Today, Newsweek’s The Daily Beast announced that whistleblowers from across the country are donating a new how-to guide to local public libraries. So far, the whistleblowers have donated a thousand copies, which is only the beginning if their idea takes off.
Written by the NWC’s very own Stephen M. Kohn, The Whistleblower Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself has received staunch praise from whistleblowers who have already fought through their cases. John Solomon of The Daily Best describes Mr. Kohn as, “a feared litigator in government and corporate circles, who wins three quarters of the cases he brings on behalf of aggrieved whistleblowers.”
Frederic Whitehurst, who blew the whistle on the FBI crime lab in the 1990s, came up with the library project and was interviewed for the Newsweek article. “With whistleblowers, if they lose their case, they lose their credibility, and that means they can’t fix the wrong they want to right. So this really is about citizen empowerment,” he explained. “Where do people go and what can they do to make change and have a major impact when they know of something wrong.”
Dr. Whitehurst, Solomon reports, “would do it all again, [but] doesn’t want future whistleblowers to make the same mistakes he did.” This sentiment is shared among the 20 whistleblowers who are sending the Handbooks to libraries. They have all used their own money for the donations, hoping to “inspire Americans to blow the whistle on the next Enron-sized corporate fraud, a potentially devastating nuclear- or drug-safety issue, or the ethical transgressions of a government leader–but to do it in a way that saves them some of the heartache [they] endured.”
You can find the full list of 20 whistleblowers who have joined the cause, including Bunny Greenhouse, Sibel Edmonds, Robert Smith, Dr. David Lewis, and Linda Tripp, in the National Whistleblowers Center press release.
If you would like to join the whistleblowers’ initiative by donating a Handbook to a public library, click here.
*Owen Dunn (NWC Fellow) drafted this posting