Today, in his specific recommendations, Mr. Gore advocated that new whistleblower protections should immediately be established for members of the Executive Branch who report evidence of wrongdoing -- especially where it involves the abuse of Executive Branch authority in the sensitive areas of national security. This statement is also in accord with Mr. Barrs recent agreement in various media forums that national security whistleblower protection is desperately needed.
Sibel Edmonds, Founder & Director of NSWBC, stated: We applaud the call by Liberty Coalition & Al Gore for congress to enact new legislation that would provide meaningful whistleblower protections, especially for those patriots who report abuses of Executive Branch authority in the sensitive areas of national security. Hundreds of national security whistleblowers, patriotic government employees, have brought to the publics attention cases of agency wrongdoing only to find themselves fired, stripped of their security clearance, and/or deprived of meaningful work, simply because they were courageous and patriotic enough to place the security of our nation above their own career security and interests. Why should government employees have to choose between their livelihood and career, and fulfilling their highest duty of all: protecting the publics interest? The answer is very simple, because our legislative branch has failed to provide these patriots with any protection. Ms. Edmonds added: Whistleblowers have served as a constant and valuable check on the federal government. Considering the fact that to perform its legislative & oversight functions, congress must depend on information from the executive branch, why is it that the congress refuses to provide a safe & protected channel to those who can provide the congress with information, thus enabling it to exercise its oversight responsibility?
The NSWBC drafted model legislation on whistleblower protection that is currently being worked up for submission by several senate offices. The legislation will scrap the ineffective, cumbersome, and narrow Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, and replace it with an act that provides substantial protections for whistleblowers in all areas of government. Presently, whistleblowers in law enforcement and intelligence agencies are excluded from even the meager protections of the WPA. The NSWBC model bill would criminalize retaliation for whistleblowing, provide for civil liability for adverse employment decisions made for protected disclosures, remove perverse incentives for the executive branch to assert secrecy privileges to defeat whistleblower litigation, and require a truly independent body to investigate whistleblower claims and rectify executive branch abuses.
Professor William Weaver, NSWBC Senior Advisor said: We praise Mr. Gores and Mr. Barrs sentiments and statements and hope that those in Congress will see the wisdom of their former colleagues positions. When politicians as diverse in their views as Mr. Gore and Mr. Barr, come together on common ground and agreement to action, then we all must take note. Now is the time to act to provide substantial whistleblower protection so that executive branch activities remain accountable to the Congress and the public.
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