It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Is the Whistleblower Protection Act Dead?

page: 1
2

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 1 2009 @ 10:42 PM
link   

Is the Whistleblower Protection Act Dead?


www.opednews.com

But the bigger issue is whether the decision gives government agencies a powerful way to effectively evade protections that are supposed to be offered whistleblowers by the Whistleblower Protection Act.
The Merit Systems Protection Board ruled Monday that disclosures of information labeled "sensitive security information" cannot be protected by the Whistleblower Protection Act, even if the information was not ruled to be sensitive until long after the whistleblower disclosed it.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jul, 1 2009 @ 10:42 PM
link   
The ruling was in the case of fired air marshal Robert MacLean.


Tom Devine of the Government Accountability Project, a non-profit group that represents whistleblowers, said in his view the MacLean decision means "the Whistleblower Protection Act is dead."

The idea that the information does not even have to be marked "sensitive" at the time of disclosure, Robert MacLean told Papertrail, will create a chilling effect among government employees because they won't know what can be safely disclosed to the press or the public.

In the summer of 2003, MacLean disclosed to the press the Transportation Security Administration's plan to curtail its deployment of air marshals on high-risk flights at a time of heightened terrorist warnings. Several members of Congress expressed outrage, and within days, the TSA rescinded its plan to cut back on coverage.


The information he disclosed to the public that resulted in the TSA rescinding its plans to cut back on air marshal coverage due to political and public outrage also resulted in his firing. The information was only labeled "sensitive" during the firing process by the TSA.

Also, the TSA's system/process of labeling sensitive information is seriously in need of an overhaul as it appears it is chaotic.


And in an ironic twist, the board's decision was itself labeled "sensitive security information" and posted on a publicly accessible government website, due to a "computer glitch," the board says.

The board and TSA both told PaperTrail there was really no sensitive information in the document announcing the termination. "I reviewed the decision before the Board posted the document," said TSA's Blair. The board decision was posted in the late afternoon on Monday and taken down early on Tuesday morning, said Bungard, the board's general counsel. "The agency marks documents with the label 'sensitive security information' if there is a possibility it contains SSI," said Bungard. " It does not contain SSI but it should not have been posted," because the label was still on it, he said. It was reposted Tuesday afternoon without the SSI marking.

It may all sound like Alice in Wonderland, but critics say the accidental posting and mislabeling of the termination document illustrates real problems. "The board just demonstrated how arbitrary this marking is and apparently documents that are marked SSI may have no restricted information in them and other documents that are not marked may contained restricted info," said Steven Aftergood, an expert on government secrecy policy at the Federation of American Scientists. "The whole system is completely cockeyed."


This is really a very serious development. Government employees will be even less likely to disclose information that only they know about. A good example of increasing transparency in government, eh?

www.opednews.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jul, 1 2009 @ 10:50 PM
link   
So, we're all screwed now?



posted on Jul, 1 2009 @ 11:05 PM
link   
Let me get this straight, I am an Obama staffer. I see him stealing paperclips.
I blow the whistle on this.
Two days later, the Obama admin states that paperclips are "sensative".

I get fired?

-I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth-



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 02:11 AM
link   
I just go around ATS getting my post count up with this spam but here goes.

Why is there no outcry about this?



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 07:02 AM
link   
reply to post by Happyfeet
 


I don't know why there's not more public outcry about this - you would think there would be. This law is an EXTREMELY important law and is probably the only thing that protects gov. employees against retaliation from the gov. when they "blow the whistle" on the gov.

The MSM isn't carrying this story - you would think they would because it's not necessarily an Obama administration bash and, more importantly, protects the very people who give them "meat stories".

It would seem that the people here on ATS are asleep on this one as well... 3 replies?



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 07:14 AM
link   
The price of a democracy is eternal vigilance.
Looks like the vigilance part died today.

We're in a whole heap of trouble -- but nobody is going to realize it until it's much too late. How could they realize it -- nobody can tell them anymore.



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 07:18 AM
link   
Star Flag and post on this thread every day.

People need to know about this, whether they (think) they care or not.

This is way bigger than UFOs, disclosure, invading Iraq, north Korea, the swine flu, SARS, nuclear proliferation, and even Michael Jackson

This is our system of checks and balances being eroded.
.



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 08:10 AM
link   

Originally posted by Kaytagg

This is way bigger than UFOs, disclosure, invading Iraq, north Korea, the swine flu, SARS, nuclear proliferation, and even Michael Jackson


I agree with you there. Government employees are the eyes and ears and if we allow their protection to erode then we won't have eyes and ears anymore. Do you really think that this man would have come out with the news that the TSA was stopping air marshal coverage if he thought that he'd be fired or, even worse, prosecuted?

Obviously, there are worse scenarios that we may never hear about now.



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 11:57 AM
link   
This 'law' will eventually be marginalized to the point of impotence.

Ultimately, it is an anti-corporate law, which means that it is an anti-government law.

People in the culture of political appointees and so-called 'leadership' roles define themselves by what they can 'get away with'. It's how they mark success in their social circles. Sort of the same way criminals do....

The irony of the comparison is not lost on me.

No matter what happens to this person, it WILL happen again, and again.

Why? Because when it comes to the political careers and machinations of the political party, ANYTHING can be deemed 'sensitive.' And those who oversee the designation are NOT going to challenge it.

Again, if we had a Judicial Branch that was populated by apolitical jurists, this kind of thing wouldn't, or couldn't happen. But they are too busy dodging accountability and responsibility themselves to be bothered with anything as unimportant as a moral stand.



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 10:36 PM
link   



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 12:33 PM
link   
Thanks Kaytagg, I bookmarked that one!



new topics

top topics



 
2

log in

join