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National Security Whistleblowers Ask Obama for Protection

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posted on May, 12 2009 @ 01:37 PM

National Security Whistleblowers Ask Obama for Protection

Thirteen national security whistleblowers on Monday, May 11, sent President Barack Obama an open letter asking that he take immediate steps to end the “second-class status” of federal employees like themselves and to criminalize bureaucratic retaliation against government workers who exercise their free speech rights in the public interest.

It asked the president to take “concrete steps in favor of national security whistleblowers that will help to restore time-honored values of openness..."
(visit the link for the full news article)

Related News Links:

Related Discussion Threads:
Debunkers may be closet whistleblowers, leading us to truth the only way they legally can.
Any Confirmed Whistleblowers Ever Post on ATS?
Fox News Whistleblowers

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 01:37 PM
Only available in PDF:

“As the federal government of necessity grows in response to the many crises that you have inherited from your predecessor, the lack of protection currently afforded to whistleblowers means that federal workers – the front line in the fight against fraud and waste, and best guarantee that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and government works effectively – must either sit on the sidelines or, still forced to look over their shoulders for signs of reprisal, risk their careers.”

The group pointed out that the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), charged with adjudicating federal worker claims, has found only one case of illegal retaliation in 56 decisions on the merits. And only three whistleblowers out of 212 prevailed in decisions on the merits in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals since October 1994, when the current whistleblower “protection” law last was modified.

The letter pointed to the “special vulnerability” of people like those who signed it, who do not have any “real safeguards” against retaliation. “Instead, for protecting this nation, we and others face having our security clearances yanked, as well as a rosary of humiliation, demotions, threats, punitive polygraphs and myriad other intimidatory measures.” Meanwhile, even as independent agencies and organizations corroborate whistleblower complaints, the letter noted, “wrongdoers are
mostly allowed to retain their posts - and many even receive promotions.”

In addition to this letter, recently members of congress also sent another letter to Obama on April 30, 2009 requesting rapid action on the issue of whistleblower protection for federal employees:

We are writing to bring your attention to and encourage swift action on the issue of whistleblower protection for federal employees. Whistleblowers are our nation's best resource against fraud and abuse of the public trust. Over the years, whistleblowers have repeatedly sounded the alarm about fiscal practices that waste tax dollars. In the national security realm, whistleblowers have effectively and responsibly called attention to security vulnerabilities that threaten the lives of U.S. citizens.

Moreover, they have worked to prevent violations of the constitutional values we all share. In these uncertain economic times, we should encourage courageous public servants to continue to report evidence of misconduct on behalf of American taxpayers and families. Unfortunately, we cannot expect government employees to continue to sacrifice their careers and risk their own families' security without signals from your Administration that they will be protected.

So the heat mounts on Obama from multiple angles to do something to protect the people that will help root evil and abuse out of the government. Some are seeking a Presidential Executive Order to this effect. And that is one EO I would fully support.

As recently as December. 2008 the Washington Post published an article touting Obama as a real friend of whistleblowers:

Whistleblowers May Have a Friend in the Oval Office

President-elect Barack Obama has supported expanded protections for whistleblowers.

While Barack Obama's election victory led millions of Americans to cheer and shout, a much smaller group of government watchers had reason to blow their whistles.

Whistleblowers in the federal government and those who work to protect them see a longtime friend in the next president.

"Attorney Obama and Senator Obama and candidate Obama and President-elect Obama have all supported whistleblower rights," said Adam Miles, the legislative representative for the Government Accountability Project, a public interest group that bills itself as the nation's leading whistleblower organization.

Obama's whistleblower trail starts before his days in public office.

When he was an associate with the Chicago firm of Miner Barnhill & Galland, Obama was among those representing Janet Chandler, a psychologist who charged Cook County Hospital with lying about the results of a federally funded program that served pregnant women on drugs.

The settlement resulted in money being returned to the government.

