Over 100 Whistleblowers and Organizations Urge the House Chairman against S.494
Ineffective Senate Amendment Will Not Protect Whistleblowers or National Security
Alexandria, VA---In a letter sent today the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, together with a Consortium of over one hundred whistleblowers and organizations, urged Congressman Duncan Hunter, Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, to support house substitute for an ineffective Senate Amendment which will not protect national security during the final conference on the 2007 Defense Authorization Act. (To review the letter Click here.)
“After 9/11, the need to effectively protect federal employee whistleblowers is obvious. We cannot afford a repeat of the mistakes that led to 9/11. It is simply intolerable that federal employee whistleblowers have less whistleblower protection then almost every other employee in the United States. A cop on the beat in New Jersey who complained about enforcement of Jaywalking laws had radically more whistleblower protections than an FBI agent complaining that a 9/11 hijacker illegally entered the United States. Congress must act now to protect all American’s from waste, fraud, abuse and security violations,” said Stephen M. Kohn, the President of the National Whistleblower Center and a leading expert on whistleblower laws.
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, including employees of the FBI and CIA, from any whistleblower protection whatsoever. According to Kohn, “the Senate proposal is so weak that a federal employee complaining about the illegal entry of one of the 9/11 hijackers into the United States would have radically less protection under federal law than a truck driver complaining about the amount of air in his tires. Unlike S.494, the House version, H.R. 5112, will protect federal employees and needs to be immediately substituted into the conference and enacted into federal law.”
Bill Weaver, NSWBC Senior Advisor, stated: “What is needed is a complete overhaul of whistleblower protection, not a Frankenstein of appendages meant to correct problems that are in fact irreparable within the confines of existing legislation.”
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. 5112.
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. 5112 are adopted in conference, not the weak and completely ineffective Senate provision, S. 494, during the final conference on the 2007 Defense Authorization Act.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
a Frankenstein of appendages
Posted by lukery at 9/26/2006 09:40:00 AM