to get rid of the Bush administration (and others like it, e.g., signing statements, abuse of authority, and usurpation of Congressional authority Art1, Sec 1, Art1, Sec 7 (veto), Art 1, Sec 8 (captures, stateless terrorists & pirates)), then what is?

If they are STILL unwilling to impeach... Congressional terms are only two years.

re. Acid.

Burn their sorry asses.

Pick a number, any number. And if it doesn't work, try another.

Congress switchboard (202) 224-3121
Toll free (some may not work): 1-800-828-0498 or 1-800-4591887 or 1-866-340-9281 or 1-877-851-6437

Where would these acid heads be without their bases.

[I like word games, there are so many TRUE associations one can come up with. But truly they must be on drugs-on terror. Who the hell needs Al Qaeda to destroy this Republic? Bush and the Congress do fine without any help.]

Firing whistleblowers is illegal, not that junior cares, isn't it? How many crimes does he need to commit? Why is Obama SILENT? Why is Obama seemingly acting in accordance with BUSHCO's business plan?

only a wrongdoer's own party can initiate action against him. Otherwise it's "partisan" and therefore, not credible. It's now the law of the land. Look it up.

November 19, 2008

Prospective U.S. Attorney General
On behalf of President Elect Barack Obama
Covington & Burling LLP
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004-2401

Dear Prospective U.S. Attorney General Holder,

Re: Immediate Investigation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

As a former Department of Justice prosecutor and prospective nominee as our United States Attorney General on behalf of President elect Barack Obama you are certainly familiar with investigations/prosecution of corporate fraud. Moreover, in your current capacity as Counsel on behalf of the law firm of Covington & Burling by which the law firm also serves as Outside Counsel on behalf of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), you are aware of the integrity, ethics, and moral duty to hold Corporations and Corporate officials accountable. The Covington & Burling law firm provides that it has expertise in:

“Conducting internal investigations for financial institutions regarding compliance with domestic and foreign anti-money laundering laws, and representing such institutions before the U.S. Departments of Justice and the Treasury and the federal bank regulators.”

In accordance to the Federal Whistleblower statute; and if you are sworn into office by our United States Senate as the U.S. Attorney General, this letter serves as an official request for an investigation of reported fraud at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); and the immediate removal of FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair and other reported FDIC CEOs engaged into RICO (Racketeering), inside trading, money laundering, receivership fraud, bank fraud and unregistered Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) Financial fraud linked to FDIC, Indy Bank, Countrywide, AIG, Fannie Mae, Wells Fargo, Wachovia, SunTrust, Lehman Brothers, Wackenhut and other Banking and Financial Institutions.

FDIC Chairman Bair willfully and knowingly ignored reported fraud at the FDIC. FDICs unaccountable fraud aided and abetted major Banking, Financial, Foreclosure, Economical and the Housing crises throughout the United States and Foreign Countries. FDIC Chairman Bair and other financial regulators must be held accountable for negligent oversight, failure to regulate, oversee, and hold accountable reported individual officials at the FDIC. Former Congressman Albert Wynn (Maryland) specifically sent a letter to Congressman Barney Frank, Chairman Financial Services. Barney Frank ignored his mandate to investigate reported fraud. Failed to audit the FDIC, failed to hold FDIC Chairman Bair accountable; thus, he allowed Chairman Bair to falsely deceive the General Public that the FDIC is working to help the economy with knowledge that the FDIC created the Financial crises, engaged into mortage, banking, inside trading and other reported fraud. Congress, Senate, Judiciary and the Department of Justice must “regulate the regulators” demand transparency, investigations, accountability, and prosecution of willful malfeasance, corruption and agreed.

Finally, I have enclosed a 539 page disclosure report (DVD) of the fraud I reported at the FDIC. FDICs fraud has been reported in the past by former FDIC Whistleblowers (See Exhibit B). Therefore, this is not an isolated incident. FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair must be immediately removed from the FDIC upon the swearing in of President Elect Barrack Obama. FDIC Chairman Bair is aware that I am a victim of Whistleblower retaliation, fraud, illegally tape-recorded at work by an unlicensed security guard; and involuntary removed from my position after 25 years of sustained outstanding services. Why? Because I had the courage, morals, and integrity to report FDIC officials receivership, banking, inside trading, money laundering, straw purchases, and ownership of banks. If sworn in as our U.S. General Counsel, please ensure that you have the courage, morals, and integrity to investigate the FDIC reported fraud. FDIC is charged with overseeing banks; not ownership of banks, Quit Claim Deeds to purchase receivership property for commercial purchases.

Mrs. Yolanda C. Gibson-Michaels
FDIC Whistleblower

Enclosed: 539 pages (DVD) disc of FDIC reported fraud

Cc: President Elect Barack Obama
The Whitehouse
Washington, D.C.

Rahm Emmanuel, Chief of Staff

She was the GOPuke functionary/Bushevik Loyalist at the Justice Department whose job it was to vet potential Department 'career-hires' (covered by Civil Service protections) for their ideological purity and Regime loyalty. There were hundreds of them at Justice, before the scam was uncovered in the dust-up over Fredo Gonzales' dismissal. Most STILL remain on the payroll, and will remain there until they either die or retire, because under the rules that were broken to hire them, their jobs are protected from 'political' interference.

Got it? Good.

It would require credulity of an absolutely monumental scale and scope to believe there WEREN'T other "Monicas" in every single Department, Bureau, Office, and Commission in the Federal Government, but whose machinations were NOT exposed to the light of day and who have positioned enclaves (perhaps 'cells' would be a better term) of God-fearing, GOPuke/Bushevik clones in the works of every Department, Bureau, Office, and Commission in Government.

If it weren't illegal to do so, Obama's first act as President should be a blanket firing of every employee hired into ANY Government job or position whatsoever since Feb 1, 2001...

To think he has the wherewithal to pull this off just shows that Chimpy was never stupid, just pure unadulterated evil. We voted these friggin NAZI Bushie appointees out!

IMPEACH BUSHCO & RICO PNAC/FARA AIPAC...PNAC is Bush/Cheney's "Helter Skelter" !


If the Bush administration can get rid of all of these people hostile to republican ideology then the Obama administration can get rid of the people that the Bushies just embedded in career positions. The Obama administration just needs to have a spine like the Bushies.

So if Bushco can fire these civil servants and hire his own 'foot soldiers' why can't Obama do the same when he takes office? I can't imagine that Obama's team is ignoring what is going on, they have been on top of things so far.

which is actually the GOP bipartisan team that gave us globalization, cuts in social programs, wars of aggression, and the rest of the neoliberal agenda many "progressives" still insist on calling neoconservative.

This is nothing new. On some U.S. military bases you'll find that most of the civilian civil service employees are Christian fundamentalist evangelicals who all belong to the same churches and tend to be married and related to each other, because as long as they score the civil service tests, nobody else ever seems to pass them.

The Obama team is on top of things in the same way that the Bush team was on top of things -- operating on behalf of the top echelon of society, the haves and have-mores, our true rulers. Nobody gets the nomination or wins the "election" otherwise.

The reason there is no accountability is because our Constitution set it up that way.

Are you a current or former Federal employee who has been or are currently being intimidated, retaliated against, or are experiencing discriminatory practices within the Federal bureaucracy? If so, please contact: .

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