What Can We Do to End the Isolation of Whistleblowers?

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

In this short post, I’m not going to be able to answer the question posed in the headline. Readers, if you can, feel free to jump right to comments, and do so! What I will do is present an interesting whistleblower case you probably don’t know about, and then add some commentary.

The case is Strategic Marine, and I read about because I follow shipping news in Splash 247. The headline:

When the masks came off: An exposé into financial misdoings in Singapore

Perhaps naively, I thought “WTF? Singapore?” In a neighborhood that includes Malaysia and Thailand, I had thought that Singapore was the nice house with the well-kept lawn, but perhaps appearances decieve. Be that as it may, let’s introduce the whistleblower and the story of Strategic Marine:s

Julie O’Connor is on a mission to right investment wrongs in Singapore and Australia – and she’s willing to go very public about the ills of the local financial scene.

“I would like to say, that I harboured dreams of being an author, but frankly that wouldn’t be true,” she tells Maritime CEO.

In reality [her] book came to life when her husband purchased 4% of Strategic Marine[1] in 2011, an investment that went badly wrong.

“My story is not about money lost, it’s about poor corporate governance, lack of transparency, forgeries, threats, false information and much more,” she says, adding: “I never thought in a million years that I would become embroiled in the situation that I have found myself in, a David having to stand up to the financial and legal might of the Singapore Goliaths.

The book entitled When the masks came off has taken on a life of its own and continues to be a work in progress.

“I want people to read the story and say, ‘that’s unbelievable’, ” the author says.

Hmm. Isn’t it all too believable?

O’Connor is demanding change. “Corporate legislation needs to be changed,” she says, “and, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Singapore Exchange need to be become the organisations that much of the populous [sic] aspire them to be. Companies whether private or listed need to be more transparent and their directors and executives held to account for their actions.”‘

Pretty mild stuff, at that. The energetic O’Connor has created a website. Now, as we know from the painstaking (and at times paingiving, to the bad guys) work of our Richard Smith, international financial scams are extremely complex; the perps conceal themselves and their asset shifting behind sticky webs of obfuscation. So, rather than parse out the scam, as Richard Smith would do, I’ll quote O’Connor’s summary in her open letter to Strategic Marine’s (former) directors, which gives the flavor:

In addition, the company lawyer advised that “off-set against the “increase in salary” was the forfeiture by the directors of $300,000 in bonuses to which each of them had been entitled under a shareholders’ bonus scheme for the year ending 30 June 2009″.

My understanding is that shareholders are paid dividends, were these not paid to you in 2009? (see point 10. above). Also would a salary increase to off-set the forfeiture of dividends, have been a benefit that no other shareholder would have received?

In light of the above statements which were made with regards to your significant salary increases, why were you and the COO to share dividends of at least A$5,070,984 on special class shares which only you and the COO held? You had after all received the significant salary increases below, purportedly for your endeavours in order for shareholders to benefit.

Therefore, why is it that my husband as an ordinary class shareholder has NOT received any return on the A$300,000 investment which he made?

To poor shlubs like us, $300,000 is real money, even in Australian dollars. To me (and I’m not Richard) it looks to me like the directors looted the company and then wound it up. More flavor:

WHY should my husband not have relied on information which was contained in the audited 2008 and 2009 Special Financial Reports, before investing in the Company?

WHY did a shareholder have to resort to issuing a Statutory Demand before being provided with information which should have been included in the above reports regarding the recipients of dividends?

WHY when the holder of the ‘F’ Special Class Share resigned as a Director, even though he remained a 20% shareholder and continued to hold that Special Class ‘F’ Share, did he appear from Company records to receive no further dividends?

WHO on 31st March 2008 do company records show voted on behalf of a 20% shareholder to ratify the dividend payments to the holders of Special Class Shares? On whose authority did this individual vote?

WHO purchased the ‘F’ Special Class Share for $1 in 2015 and did they receive any dividends/bonuses from this Special Class Share from the NPAT FY2014 and the proceeds of the assets sale to Triyards Holding Ltd in October 2014?

