On the 8th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley has issued a call to action for the White House and Congress to pass effective legislation protecting national security whistleblowers. Ms. Rowley is urging all Americans to put pressure on their Senators and Congressmen to immediately enact whistleblower protections for national security employees, whose whistleblowing actions are often vital to the safety and security of our citizens.
Ms. Rowley, a former FBI agent, blew the whistle on the government’s failure to approve a search warrant for one of the al Qaeda operatives who was attending flight school shortly before the attacks. Although she was named a “Person of the Year” in 2002 by Time Magazine, Ms. Rowley knows very well the dangers national security employees face once they blow the whistle: “I know of so many other national security whistleblowers that lost their jobs and livelihood simply by doing the right thing. Hundreds of national security whistleblowers have been drummed out of their jobs or had their careers destroyed.”
Ms. Rowley knows there is hope, however, and has issued this action alert to help get national security whistleblowers the legal protection they desperately need.
“We must make sure that the President and every member of the House and Senate hear our voice and know we need strong whistleblower protections for national security employees that include the right of court access and trial by jury for national security whistleblowers”
Ms. Rowley's letter urges support for the Van Hollen-Platts Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (H.R. 1507), which provides protections for national security whistleblowers, including due process rights and access to the federal courts. The Senate bill does not include these rights. It is expected that Congress will take action on federal employee whistleblower rights this month.
*Erin Jensen (a NWC intern) contributed to this posting.