In 1997 the case of FBI whistleblower Dr. Frederic Whitehurst prompted President Clinton to issue an executive order enforcing FBI whistleblower protections. These protections are not perfect, but they have allowed FBI employees to come forward and report civil liberties and civil rights abuses. Currently, the Senate is "hotlining" the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 372), which means it could pass without any public debate or vote. This bill eliminates the protections FBI employees have currently. S. 372 must be fixed now.
TAKE ACTION NOW! Read Fred Whitehurst's letter and urge your Senator to contact the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to ensure S. 372 is fixed!
Why does the FBI want to get rid of protections provided under 5 U.S.C. § 2303?
Under 5 U.S.C § 2303, FBI whistleblowers have the right to independent review of their claim, either by the Office of the Inspector General or the Office of Professional Responsibility.
The following reports are examples of these independent reviews, which have resulting in findings critical of the FBI. It is no wonder they are lobbying aggressively to push S. 372 through the Senate. If S. 372 passes as is, independent IG and OPR investigations like those listed below, will cease to exist:
A Review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Use of Exigent Letters and Other Informal Requests for Telephone Records, January 2010
A Review of the FBI's Use of National Security Letters: Assessment of Corrective Actions and Examination of NSL Usage in 2006
A Review of the FBI's Response to John Roberts' Statements on 60 Minutes, February 2003
Double Standards Report
The FBI Laboratory: An Investigation into Laboratory Practices and Alleged Misconduct in Explosives-Related and Other Cases, April 1997
The FBI Laboratory One Year Later: A Follow-Up to the Inspector General\'s April 1997 Report on FBI Laboratory Practices and Alleged Misconduct in Explosives-Related and Other Cases, June 1998
For years we have asserted that effective federal employee whistleblower reform requires court access, and that the politically appointed Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) fails to effectively protect federal employee whistleblowers. New data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act proves that the watered-down Senate Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 372) will not work.
For months, we've been telling you about the dangerous provisions included in the Senate version of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 372). We have now learned that S. 372 is being "hotlined," a process by which legislation can be passed through unanimous consent, without any debate or a roll-call vote.
As a whistleblower who was simply trying to do my job, I have endured backlash and retaliation from those who wish to hide the truth and cover up fraud. Even when the FBI told me that I had no rights, the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) stood by me and supported my case. As a result of the NWC's help, my case secured whistleblower protections for all FBI employees. Those hard won protections are now in jeopardy of disappearing as a result of a bill pending in the Senate (S. 372). The NWC, a tireless advocate for whistleblowers like myself, is working hard to help prevent this dangerous rollback of protections and they need your help.
The Senate will be marking up its version of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2009 (S. 372) this Wednesday. Now is the time to contact your Senators and President Obama and ask them to support adding jury trials for all federal employees, including national security employees.
Take Action! Demand Court Access for All Federal Employees!
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