The Smearing Of Federal Whistle Blower Bruce Gorcyca – A Case Study – Part I of 6



When U.S. Federal employees report federal crimes at the executive level where the perpetrators are GS-12 or higher in pay grade, they become marked men and women and targeted for harassment, inconvenient transfers, and intimidation designed to obtain a resignation or a recantment of their reports.  If those accused are political appointees or cabinet member the intimidation is escalated to a new level where the accuser must be discredited at any and all costs. If not, murder becomes the last resort.

When Bruce reported one of his first federal crimes (the theft of drugs and cigarettes from the U.S. Coast Guard Base in San Juan, he received only the support of Commander Frank Ballou and to all others he became a “snitch” and was merely transferred to another duty station 25 miles away to the air station in Aguadilla.  Once there the Commanding Office made the mistake of assigning him to the Security Office which gave Bruce the authority to investigate crimes on the 12 acre military base, which were few and far between. The crimes he did observe were mostly committed by officers who used their rank to misappropriate property from the government, ranging from a few cases of liquor to a $50,000 chandelier and avionics equipment a Lt. had the nerve to steal and install in his own private aircraft. Yep, you guessed, it Bruce reported it all.  This again made him an inconvenient problem who had to be removed to protect the careers of a handful of officers, who aside from their misdeeds were of high value to the Coast Guard. Therefore, Bruce was set up for a quite ridiculous crime himself.

He resided with 3 other enlisted men in a duplex government housing unity on the base. Without notice, the duplex unit was searched one early morning and lo and behold, what do they find in government housing? Government paint, a government broom, government pens, government furniture, government fan etc. Exactly what would be found in any of the other 170 housing units on the base. It was all confiscated and even though Bruce was one of four people residing in the unit he was the only charged with misappropriating govt. property even though nothing was found in his own bedroom other than a govt. pen and trashcan.  The paint that was found just happened to be the same mint green that matched the color of the duplex! So government paint was used to paint a government house on a government base. HOW CRIMINAL CAN YOU GET!?!

Bruce was called in to see the Commanding Officer who notified Bruce he was placed on report and would be taken before the Captain for a “Captain’s Mast” (Article 15 disciplinary hearing). But Bruce who had just been promoted to BM2 (Boatswain mate 2nd Class Petty Officer) politely declined the the hearing and requested a Court Martial, primarily so the District Commander in Miami would learn of the nonsense. An entire month was spent trying to persuade Bruce to withdraw the Court Martial request, or simply resign from the Coast Guard. Bruce stood his ground and realized that if a Court Martial was convened, the truth of all the other crimes he had reported that were covered up by the CO would come out for all to see.

Long story short, the court martial convened, Bruce was ordered to limit his testimony to the stuff found in the house and nothing more. Nothing could be discussed as to WHY his housing unit was the only one selected for a “random drug search” (No drugs were found on the premises btw)  Bruce’s family flew in a top notch lawyer from Ohio named Gerry Gold)  It was concluded that people living in government housing would be expected to have government household items and furnishings. This was embarrassing for the Command who was spending about $300,000 (a lot of money back in 1977). They had to find Bruce guilty of something!  So they decided to find him guilty of misappropriating a key ring someone had left on a forklift the day before the Saturday house search about 10 minutes before everyone went home for the weekend. Bruce’s intentions were to take the unidentified key ring to security office the following Monday since somebody would probably come looking for them. So he took personal custody of the keys over the weekend. Aha!  They were able to say he “misappropriated” something!  So 99% of the charges were dismissed but they nailed him for the key ring which an alcoholic public works supervisor did not even realize he lost for three days!

At the time this all took place, Bruce had the highest academic ranking on the base from the Coast Guard Institute and was on fast pace of promotions and by his last year (4th year in the military he would have been an E6 or first class petty officer – a rank most people achieved in 5-6 years) Prior to this incident only 1 out of 8 performance reports were not “excellent”. The sole negative evaluation was given by the officer Bruce caught with the $50,000 chandelier in his home (stolen during the renovation of the Officer’s club).

