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Whistleblower Organizations Urge the House Chairman against S.494

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Alexandria, VA---In a letter sent today the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition together with a Consortium of other whistleblower organizations urged Congressman Duncan Hunter, Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, to support house substitute for ineffective Senate Amendment which will not protect national security during the final conference on the 2007 Defense Authorization Act. Among others, the Consortium includes National Whistleblower Center, Liberty Coalition, Project on Government Oversight, Veterans Affairs Whistleblowers Coalition, and Concerned Foreign Service Officers. (For the letter Click Here)
The Senate has incorporated a whistleblower protection provision (S.494) into the fiscal year 2007 defense authorization act. The Senate proposal does not properly protect national security. It excludes key government workers fighting the "war on terror" from any whistleblower protection whatsoever. Additionally, the protections it does offer are weak and have been incompetently administered by a lack-luster merit systems process which has often rewarded inefficiency. The provision appears to be another cosmetic add-on marketed falsely as whistleblower protection.

The House Government Reform Committee has conducted extensive hearings on the appropriate standards necessary to protect those patriotic civil servants willing to expose bureaucrats or politicians who are "weak" or incompetent on national-security issues. The Committee has taken leadership on drafting and passing real whistleblower protections intended to defend national security; H.R. 1317.

It is not too dramatic to say that if the provisions in the Senate bill pass, rather than the genuine protections contemplated in the house bill, Congress will have sentenced as-yet unknown Americans to death and injury by failing to protect proven measures reporting of government malfeasance and negligence that gird our national security.

The Coalition requested Chairman Hunter's personal intervention to ensure that the protections offered under HR. 1317 are adopted in conference, not the weak and completely ineffective Senate provision, S. 494, during the final conference on the 2007 Defense Authorization Act.

National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, founded in August 2004, is an independent and nonpartisan alliance of whistleblowers who have come forward to address our nation's security weaknesses; to inform authorities of security vulnerabilities in our intelligence agencies, at nuclear power plants and weapon facilities, in airports, and at our nation's borders and ports; to uncover government waste, fraud, abuse, and in some cases criminal conduct. The NSWBC is dedicated to aiding national security whistleblowers through a variety of methods, including advocacy of governmental and legal reform, educating the public concerning whistleblowing activity, provision of comfort and fellowship to national security whistleblowers suffering retaliation and other harms, and working with other public interest organizations to affect goals defined in the NSWBC mission statement. For more on NSWBC visit www.nswbc.org

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Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI language specialist, was terminated from the bureau after reporting security breaches, cover-up, and blocking of intelligence with national security implications. Since that time, court proceedings in her whistleblower (more...)
 

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