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2 FBI Whistle-Blowers Claim Agency Retaliation

July 23, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Two FBI agents who detailed problems in their agency to Congress say they were targeted for retaliation because of their testimony, two senators said Tuesday.

Agents Patrick Kiernan and Frank Perry have filed complaints with the Justice Department inspector general. Kiernan contends he was passed over for promotions and transfers; Perry claims he was subjected to unspecified retaliatory comments from senior FBI officials.

They testified about FBI problems during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III in July 2001. A third agent who testified, John Roberts, already had claimed retaliation.

Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said in a letter to Mueller that the agents had similar experiences despite working in separate offices, indicating that FBI retaliation continues against those who "seek and tell the truth."

"When they should be applauded, they have been chastised and even vilified," the senators wrote in the letter dated July 10 and released Tuesday.

The FBI had no comment on the issue. Mueller is due to appear today before the Judiciary Committee, which is expected to query him on the subject.

Perry and Roberts were involved in investigations of FBI misconduct during the 1992 standoff with white separatist Randall Weaver at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. Weaver's wife and son were killed by an FBI sniper. In 1995, the government paid Weaver and his three surviving children $3.1 million.

Perry also was behind a 1999 report detailing separate disciplinary systems for senior executives and rank-and-file agents. Kiernan was a key author of that report and also served in a special investigation of FBI actions during the 1993 confrontation with the Branch Davidian cult near Waco, Texas, that resulted in nearly 80 deaths.

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