WHY wasn’t the opportunity to purchase the ‘F’ Special Class Share stated above, offered to all shareholders and not just a member of the Executive Team?

And that’s only the beginning; I count 72 questions in total. It’s complicated, as we say on Facebook. (Experts may answer, but is sale and purchase of special class shared for one dollar by insiders a good look? Done every day?)

And O’Connor’s situation, in her own words:

Yes, I was bitter finding our family in that situation, yes I felt betrayed by those we trusted, yes I was afraid of becoming embroiled in a legal issue, yes I felt anger at selling the family home, yes I felt regret at investing money, yes I was overwhelmed with the amount of data to sift through, yes the threats frightened me, yes I felt sorrow at losing my dad and brother and at the same time anger that I didn’t give 100% to the grieving process. At times I have become so determined that I’ve lost sight of everything else in my life, I was all consumed and I’m not ashamed to say that I went and sought help to rid myself of the bitterness and anger that I felt. …

I’m a different person now and for that I thank my late mum. For three months March – June this year, my sister and I went to stay in the UK and were given the privilege to nurse our mum through terminal cancer and for me that was a life-changing event. My mum had been my greatest supporter in my fight for justice, just as passionate as me, and here I was having to grieve the loss of my mum, my best friend and my number one supporter. The dignity with which she fought that terrible disease was humbling and I was in awe of her courage when facing death. …

I no longer hold any anger or hatred and that’s one message I would like to get across, anger only hurts you, it only hurts your body and mind, so let it go. I know from personal experience that it’s not easy to do, but I can promise you it will be worth the effort, don’t be afraid to seek help. Instead of anger, bitterness and hatred, I now feel sympathy for the people who went to great lengths to do what they did to me and my family, perhaps they just didn’t know any better….

Does the above mean I have lost the will to continue my journey to remove the masks, definitely not, now I am more focussed on the task at hand. I continue to seek transparency, justice and to offer support to those who may find themselves in similar positions. They may just be starting their journey and perhaps I can offer help ……….

We come into, and leave this world with nothing we can’t change that, but we can determine the person we are in-between those dates and that will be our legacy. Don’t wait until entering the final phase of your life, being terrified of being judged and then asking for forgiveness, that would be too late. We all make mistakes, but it takes courage to admit them and apologize to those you have wronged. Do it, you will feel better for it and so will they.

I’m sure that there are NC readers who have been in the same situation.

* * *

We know from Akerloff’s work on phishing equilibria that if fraud can happen, it is happening. It follows, then, from the nature of our ginormous globalized and financialized economies, and the multijurisdictional and opaque business entities that undergird our political economy, that there are many more Strategic Marines; see, again, the work of Richard Smith, as well as the Panama Papers, Naked Capitalism on the foreclosure crisis, Naked Capitalism on robosigning, Naked Capitalism on private equity, Bill Black on accounting control fraud, the daily news, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera ad infinitum and ad nauseum.

We also know that there are brave souls — in every case we know about — who are blowing the whistle on the frauds (just as we know that there are people in the looting professional classes who have no interest in blowing the whistle at all). And yet the work of being a whistleblower is extremely time-consuming and stressful. Being a whistleblower means speaking out against people of wealth and power. Being a whistleblower involves disentangling and documenting complex frauds. (Our work up here on the landfill, which involved frauds committed by the Democratic nomenklatura, has been going on for thirteen years.) Being a whistleblower means becoming a subject matter expert in the field of the fraud, beside becoming familiar with case law and regulations, all without being a lawyer and unable to afford one. Being a whistleblower means doing all that while a family member — for example — is dying of cancer. Being a whistleblower can often mean financial disaster, on top of the loss from the original fraud. And being a whistleblower means doing all those things within the silo of your own whistleblowing case, because simply disentangling the fraud is enough to consume most of one’s life, without the additional effort of reaching out to others in similar predicaments for support. And it’s very rare that anybody makes a movie about you!

