Washington, D.C. May 22, 2009. The Army Corps of Engineers’ attempt to censor Bunnatine (Bunny) H. Greenhouse has backfired. Within hours of testifying before Congress on May 14, 2009, Greenhouse was sent orders via email that she could no longer testify without first obtaining prior clearance and approval from her chain of command. The email, which contained orders originating with the Army Corps’ Chief of Staff, unequivocally stated: “Regardless of the specifics of any hearing, these [censorship] requirements do not change and are HQ direction for all.”
The National Whistleblowers Center sent a formal protest to the White House on behalf of Greenhouse and asked the public to send letters to the President. Yesterday evening at 5:58 pm, Greenhouse was again emailed, this time advising that she did not have to comply with the censorship requirements.
“This in an important victory. Federal works have a right to tell Congress what’s on their mind without having to face government censorship” said Michael Kohn, President of the National Whistleblowers Center and attorney for Ms. Greenhouse. “The White House listened, this is a victory of the people and by the people” said Kohn, adding “it’s time the White House lived up to its campaign promise to provide meaningful whistleblower protection to federal employees as only a jury trial can.” According to Kohn “American heroes, like Bunny Greenhouse, deserve a day in court and the right to be able to tell a jury of their peers what’s really going on behind the closed doors of government.”
This was not the first time the Army Corps attempted to censor Greenhouse. When Greenhouse was scheduled to testify before a Congressional Committee during the Bush Administration, the Army Corps’ then acting General Counsel personally advised Greenhouse it would not be in her best interest to do so, and she was swiftly removed as the Army Corps’ Procurement Executive when she ignored that warning.
Letter to President Obama – May 18, 2009
Letter from Bunnatine Greenhouse to the American People – May 19, 2009