As a senator, Obama supported legislation that would increase whistleblower protection. Versions of that measure remain before Congress.

As a presidential candidate, he endorsed whistleblower protection legislation in the House that is stronger than the bill he voted for in the Senate.

President-elect Barack Obama has continued along this track. His transition Web site says:

"We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process."

So will Obama live up to his promises in this regard and stand firm in the face or abuse and greed? Let us not forget that he ran his campaign based upon a policy of change, promising transparency and accountability in federal government. And securing protection for whistleblowers is one way he can do this from the ground up.

His promises have not entirely been kept, however- a condition that seems to be the norm in politics- but one that needs to end. His opposition to, and then subsequent appointment of lobbyists for example, is one issue where he has disappointed.

And the promise of significant legislation being published on the White House website for public review and comment prior to congressional vote is another issue that has not come to fruition with any teeth. The bailout package for example, was passed in an incredibly underhanded way, and was never published on the site for review.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on May, 21 2009 @ 10:17 AM
Whistleblower Organizations
Several organizations have been active with whistleblowing issues. They testify before congressional committees, provide assistance with litigation, and offer other services. Some of these organizations cover whistleblowing in general. Others focus on national security whistleblowing. From October 9 to October 12, 2005, in Chincoteague, Va., the first annual National Security Whistleblowers Conference was held. It was sponsored by the National Security Whistleblower Coalition, the Cavallo Foundation, Harriet Crosby, the Fertel Foundation, the Fund for Constitutional Government, and Project on Government Oversight. The purpose was to bring together national security whistleblowers to learn from each other, to find collective support for their efforts, and to develop strategies.

Government Accountability Project (GAP)
Founded in 1977, GAP is a non-profit, public interest organization and law firm that receives funding from foundations, individuals, and legal fees. It describes its mission as protecting the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability through advancing occupational free speech and ethical conduct, defending whistleblowers, and empowering citizen activists. It litigates whistleblower cases, publicizes whistleblower concerns, and develops policy and legal reforms for whistleblower laws. Much of its work has been in the area of nuclear oversight, food and drug safety, worker health and safety, international reform and national security.

National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
The coaliton is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to aiding national security whistleblowers. Its stated mission is to advocate governmental and legal reform, educate the public concerning whistleblowing activity, provide comfort and fellowship to national security whistleblowers subject to retaliation, and work with other public interest organizations to effect goals defined in the organization’s mission statement. Its membership consists exclusively of current or former federal employees or civilians working under contract to the United States who, to their detriment and personal risk, bring to light fraud, waste, and abuse in government operations and agencies related to national security.

National Whistleblower Center
The National Whistleblower Center is a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational, and advocacy organization dedicated to helping whistleblowers. Since 1988, it states it has used whistleblowers’ disclosures to improve environmental protection, nuclear safety, and government and corporate accountability. The primary goal of the center is to ensure that disclosures about government or industry actions that violated the law or harm the environment are fully heard, and that the whistleblowers who risk their careers to expose wrongdoing are defended. In addition to assisting whistleblowers, the center lobbies Congress on the need to protect whistleblowers and insists that officials be held fully accountable for their conduct. The center maintains a national referral service and sponsors litigation.

Project On Government Oversight (POGO)
POGO began in 1981 as an independent, non-profit organization that
investigates and exposes corruption in order to achieve a more accountable federal government. It operates on the principle that representation and accountability are fundamental to maintaining a strong and functioning democracy. Initially it was known as the Project on Military Procurement. It is committed to exposing waste, fraud and corruption in the following areas: defense, homeland security, energy and environment, contract oversight, and open government. POGO’s “Contract Oversight Investigations” examine the federal government’s policies and relationships with grant recipients as well as major companies that receive billions of dollars in contracts and subsidies annually.

Wikileaks is a multi-jurisdictional organization to protect internal dissidents, whistleblowers, journalists and bloggers who face legal or other threats related to publishing. Our primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we are of assistance to people of all nations who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations. We aim for maximum political impact. We have received over 1.2 million documents so far from dissident communities and anonymous sources.

