It's KBOO's Winter Membership Drive! Call 877-500-5266 (KBOO) or Donate  online.

Donations as of 12/01/2015 7 PM:

Drive Goal:


Dark Matters: Why Whistleblower, Robert MacLean's Story is Silenced

Air Cascadia
program date: 
Thu, 05/16/2013


Robert MacLean is a former air marshal fired for an act of whistleblowing.  He has continued to fight over seven long years for what once would have passed as simple justice: getting his job back.

But the subtext of MacLean’s story dwarfs the incident itself.  This begins in the dark and tangled roots of The USA Patriot Act, a document that few if any lawmakers have ever read.  It was cobbled together from the ersatz ‘pink slime’ of legislation that was already on the books – in other words, we didn’t need it in the first place – and then shot-up with adrenalin.  A never-ending river of fear.

No one ever questions the defenders of The Patriot Act…Ever.

Despots need armies.  And the Patriot Actors have theirs, the Department of Homeland Security.  Doesn’t anyone want to ask, Why exactly do we need this  thing? This guardian of borders, secrets, classified documents, Communication Management Units?


Equipped with this Byzantine architecture of oppression, it’s no great wonder that ethical people like my guest, Robert MacLean, will inevitably somehow, some way, some day run afoul of the DHS.



 His is an all-too-twenty-first-century story of the extraordinary lengths to which the U.S. government is willing to go to thwart whistleblowers.


First, the government retroactively classified a previously unclassified text message to justify firing MacLean. Then it invoked arcane civil service procedures, including an “interlocutory appeal” to thwart him and, in the process, enjoyed the approval of various courts and bureaucratic boards apparently willing to stamp as “legal” anything the government could make up in its own interest.


And yet here’s the miracle at the heart of this tale: MacLean refused to quit, when ordinary mortals would have thrown in the towel.  Now, with a recent semi-victory, he may not only have given himself a shot at getting his old job back, but also create a precedent for future federal whistleblowers. In the post-9/11 world, people like Robert MacLean show us how deep the Washington rabbit hole really goes.

  • Length: 16:34 minutes (15.17 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)


Copyright © 2012 KBOO Community Radio | Copyright Policy | Community Guidelines | Website Illustration & Design by: KMF ILLUSTRATION