Gerald Shur and Pete Earley Founder of the Federal Witness Protection Program, Gerald Shur, and journalist Pete Earley. They've collaborated on the new book, WITSEC: Inside the Federal Witness Protection Program (Bantam Books). Shur started the program in the 1960s after realizing that many witnesses would not testify because they were afraid of being killed as a result. WITSEC assigns a new identity and relocates witnesses and their dependents. Witnesses have included everyone from mobsters to drug traffickers to terrorists in the first world trade center bombing. Shur headed the program for 34 years. The program is part of the Justice Department's Organized Crime and Racketeering Section. Shur is now retired.