We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger democracies. All governments can benefit from increased scrutiny by the world community, as well as their own people. We believe this scrutiny requires information. Historically that information has been costly - in terms of human life and human rights. But with technological advances - the internet, and cryptography - the risks of conveying important information can be lowered.

Additional Whistleblower Organizations Worldwide can be found with links here:

* Global Integrity Report tracks whistleblower protection worldwide.
* Whistleblowing about the Scottish Widows demutualisation
* UK site for whistleblowers to tell their story
* Taxpayers Against Fraud
* Father and Son Whistleblowers' Website - Tips for Whistleblowers - A free public Service
* Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
* Government Accountability Project
* Worldwide Whistleblowers - International whistleblowing news and information site
* Project On Government Oversight (POGO)
* The Ron Ridenhour Awards
* National Whistleblower Center
* The Truth-Telling Project - Project formed by whistleblowers Daniel Ellsberg and Katharine Gun
* FAIR: Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform For Whistleblowers in Canada
* Public Concern at Work - the leading UK authority on Public Disclosure
* Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 from Her Majesty's Stationery Office
* Workplace Fairness FAQ for environmental whistleblowers
* Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report "National Security Whistleblowers"
* Whistleblowers in the EU
* Year of the Rhinoceros (a novel about whistleblowers)
* International Freedom of Expression Exchange
* National Security Whistleblowers Coalition Source for many and varied articles
* Freedom to Care UK's first grassroots (1991)whistleblowers support organisation.
* Whistleblower-Netzwerk Whistleblower support organisation in Germany.
* U.S. Department of Labor Whistleblower Program & information
* List and information on US Whistleblowers at SourceWatch
* Read v. Canada (Attorney General) Canadian legal framework regarding whistleblowing defence
* Whistleblower Week in Washington
* "Office of Special Counsel's War on Whistleblowers", Mother Jones, May/June 2007.
* Political Party of Whistleblowers in the Netherlands
* Grant Thornton IBR whistleblowing survey

posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 02:06 AM
WikiLeaks is overloaded by global interest

WikiLeaks is currently overloaded by readers. This is a regular difficulty that can only be resolved by deploying additional resources. If you support our mission, then show it in the way that is most needed. On average, each donation catalyzes the publication of around 150 mainstream press articles, exposing human rights abuses and corrupt government around the world. These exposures result in substantial reforms and have changed national election outcomes.

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Every contribution helps.

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Wow, so much interest that their servers are overloaded?

posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 02:25 AM
reply to post by TrueAmerican

Wow, so much interest that their servers are overloaded?

Kinda like this thread ?

I kid.. I kid.

This thread I'd have thought should've generated more of an interest. I think this is important because its a step in the right direction (if it gets anywhere) to correct the current corrupt and disfunctional system. If the government is to ensure the safety of 'whistleblowers' then I cant see how it wouldnt help. I'm willing to bet that many government officials do want what's in the best interest of not only their government.. but for the people as well.

posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 02:33 AM
reply to post by disfugured

Man, I tell ya what. I have tried several times to generate interest in this thread, and I just can't seem to get it rolling. Thanks much for the help. It really is important that we support these Whistleblowers in every way we can. They break the real stories of the atrocities committed by the shady, greedy, and dishonest in government. They become critical sources for the stories that end up on rawstory, ats, infowars, and so many more. Alternative media heroes!

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 01:48 AM
reply to post by TrueAmerican

I agree. How else will any sort of truth come out ? Most of us cry about the truth being withheld about many things but when it comes down to supporting the odd decent government official.. nobody seems to care enough. This is really alot larger than most realize. Much good can come out of this. I wanna hear what inside whistleblowers have to say but I also dont blame them one bit for not leaking anything out with the way the system is run now.

Think of it this way; if more people were leaking inside info out that's truthful.. we'd have alot less to conspire about when its out in the open.

