Two days ago, POGO learned from whistleblowers guarding the U.S. Embassy in Kabul that someone had produced and distributed posters at several locations calling the whistleblowers "RATS" and warning them that if they continue divulging negative information that they could be in danger, as well as their families. This ranks among the worst intimidation effort that we have seen.
POGO met with a senior official from the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan on Labor Day. We informed him of the retaliation campaign and insisted that the distributor of the posters be identified and punished. We also asked that the Embassy make it clear to the guard force and supervisors that threats and intimidation are unacceptable.
The State Department have put up their own posters in response. The posters state: "Threats and/or intimidation are completely unacceptable and should be reported immediately" and include the name and contact information for the Special Agent at the Embassy.
POGO also informed the State Department that two of the high level supervisors who were deeply involved in the misconduct and had been fired, were, incredibly, still acting in their supervisory capacity – and creating a climate of fear for the whistleblowers. POGO was pleased that the State Department followed through on this recommendation as well. They have been removed from their duties.
-- Peter Stockton