The inspector general of the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) says the spy agency’s deputy director, Air Force Maj. Gen. Susan Mashiko, made an illegal threat of retaliation against whistleblowers in an ongoing criminal contracting investigation, according to a McClatchy Newspapers report.
Inspector General Lanie D’Alessandro opened the contracting inquiry after meeting with four top NRO officers who told her about “a series of allegations of malfeasant actions” by a colleague, McClatchy reported.
When Mashiko heard about the secret meeting, she allegedly told a senior officer: “Four directors went to the IG. I would like to find them and fire them.”
“It is this threat of reprisal, by one of the most senior leaders in the NRO, that constitutes the violation of law,” D’Alessandro wrote in a memo.
Mashiko previously ran the U.S. National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System program, the troubled military-civil weather satellite effort cancelled by the White House in 2010.