Can we as a society create a way to support whistleblowers better than we do? Surely that wouldn’t be hard! Instead of leaving whistleblowers to struggle in isolation, we should be giving them medals of honor for acting in the collective interest to stomp out as much phishing as they could. It’s very strange that we reward the accumulation of capital by any means necessary, and the quest for justice hardly at all.

But how? Whistleblowers Anonymous?[2] Who you gonna call?


[1] Strategic Marine looks legit. But then, they all do!

[2] There are existing institutions, like this blog, or Pro Publica, or, even today, some newspapers that support whistleblowers in the sense that they transform whistleblower content into more widely distributed narratives. That’s distinct from supporting whistleblowing as such, in the same way that supporting gardening is different from writing a gardening column.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. redleg

    Based on my own experience, there’s the work involved in documenting the issue for which you are blowing the whistle, THEN comes the retaliation. That’s when the fun really begins.

    In my case, it involved on-the-job retaliation against me and everyone I worked with (indirect retaliation through turning everyone you work around against you is effectively legal) PLUS a time consuming, expensive defamation case in civil court. All that even though the case I helped blow the whistle on resulted in damages paid to the victims and administrative action against the perps within the public entity for which we (victim, whistleblowers, perps) were all employed.

    No good deed ever goes unpunished. Despite the personal turmoil, I would probably do it again if I had to, but I would not show any restraint at all in physically responding towards harassment and retaliation.

  2. jgordon

    It follows, then, from the nature of our ginormous globalized and financialized economies, and the multijurisdictional and opaque business entities that undergird our political economy, that there are many more Strategic Marines

    Right. That is an in-built feature of all sufficiently complex organizations/systems.

    Can we as a society create a way to support whistleblowers better than we do?

    No. As per the prior statement, fraud is pervasive and required in our current system, at all levels. Trying to remove fraud from the system is like trying to remove from cream from ice cream; very few are going to be appreciative of that.

    I no longer hold any anger or hatred and that’s one message I would like to get across, anger only hurts you, it only hurts your body and mind, so let it go.

    This is the correct and healthy response. The root cause of Julie’s defraudment was that she and her husband had faith in the system, which of course was very foolish. Rather than partaking in the rigged financial game like wide-eyed sheep being led into the abattoir, just imagine if Julie and her husband had invested in their local community, land, solar panels, rabbit hutches, and ammo instead; the decrease in ongoing upkeep expenses and increase in autonomy from the fraudulent government/financial system would have provided a far greater psychological and material return than even a successful financial play. Now Julie and her husband (at a cheap price) have learned a valuable lesson about the nature and stability of the system while they still have time, and in the future they will be more likely to survive because of it. I think it’s their good luck that they were able to have such a lesson.

    So, whistle blowers? 1) everyone in every corrupt organization, including private and government organization, which should be nearly all of them, are going to hate and fear the very idea of whistle blowing. It’s no surprise that they aren’t going to be appreciative of other organization’s whistle blowers. 2) The public is completely apathetic about it, unless someone is personally screwed. Julie wasn’t on any great crusade to expose wrong-doing until she (figuratively speaking) got screwed. So the answer is no. You might say I’m pessimistic, but umm–how people actually behave seems to bear my point of view out. No, it’s not going to change. Best bet is to just arrange things so you can avoid them, and manage to not go down with them when the system(s) fall apart.

  3. mle detroit

    jgordon: That is an in-built feature of all sufficiently complex organizations/systems. All? Or all human systems?

    To be more relevant to Lambert’s post, how about a foundation like the MacArthur, where outsiders can publicly nominate? Even if there’s no money, you’re among nominees.

    1. jgordon

      I was thinking about all complex systems, financial and political systems being only a small subset of such systems. Periods of apparent stability are always punctuated by chaos, collapse and rejuvenation.

