Washington, D.C. May 20, 2009. The National Whistleblowers Center today disclosed a new campaign of censorship and retaliation by the Army Corps of Engineers directed against whistleblower Bunnatine (Bunny) H. Greenhouse.
Within hours of testifying in Congress, Ms. Greenhouse received an email from the Army Corps Chief of Staff demanding pre-clearance of any testimony Greenhouse may wish to present to Congress. Ironically, Greenhouse’s testimony was presented before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform about legislation aimed at protecting whistleblowers from just this kind of action.
The National Whistleblowers Center issued a formal protest to the White House which disclosed facts about the retaliation against Greenhouse including:
- Congress invited Greenhouse to speak in her personal capacity as the senior official in the Army Corps of Engineers to blow the whistle on corrupt Iraq War contracting practices;
- On May 14th Greenhouse testified about the lack of protections for government whistleblowers and need for enhanced whistleblower protection if the Congress wants the truth about government contract abuse to be exposed;
- Within four hours of completing her testimony, Greenhouse received an email from the Army Corps of Engineers Chief of Staff;
- The Chief of Staff required Ms. Greenhouse to submit her testimony in written form and to obtain prior approval and clearance from her chain of command and the Office of Management and Budget;
- Greenhouse testified without such clearances, appearing in her personal capacity on unpaid leave.
“Requiring whistleblowers to have their Congressional testimony pre-approved by the very managers about whom they are blowing the whistle is blatant censorship; it is the epitome of abuse of authority; the directive is a blatant violation of the First Amendment.,” said Michael D. Kohn, President of the National Whistleblowers Center and attorney for Ms. Greenhouse.
A copy of the email should be obtained directly from the Army Corps of Engineers.