[edit on 5-6-2009 by disfugured]

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 02:07 AM
reply to post by TrueAmerican

The beings/people looking out for us know all the things to say to keep TPTB from gaining too much power and they can help keep them in check as much as posible by coming out with things likes these...

Now if anything happens to these people, it will be obvious who did it........That would screw up their plans big time......

So the back off and have to give in a little to remain in power....Give a little to keep a lot...

That is an ex. of a small victory for us the people.........

We have options to stop them and keep them from totally taking over...

But We really don't know all of them.....

They know more than us because they make the rules, but people watching out for us know the rules also and can "counter attack" with actions such as the OP has posted..........

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 02:21 AM
Wait, these people claim that they are here to

Over the years, whistleblowers have repeatedly sounded the alarm about fiscal practices that waste tax dollars.

Yet they are asking the current President for protection? The same President that has spent more money than any other president before. The same president who also spent millions of dollars more than any other Presidents before, just for his inauguration when the President, and his administration knew we were in big # with the dollar depreciating, and the debt increasing, and the current administration has continued to spend more money than any other before it, and trillions of dollars have gone into a black hole under the current administration. They are asking this of the same administration that has signed into law for even worse dictatorial and even Socialist programs than other administrations before it, and is turning the Republic into a Socialist dictatorship?.... not to mention the same President who dare ask CEOs from PRIVATE firms to take a hike, who has ordered auto companies what cars they should build, and what branches PRIVATE companies should close, and the same President under which GM was NATIONALIZED???

Am i missing the point here?.....

[edit on 5-6-2009 by ElectricUniverse]

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 02:35 AM
reply to post by ElectricUniverse

It might be in order for you to review the OP, and please don't take that the wrong way. These people are asking him because he ran his campaign on intended transparency of government, and as a friend of whistleblowers, specifically sympathetic to their cause. But while you are making some great points, I'm not sure I understand you totally there... The need to expose wrongdoers in government exists regardless of who is President, and he promised them essentially he was on their side. Maybe it's when they start exposing him that he will stop supporting them? Is that kind of what you are trying to say?

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 03:29 AM
reply to post by TrueAmerican

I did, and BTW President Obama has broken every promise he had made before getting elected He has even gone as far as imply that he would seek a way to make it part of the law to imprison people indefinetedly, and without any proof such poeople have done any wrongdoing whatsoever as long as such people are viewed as a "possible threat". We had a thread about that a week ago or so.

So there is no way President Obama is going to keep any promise about "transparency", unless it is part of the plan to implement more taxes if these whistleblowers start claiming "they had evidence all along that Global Warming is being caused by mankind, but this information was withheld by the previous administration"... Of course, as always such evidence is never presented except for more "CLAIMS" from the same bunch.

That's what I am thinking will happen next. People are going to be told, "we have to make sacrifices right now, so give us all your money in taxes so we can save the planet", and they have to do this before more people realize that mankind has nothing to do with Climate change, or the Global Warming hoax. Just watch...

[edit on 5-6-2009 by ElectricUniverse]

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 10:31 AM

Originally posted by ElectricUniverse
reply to post by TrueAmerican

I did, and BTW President Obama has broken every promise he had made before getting elected...

Well actually that is not true. I know how you feel here, but let's be accurate.

According to PolitiFact:

* Promise Kept 30

* Compromise 8

* Promise Broken 6

* Stalled 9

* In the Works 64

* No Action 397

PolitiFact has compiled more than 500 promises that Barack Obama made during the campaign and is tracking their progress on our Obameter.

We rate their status as No Action, In the Works or Stalled. Once we find action is completed, we rate them Promise Kept, Compromise or Promise Broken.

The report card at right provides an up-to-the-minute tally of all the promises.

If they are even half wrong, you are still exaggerating quite a bit! And PLEASE, don't take me for some Obama apologist, because that I am most definitely not! Ron Paul was my candidate!

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