In the first half, George Knapp discussed a new film that chronicles the War on Whistleblowers with filmmaker Robert Greenwald, in the first half hour, and whistleblower Franz Gayl, in the remaining 90 minutes. Greenwald explained that whistleblowers are driven to speak out because they see moral, legal, or financial wrongs being committed by the government and feel compelled to expose these practices, regardless of the retribution they may face. As such, he marveled that they "put country above comfort" as they challenge a National Security state which, he opined, has resulted in "less freedom, more controls, and more secrets."
Gayl, a retired Marine who works as a science and technology advisor for the Pentagon, shared his story of exposing government malfeasance and the backlash he faced because of it. He explained that, while working in Iraq in 2006, he learned that the humvees used by the military were particularly susceptible to IEDs, continuously falling victim to these attacks and costing American lives. Additionally, Gayl discovered that the military had requested a more suitable and safer vehicle for the conflict, but the price of such a switch was deemed too costly by the government, which delayed acting on the request for 19 months.
Upon returning from Iraq, Gayl was asked to brief the office of the Secretary of Defense on the problem. However, after the first draft of his brief blamed the bureaucracy for costing American lives, Gayl was prohibited by his chain of command from making the presentation. Seeing that lives were in immediate danger, he brought his concerns to a reporter, which subsequently created a firestorm in the media and resulted in both the military quickly receiving the vehicles as well as intense scrutiny from his superiors. Gayl was formally reprimanded, investigated four times, and received poor performance evaluations. Fortunately, he managed to retain his job with help from government whistleblower advocate groups.
In the latter half, Paul Joseph Fronczak detailed the amazing mystery surrounding his birth and life. He traced the tale back to Chicago in 1964, when Dora Fronczak gave birth to a child with his name. The next day, a woman disguised as a nurse kidnapped the baby, resulting in a massive hunt for the missing infant, which made national and international headlines. Compounding the mystery, since the baby was only a day old, the hospital had only a lone photograph of the infant and no fingerprints, footprints, or blood type on record. Over a year later, Fronzcak was found abandoned in a stroller in Newark, New Jersey. Based on a resemblance to the kidnapped baby in the photograph, the FBI and the Fronczak family were convinced he was the missing child. The Fronczaks ultimately adopted Paul and raised him as their son, believing that he'd miraculously been returned to them.
However, as he grew older, Paul learned about his unique childhood and began to question the accuracy of his lineage. After mulling over the mystery for several years, he decided to undergo a DNA test to determine if he truly was the missing Paul Fronczak. The results of the test, he was told, revealed that "there's no remote possibility that these are your parents." A bewildered Fronczak mused that he now knew nothing of his own background, including his true age or nationality, as well as the fate of the original Paul Fronczak. Faced with these two mysteries, he expressed hope that, via further DNA insights as well as increased awareness of the 1964 Fronczak kidnapping, new revelations may arise which will lead to answers about his parentage and what became of the first Paul Fronczak.
George Knapp shares some recent items of interest, including his KLAS I-Team report featuring tonight's second half guest, Paul Joseph Fronczak...