After the court martial Bruce had to be punish for those keys, which if left on the forklift could have been stolen by civilian employees and perhaps used to steal something of value, although it was never determined what the keys actually opened!  Bruce was demoted to BM3 and told he would not be eligible for promotion again for two years when he was only 6 months away from qualifying for OCS (Officer Candidate School). Demoralized he agreed to accept an early honorable discharge since the value of the “crime” he committed was less that $100. As petty as this case may seem, it shows what lengths the government will go to punish those who expose felony crimes within the government. The senior people are protected at all costs, even when they covered up the murder of Radioman 3rd class Patrick Wesphal in San Juan who they wrote up as a suicide. Patrick was the radioman on duty the night some drugs were stolen from the base, and he unfortunately became a witness. Commander Frank Ballou and Bruce had wanted to examine the crime scene when CGI finished doing the same, but they were refused. Ballou was claiming the right to do so as the duty officer of that day, but he was over-ruled by the command.

The CO that set up the “random drug search” on Bruce had a personal score to settle. Captain Tom Lutton was passed over for promotion to Admiral primarily due to an ACLU investigation and complaint filed with the Commandant Owen SIler. It grew from a complaint filed by Bruce with the ACLU that the Coast Guard was publishing the social security numbers and unpublished private telephone numbers in a telephone directory at the Borinquen Air Station of all the military personnel without their knowledge nor consent. Bruce had first asked Lutton to remove his name, SSN, and private telephone number but Lutton said that would cost the Coast Guard $350 to reprint the directory and apparently that $350 was more important to Lutton than the Privacy of 230 people he commanded. The Commandant ordered the directories to be recalled and destroyed and placed a letter of reprimand in Lutton’s service file jacket. Now you know why the “random” drug search selected the housing unit of Bruce even though none of the four men living their used drugs.

Fast forward to 1981 when Bruce was assigned to Krome Detention Center in MIami (basically a jail for immigrants in the Everglades) as an employee of the U.S. Justice Department. It was a temporary job for Bruce while he was awaiting a placement with U.S. Customs as boat coxswain or diver (Bruce was already a PADI Scuba Instructor by this time) At Krome Bruce witnessed an reported the beatings and rapes of immigrant prisoners (described in detail in his book manuscripts) Some of the girls raped were still in their teens. They were told that if they complained or said anything, they would be deported and never get a green card.  Bruce went to bat for them and filed a formal report against a supervisor named Ruiz. Officially, Bruce was thanked for his “diligence” but within a month Ruiz was “promoted” and transferred, the girls (witnesses) were deported and Bruce was told that when he finished his training at Glynco he would be assigned to the most undesirable duty station run by INS. Bruce decided to take the test to become an air traffic controller since he was a student pilot at this time with over 180 hours of flight time. Less than 15% of people who take the test actually pass it, but Bruce gave it a shot. He passed with the third highest score in Florida so he resigned his post at Krome.

This above episode shows how supervisory perpetrators are protected with bogus promotions and transfers. But when the crimes involve a U.S. Senator, IRS Commissioner, and the Attorney General of America, the dirty tricks team is called in to deal with the whistle blower.

Bruce’s next government job would be with the IRS while awaited a call from U.S. Customs and the FBI where he was advised he was in que for consideration after a hiring freeze was to be lifted within a year. At the IRS in Miami, he and his partner (Liston Smith) would find something by accident, that a few U.S. Senators were looking for – the IRS Florida Hit List of democratic campaign donors that were hoping to unseat the incumbent Senator Paula Hawkins in favor of Governor Bob Graham. What Bruce and Liston would stumble upon would cause Liston to be murdered and Bruce jailed on a fabricated bribery charge in 1984 within 30 days of each other. Ironically a week after Bruce was accused of taking that non-existent bribe he received a notice from the FBI that he should contact the local HR Officer to confirm a convenient time for a job interview!  The week before he was arrested for the bribe, Bruce was interviewed for a promotion to work with internal affairs of the IRS (Inspection division after working undercover for the inspection team on a local Miami case) Woody Kirk and Harold Wenig can verify the above undercover work and pending hire to internal affairs. Wenig would later admit he did not believe the bribery story and apologized to Bruce for not saying anything.


For those of you who believe the government really can’t lie about stuff like this, I remind you of the following lies of Uncle Sam that all of us swallowed at one time or another:

Bruce wrote an 812 page book about his journey through the dark side of government crimes.The manuscripts were twice seized at gunpoint by federal agents who had no warrants. The book was reconstructed from a zip disk file Bruce had buried in Ohio.  But after his wife became pregnant with their son he she made him promise not to publish it, and he has kept his word to her for over 10 years.

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