|WikiLeaks Scandal Demonstrates Need for Whistleblower Protection|
Washington, D.C. January 8, 2011. Today, Stephen Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center, issued the following statement expressing his concern about the rise in retaliatory investigations in the wake of the WikiLeaks scandal:
The WikiLeaks scandal is being used to justify a witch hunt against federal employees suspected of being whistleblowers.
Currently, the NWC has obtained information documenting abusive investigatory tactics being used against federal employees, including monitoring the private emails and seizing computer hard-drives from employees who disclosed non-classified information to Congress. The U.S. Constitution protects government workers who report waste, fraud and abuse to the American people. However, in the first two years of the Obama presidency, more Americans have been indicted for alleged media leaks then under any other president in U.S. history, including Richard Nixon.
We are concerned that the administration is hiding behind the WikiLeaks
scandal to identify and retaliate against other whistleblowers who have
engaged in protected First Amendment speech, including implementing questionable psychological profiling in an attempt to find suspected leakers. The American people need
to know about government abuses. Prosecutors involved in so-called
"leak" investigations must respect the First Amendment rights of all
federal employees, and cannot engage in unconstitutional investigatory
tactics that will have a 'chilling effect' on the right of federal
employees to disclose waste, fraud and abuse.
The Nation article " 'Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Whistleblower?': White House Targets 'Insider Threats' Among Federal Workers"