To: The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate
Tell Congress: Whistleblowers Deserve Protection Not Prison
Disturbingly, the Obama administration has criminally prosecuted more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act then all other past administrations combined.
As Congress grows increasingly dependent on whistleblowers to report waste, fraud, abuse and substantial threats to public health and safety, it is imperative that you provide them the protections they need to come forward.
The American people also rely on whistleblowers more than ever before. Thanks to whistleblowers we know that Big Brother has moved into every American’s smart phone and computer. Whether that policy is right or wrong, the public had a right to know. Only thanks to whistleblowers, we do.
Please support legislation that would arm whistleblowers with an affirmative defense for criminal prosecutions, and make it illegal to open a criminal investigation in retaliation for activities shielded by the Whistleblower Protection Act.
Why is this important?
Disturbingly, the Obama administration has criminally prosecuted more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all other past administrations combined. The tactic of criminalizing the messenger is timeless, however.
For decades, truth-tellers have risked not only their careers but their reputations and freedom to disclose abuses of power that betray the public trust. Government abuse of power is peaking. Thanks to whistleblowers we know that Big Brother has moved into every American’s smart phone and computer. Now more than ever these whistleblowers need your support, and we need theirs.
Demand that Congress pass legislation banning retaliatory criminal investigations and prosecutions against whistleblowers!
Ironically, while criminal prosecutions are at record highs, the Obama administration has demonstrated unsurpassed leadership in whistleblower protection against job-related retaliation – as demonstrated by passage of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) last Congress.
The point of whistleblower laws such as the WPEA is to encourage employees to report waste, fraud, abuse and substantial threats to public health and safety. Unfortunately, as seen in the recent documentary War on Whistleblowers by Brave New Foundation, criminal prosecutions create a far greater chilling effect than merely demoting or firing a whistleblower.
Tell Congress: It should not be legal to prosecute whistleblowers because of activities for which it is illegal to fire them!
Whistleblowers who change the course of history are frequently criminalized in the process, even when they act lawfully, only disclosing unclassified information. Thanks to their courage, we know that the government has engaged in:
- Extensive domestic surveillance, allowing big brother to tap into your phone lines and email accounts;
- Gross misspending (in the billions!) to conduct illegal domestic spying, employing taxpayer dollars to target whistleblowers and media outlets such as the Associated Press;
- Torture of prisoners of the "War on Terror” under official U.S. government policy;
- Systemic race and gender discrimination within the Department of Energy;
- The cancellation of U.S. air marshals on flights during a confirmed overseas terrorist hijacking more ambitious than the 9/11 attacks.
Whistleblowers should be rewarded – not faced with jail time – for alerting the public to such threats.
Congress must respond to the disturbing abuse of power by the Obama administration. Otherwise, it is the public that loses.
Tell your elected leaders today: Ban the criminalization of whistleblowers!