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FEDERAL WHISTLE BLOWER HARASSED AND HAULED INTO COURT BY HOMELAND SECURITY

Greg Szymanski
May 11, 2005

Left penniless, homeless and searching parking lots for spare change, a former Federal Maritime Officer does an 'about face' on his government, claiming America has turned into a fascist state.

Eric Shine once stood tall and proud as a Federal Maritime Officer, his white officer’s hat brimming with loyalty, a crisp right-handed salute directed squarely at serving his country. He was the picture of steadiness and honor, someone who could easily have stepped in and played the part of a military poster boy used to rally the troops.

He came from a family with a military tradition, his father and brother both attending West Point. He had every reason to love his country, every reason to salute the flag. He had every reason to pledge lifetime loyalty to his government since military service ran through his body like blood ran through his veins.

From childhood, Shine had all the ear markings of the "All American" boy, first becoming an Eagle Scout, then attending a Catholic high school and finally graduating from the University of San Diego. After college, he was appointed by Rep. Dale Hunter (R-CA) to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, one of the five federal service academies, including West Point and Annapolis.

In 1991, Shine finally became a federal U.S. Merchant Marine Officer and was personally appointed by President George H. Bush into "special duty" in the U.S. Naval Reserve and Merchant Marine Reserve programs. For years, he also held a Republican Party membership card, even voting for President George W. Bush in 2000.

But after serving on ships all around the world and always holding firm to Republican Party loyalty, Shine in 2004 did a complete ‘about face’ on his country, his government and the military.

Doing a complete political turn-a-round, Shine is now is sending a much different message, a message "loud and clear for all to hear" that America has quickly turned into a fascist state where the Bill of Rights and freedom of speech are a thing of the past.

How does one so loyal turn so sour so quickly?

Shine said his transformation came after constant personal attacks from Homeland Security and repeated prosecutions "for bogus charges" by the U.S. government. He said these retaliations came after filing internal grievances as a federal whistle blower, citing safety violations and toxic dumping incidents aboard U.S. ships as well as trying to secure a paid leave of absence to be at his fathers bedside when he was sick and dying.

"The Department of Homeland Security has pulled me out of civil court and prosecuted me for my civil complaints, my underlying union grievances as a Federal Officer and my whistle blower letters to Congress," said Shine from his Huntington Beach, Calif., home where is trying to make ends meet working as a handyman.

"The government seized medical records, falsified medical records, denied me so much as a due process hearing and prosecuted me under false military tribunal and denied me pay, benefits, counsel, and more only so they could then strip me of everything including my two homes.

"Even now the United States is attempting to use its influence in the Bankruptcy Courts to trump up charges of perjury so as to lock me away so that I may never live to tell the true story of the gross human rights violations that have been carried out upon me by overwhelming parties that are all representing the interests of the United States of America in one, way shape or form."

The government’s excessive retaliatory behavior came after Shine blew the whistle on a Maritime Administration vessel named the SS Comet in the mid 90s, a ship operated by American President Lines in conjunction with the government. In his formal complaint, Shine tried to stop the hazardous dumping of toxic materials as well as alert officials of a possible boiler room explosion caused by company negligence in order to save time and money.

Further Shine claims he was denied adequate leave to care for his sick father and eventually fired from his onboard ship duties for his whistleblower complaints and underlying union grievances. And when he decided to fight back legally, he claims the government systematically mounted a campaign denying him due process rights under the law.

The government has been fighting Shine "tooth and nail," every step of the way, using big Law firms like Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, the firm who represented George Bush against Al Gore in U.S. the Supreme Court in 2000. are involved.

After writing numerous lawmakers, including Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and trying to be heard in every federal venue imaginable for over five years, he still has not been able to get a judge to listen to his case.

"Homeland Security, on trumped up charges that I am mentally incompetent due to a drug addiction in my youth, actually pulled me out of civil court where I was trying to have the matters adjudicated under my rights as a federal maritime officer. They did this to effectively block me from voicing my complaints in any and all venues and jurisdictions," said Shine, who has been clean and sober for many years. "It’s a fascist state and we have a one party system controlling everything. I know this firsthand from what’s happened to me.

Confusing terrorism with the right to file a grievance against the government, Shine said Homeland Security impugned his reputation by distributing defamatory written material.

" Homeland Security even put out and distributed a wanted poster, also known as a "Be On the Look Out" poster or "BOLO" on me saying that I 'may be dangerous' somehow. And of course they did so without any specifications as to why," he said.

More importantly, Shine said his whistleblower complaints also are trying to bring attention to the larger problem of excessive privatization of the U.S. Merchant Marines and its impending takeover by foreign interests.

"Our entire U.S. Merchant Marine is being overrun by foreign flags and private interests and what are supposed to be enormous public assets are being destroyed," said Shine. "Most people do not understand what is going on and need to be alerted of this new danger poised against our sovereignty as a nation and as a free and democratic people."

The one time "All American" boy, who once sang the praises of his government, has now been left penniless, homeless and at times relegated to searching a Costco parking lot for spare change in order to make it through the day.

Although the ongoing legal battle and suppression of what he calls his Constitutional due process rights to be heard in court have left him in financial shambles, he still has enough energy left to warn others of the oppressive hand now controlling our government.

"People do not understand just how far over the edge these guys have gone and they must be stopped. There are many, many more then you can care to imagine and these fascists are targeting and attacking anyone who complains, anyone who "blows the whistle" or asserts their First Amendment rights," said Shine.

"These guys have been planning this since the 1950's and doing everything to position themselves and get everything in order. The game afoot right now has been, again, to get all of the ‘laws’ in order so that they can get away with anything they want. These guys are crazy and have much more up their sleeves right now and are just months away from the D-Day event."


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