      Depending on the scale of your perspective these processes always predictably play out. For example the human species itself could collapse into extinction (for example likely if Hillary is elected), and a few million or tens of millions of years hence some new species will create their own organizations and systems that are fraud-ridden.

  4. different clue

    Here is an opportunity for the newly recruited and barely-organized Millions For Bernie to begin learning about waging Social Liberation Combat at various levels. What if the Millions For Bernie created a Millions of Berners For Whistle-Blower Support? Designed to raise steady hundreds of millions of dollars for Legal Offense-Defense LawFare for Whistleblowers and for lifetime economic support for de-jobbed whistleblowers and so forth?

    What if the journalistically skilled among the Millions For Bernie were to create a newsletter called The Whistleblower Report or some such thing? Would millions of Millions For Bernie people buy it? On the kind of sustained and regular basis that would allow reporters to earn a middle class living reporting on the Whistleblowers and the whistles blown? And employ some of those whistleblowers as whistleblower-journalists?

    So it seems to me that there are things that “can” be done, if the several million Millions For Bernie, or other such potential Social Combat Groups were to stop seeking relief or advancement through the Class Enemy Occupation FedRegime and begin using the individual and social freedoms they still already have to do things without FedRegime support or permission.

  5. Timmy

    There are key developments that could materially improve whistleblower protections, particularly in commercial rather than governmental organizations. One is the punishment of retribution or reprisal against whistleblowers to the same or greater degree as the original misdeed. To this point, the SEC has highlighted whistleblower reprisal as an area of concern in their enforcement priorities and I’ve observed actions that suggest they are searching for a flagship case. Perhaps such a case is being investigated as we speak and will form a meaningful deterrent…

  6. Timmy

    One other thing…

    The SEC’s whistleblower policy under Dodd-Frank also has provisions that makes it more difficult for whistleblowers to get or keep employment. This is the requirement that for whistleblowers to submit a qualified application for their SEC claim, they must have taken their issue to a legal, risk or compliance supervisor in their firm before they can go to the SEC. This means that firms already have a short-list of potential whistleblowing employees against which to check the details of any regulatory investigation and to commence customary reprisal and smearing. There is little prospect of anonymity under this process.

    1. Yves Smith

      I beg to differ. The SEC preserves the anonymity of whistleblowers. And I have to tell you, from a practical matter, internal whistleblowers are almost without exception punished and Dodd Frank has provisions for sanctioning firms that retaliate against whistleblowers. Moreover, some whistleblowers are external (Harry Markopolos and others).

      1. Timmy

        Yes, I agree, the SEC makes every effort to preserve anonymity. I’ve observed careful misdirection in investigations that was designed to protect sources. But the nature of the detailed investigations can and do drop bread crumbs that lead to the identification of their sources particularly for internal whistleblowers and particularly for threshold cases where a big win is the trade off for a source being identified.

        As to punishing retaliation, the nature of word of mouth smearing within highly connected industries like Wall Street, which is prone to at will employment termination due to “reductions in force”, is extremely difficult to police.

  7. HopeLB

    Maybe an interactive website with animated and decriptive, symbolic superhero characters portraying the opening salvo by the Whistleblower and the subsequent retaliation by the Goliath. A one dollar donation to the Hero/Whistleblower allows you to play the Whisleblower/Hero’s corresponding computer game. Possibly the whistleblower/Hero gets more powers in the game as their donation/legal fee payments increase.

  8. swendr

    Ames has written a lot on whistleblowers. Here’s a good two-parter at NSFWCorp that considers some historic cases.

    Stepping back, whistleblowing is an atomized attempt to rectify short-comings in existing regulatory and enforcement structures. Whistleblowing is essentially vigilantism and is subject to the same problems of a personal (i.e. not necessarily universal) sense of justice. It is also a unilateral action which undermines the group dynamic. Whether or not it is justified, it is ultimately a betrayal of trust. By definition then, the act of whistleblowing is an act of alienation. Maybe what is important to ask here is what is it that whistleblowers really need, and how easy should it be for them to get it?

