The Right to Accountability

Jason M. Hanania

​As explained in my book Architecture of a Technodemocracy (2018),  the four rights required in any democracy are the right to communicate, the right to options, the right to decide, and the right to accountability. As discussed in Chapter 6, whistleblowing is an accountability process protected under the due process clause of the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Pursuant to the 5th Amendment, a misuse of tax dollars represents a "deprivation of property" to the American taxpayer. U.S. government officials are subsequently held accountable to the American taxpayers through federal whistleblowers.

In 2004 I was hired by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), as a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) intelligence analyst. After two months I was promoted. After three months I was recruited as a counterterrorism agent because (as I was told by the new agent recruiter) FBI Headquarters, following 9/11, had prioritized the hiring of engineers for counterterrorism. Before leaving for new agent training in Quantico, I was provided tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer-funded FBI training regarding intelligence collection, counterterrorism, cyberterrorism, and counterintelligence matters. 

In October 2005 I was assigned from Quantico to the FBI Honolulu drug squad. The amount of dysfunction was breathtaking. My "training agent"
 told me:
(1) "Show my face" by 10:00 am each morning;
(2) Go do whatever you want, but make sure your phone is always on;
(3) If anyone asks, tell them you were driving around "learning the streets" of Hawaii; and
(4) If you want to look like you're doing work, "turn in one sheet of paper" each day.
He then gave me a desk on a different squad because the drug squad was so overcrowded.​ I saw my training agent about once a week.

After tracking down my immediate supervisor, Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) Dan Kelly, I requested a mentor. Having zero criminal investigative experience, I needed guidance. SSA Kelly told me he was waiting for a transfer and directed me to SA Tim O’Malley. SA O’Malley subsequently told me he too was waiting for a transfer, and to let the senior agents "come to me."

In December 2005 a senior agent finally came to me. At the FBI Honolulu Christmas party, I was sexually harassed by the FBI Honolulu Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Charles Goodwin, on behalf of a female Assistant SAC (ASAC) who wanted to give me her hotel room key. I declined.

In January of 2006 I was told by my training agent to put 8:15am to 6:15pm, Monday-Friday, on all of my time and attendance cards, regardless of hours worked. The drug squad secretary was a witness. Over four months, I was directed by senior agents to do about 8 hours of work per week.

In February 2006 I became a whistleblower under 5 U.S.C. §2303 by communicating the following protected disclosures to SAC Goodwin:

(1) I have seen my supervisor only four times in four months (evidencing time and attendance fraud);
(2) The drug squad has had zero meetings (evidencing gross mismanagement); and
(3) I don't know what I’m supposed to be doing (evidencing a lack of "vigilant oversight and direction", as required for probationary new agents under FBI MAOP §21-1).

SAC Goodwin was the highest-ranking FBI official in the state of Hawaii.

A Senior Agent was a witness to the protected disclosures. SAC Goodwin, however, refused to communicate with me, presumably out of concern for a sexual harassment lawsuit on the eve of his retirement. The Senior Agent and I were escorted from SAC Goodwin's office, by SAC Goodwin's secretary, to the office of ASAC Robert J. Casey. After suggesting I be reassigned to another squad or transferred back to my previous position as an intelligence analyst, ASAC Casey agreed to transfer me, without objection.

Four weeks later, SAC Goodwin authorized a reprisal. ASAC Casey prepared a resignation letter, typed in my name, called me into his office, and surrounded me with three additional senior agents. He then threatened me with a criminal investigation for time and attendance fraud if I did not sign the so-called resignation letter. My signature was involuntary and illegally obtained under 18 U.S.C. §242. No due process was provided. I genuinely feared further retaliation.

In 2009, after dealing with unemployment, student loan default, foreclosure, and bankruptcy, I filed a 28 C.F.R. §27 whistleblower retaliation complaint with the DOJ Inspector General. I was then contacted by an FBI attorney (not the Inspector General's office) and told I would be “rehired” and called in for an “employment polygraph.” In reality, it was an interrogation. The polygrapher became hostile when I refused to disclose the names of FBI employees who were still in contact with me (leaking information to me supporting my case).

The polygrapher informed me that I would not be rehired because I had not answered the question. I received a letter shortly thereafter informing me that I would not be rehired. I had also received a letter from the DOJ Inspector General's office informing me that there would be no whistleblower retaliation investigation. I subsequently contacted my U.S. legislative branch representatives, as well as several other Senate and House representatives. I did not receive a single response.

In 2010 I filed Hanania vs. Office of the President of the United States. The President of the United States is responsible for enforcement of the FBI Whistleblower statues under U.S.C. §2303(c). Within that Petition, I requested the judicial branch order the executive branch to open a whistleblower retaliation investigation. The Petition was dismissed. Under the British common law doctrine of sovereign immunity, "the king can do no wrong."

In 2011 I filed Hanania vs. Holder. Within that Complaint, I asserted my right to accountability and argued that current whistleblower laws violate due process and separation of powers principles because accused parties cannot objectively judge themselves. In my case, the DOJ was serving as defendant, investigator, and adjudicator. The Complaint was dismissed. The judicial branch concluded that my concerns should be resolved by the legislative branch — the same so-called representatives who failed to respond to me in 2009.

Regardless of 5 U.S.C. §2303 and 28 C.F.R. §27, the DOJ Inspector General was (and still is) negligent in failing to telephone any witnesses, collect FBI documents, or otherwise "inspect" the FBI. Inspector generals are simply early-warning systems, which allow defendant agencies time to circle their wagons and dodge accountability. This holds true for an entire class of federal whistleblowers, now identifiable as “DOJ WB-249”, “OARM-WB No. 18-7”, "DOD WB-###", "DOI WB-###", and so on. If you are a federal whistleblower in need of legal assistance, please contact