    Practically speaking, whistleblowers need a voice. Assuming the existing enforcement agencies have proven deficient, if their grievances cannot be aired to a wide audience, what’s the point? Traditionally, this has been an investigative reporter. More recently, platforms like Wikileaks and Cryptome offer to publish. After publication, there is the reaction. At this stage whistleblowers want some sense of financial stability and a normal life. Anonymity may be enough to ensure this, but it is not always possible to maintain throughout the process, especially when you’re blowing the whistle on a state level adversary. The next best option outside of someone just giving the whistleblower a pension, seems to be publishing a book, giving paid talks, and otherwise monetizing the situation. Of course any time you introduce money into the equation you risk undermining the credibility of the whistleblower in the process. Maybe suffering is how the public knows you really mean it? I mean, if there is no risk involved to the whistleblower, there is no imperative for the public to act.

    More questions than answers I suppose, but that’s a start.

  9. Peter Pan

    Perhaps naively, I thought “WTF? Singapore?” In a neighborhood that includes Malaysia and Thailand, I had thought that Singapore was the nice house with the well-kept lawn, but perhaps appearances decieve.

    From Wikipedia:

    “Andy Xie (Chinese: 谢国忠; pinyin: Xiè Guózhōng; born 1960) is an independent economist based in Shanghai, and the former Morgan Stanley star chief Asia-Pacific economist [1] famous for his contrarian and provocative views.[1] He left Morgan Stanley abruptly in October 2006 [2] when an internal email[3] that he penned was leaked. He derided Singapore as a money laundering centre for Indonesia, and the ASEAN group of nations as a failure.

  10. TheCatSaid

    There is also the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition founded by Sibel Edmonds and Stephen Kohn in 2004. Perhaps those setting up whistleblower support bodies could consult others to find out what works.

    When there is money involved, greed is often at the root, including greed of others seduced to become involved tangentially, such as in “regular” share investment and other activities that have become so normalized that we don’t recognize the unproductive greed that is at their core. Believing that some people deserve big salaries, and that some companies deserve big profits, and then aspiring personally to anything that might move one in that direction. . . We’ve been efficiently brainwashed, and tempted in all directions. But we’re still active participants with some responsibility for what we have helped to create and for what we have tolerated and turned a blind eye.

    Unplugging from the system as much as possible is the best protection for anyone, including whistleblowers. Why expect a system based on mandatory fraud to support whistleblowers?

    Whistleblowing reflects inner motivation and values. It’s about being true to ourselves, and getting more clarity about our values.

  11. Timmy

    SEC is going after companies that attempt to pre-preemptively limit whistleblowers through restrictive employment agreements. I faced this issue and was lucky to find that my firm’s “retirement’ agreement had not been papered with same requirements for confidentiality that resigning or terminated employees face. I’m sure that loophole has now been closed.

    SEC Charges Company with Severance Agreements that Deter Whistleblowing

    By Sarah N. Lynch

    WASHINGTON, Aug 16 (Reuters) – For the second time in less than a week, U.S. securities regulators on Tuesday filed charges against a company for inserting language into its severance agreements that prevents outgoing employees from reaping the benefits of government whistleblower awards.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission said Health Net Inc will pay $340,000 to settle the charges without admitting or denying wrongdoing.

    A spokeswoman for the company, which has since merged with Centene Corp, could not be immediately reached.

    The case comes on the heels of another case the SEC filed against Atlanta-based building products maker BlueLinx Holdings Inc. BlueLinx agreed to pay a $265,00 penalty, settling also without admitting or denying the charges, the SEC announced on Aug. 10.

    The SEC said BlueLinx severance agreements also violated whistleblower protection rules adopted in 2011. The rules ban companies from taking any action that “impede an individual from communicating directly” with the SEC, including through confidentiality agreements.

    “These twin actions against BlueLinx and Health Net show that the SEC means business when it comes to efforts by corporations to impede their employees from participating in the SEC whistleblower program,” said David Marshall, an attorney with Katz, Marshall and Banks who represents whistleblowers.

    “The Commission has landed a one-two punch against employers who would undermine the program by barring their employees from receiving awards from the SEC.” (Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by David Gregorio)

  12. TheCatSaid

    Lambert, you’ve expressed this well indeed:

    We know from Akerloff’s work on phishing equilibria that if fraud can happen, it is happening.

    [emphasis mine]

    That is the case Bev Harris makes in Fraction Magic so far, particularly in the section titled “Part 6: Execution Capacity“. To the proof of capacity shown here and elsewhere must be added the array of election whistle blowers across the country. They have unearthed the evidence of election fraud and taken legal cases despite innumerable personal, legal, financial and bureaucratic obstacles.

    As with commercial and security industry wrongdoing, the response from the DoJ and SEC is not supportive of whistleblowers. The power framework that is in place makes it easy to give legal cover to those at fault. (For one example, just look up Michael Vu’s actions in Ohio in 2004, and right after the Ohio debacle he was hired to head San Diego’s elections. State laws protect staff from prosecution.)

    The complexity of the intertwining network of organizations, individuals, regulatory agencies and commercial interests that NC has investigated and reported–

    see, again, the work of Richard Smith, as well as the Panama Papers, Naked Capitalism on the foreclosure crisis, Naked Capitalism on robosigning, Naked Capitalism on private equity, Bill Black on accounting control fraud, the daily news, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera ad infinitum and ad nauseum.

    –is similar to the complexity of structures, networks and personal/political relationships that support ongoing election fraud in its many facets. They also share the same characteristics of global multinational financial interests. (Consider Scytl, which handles much of USA election administration including vote counting. It is based in Barcelona, Spain, with networks of influence described here and elsewhere.) As with financial fraud, there is a complex range of strategies employed.

    Indeed, if fraud is possible, it will happen. When there is motive, means and opportunity–and elections offer all three–fraud is inevitable. As with financial fraud, election fraud has been proven time after time, but there is a lack of practical, fair and time-effective remedies. As with financial fraud, election systems protect the interests of the fraudsters.

    To protect whistleblowers from retaliation and harm, the first steps must be to propagate the messages of the whistleblowers. The next steps must be to promote transparency in our financial, government and election systems. The established system is based on networks of frauds and fraudsters, and we shouldn’t expect it to reform itself. But if enough people know about the multiplicity of frauds of all kinds, at local, grass-roots level we can create change. Our power is often at its greatest when we focus on what is most proximal–most “local”–to us and to our personal connections.

    1. redleg

      Just like money in politics, those committing the fraud have greater incentive and resources to propagate messages against whistleblowing. What better example can there be than seeing a respected peer obliterated by the establishment to almost guarantee that IT never happens again. Gresham’s dynamic applies.
      Part of the problem is that so- called whistleblower protection laws require (or did, anyway) both intent and quantifiable damage to claim retaliation. Therefore only the most egregious examples ever make it to the legal system, and then few win. Meanwhile the whistleblower is effectively blacklisted whether they win or lose in the courts. It’s Gresham’s law personified for the whistleblower- the bad destroys the good.

  13. Emma

    Lambert – In response to “What Can We Do to End the Isolation of Whistleblowers?”
    End whistleblowing – before fraudulent oppositional forces do. Start off as an orchestral conductor with a well-tuned ensemble instead.
    Why song & dance around like David & Goliath, when you can level the ground to set up a war of equals……

  14. Steve H.

    Pissed-off people tell the truth.

    It is unwise to categorize whistleblowers as altruistic. Deep Throat had great effect, and he was pissed-off at being passed over twice for head of the FBI. As he said:

    Follow The Money.

    The whistleblower laws have requirements that demand making oneself vulnerable. This is valid given our legal foundations, but practically dangerous given the corruption of the executive functionaries. So the hack-and-release we’ve been seeing may be the most effective way of operating at this time.

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