Joe Davidson of the Washington Post contacted three former national security whistleblowers whose stories of “official revenge are a frightful warning to the CIA staffer. Yet all three would do it again, in service to their country.”

One of them is Jane Turner, a 25-year veteran special agent with the FBI. She led the FBI’s  programs for women and children on North Dakota Indian reservations. After reporting problems within the child crime program, Turner was retaliated against.

From the Post

 She fought back. A 2015 Government Accountability Report critical of FBI whistleblower procedures said the Justice Department “ultimately found in her favor in 2013 — over 10 years later.”

“Was the destruction of my career and family worth the excruciating time and money, ostracism and vilification? No,” she said Wednesday. “Was standing up and doing the ethical, legal and moral whistleblowing the right thing? Yes. Would I do it again? My moral and legal compass would not allow any different course of action.”
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FBI Whistleblower Jane Turner was featured in a September 9th article in the Timberjay Newspapers. Ms. Turner, the co-chair of the National Whistleblower Center’s “Whistleblower Leadership Council,” discusses her journey as a whistleblower in the article.

The courage and sacrifices of whistleblowers like Jane Turner need to be recognized and celebrated. Ms. Turner recently gave a moving speech honoring whistleblowers at the National Whistleblower Day Celebration held July 30th in Washington, D.C. Ms. Turner spoke directly to the whistleblowers in attendance stating, “Today we stand and
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On March 4, 2015  the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the lack of whistleblower protections for FBI employees.

A focus of the hearing was a February 2015 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which found that whistleblower protections at the FBI are weaker than at any other agency. The GAO Report found

Dr. Frederic Whitehurst took on the FBI because he knew that defendants had been wrongly convicted on the basis of seriously flawed testimony by the FBI crime lab. On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the D.C. Superior Court overturned the conviction of a man who wrongly served 28 years in prison for killing a taxi driver. It is amazing to see the positive result of Dr. Whitehurst’s hard work. One person really can make a difference.

Sadly, Mr. Tribble was not the only victim of the misconduct by the FBI crime lab. After Dr. Whitehurst’s original whistleblower disclosures, the Justice Department formed a Task Force to review thousands of cases impacted by his allegations and to determine if any individuals were wrongly convicted. Although the Justice Department and FBI pledged to correct their mistakes, documents obtained by the NWC through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show they failed.

Last month, the Washington Post published a series of articles about the failures in the Task Force’s “investigation,” including that they never issued a final report and did not inform defendants about the misconduct in their cases. Once again, this only came to light because Dr. Whitehurst followed through on his personal vow to find out who was harmed. He was the one who lead the NWC Forensic Justice Project’s FOIA fight to release the documents about the Task Force.


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Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn and Senator Chuck GrassleyThis week The Washington Times published a lament of Attorney General Eric Holder’s treatment of FBI whistleblowers based on a public complaint from Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). The article is aptly titled, “Grassley: Whistleblower Cases Stuck ‘in limbo’ Under Holder."

In his letter, Senator Grassley declared that, “perpetual delays for resolving FBI whistleblower cases at

There has been much debate about whether Coach Mike McQueary is a whistleblower. While the NWC takes no position on the outcome of the investigation, there are two facts that are important to note.

First, McQueary’s initial report as a graduate assistant to his supervisor, Joe Paterno, was a protected disclosure under Pennsylvania law. The Pennsylvania whistleblower law protects employees who “report” wrongdoing “verbally” to their “superior” or to an “agent of the employer.” McQueary also went beyond just reporting it to his supervisor. He reported what he saw to two high-ranking university officials, including a senior Vice President who had supervisory authority over the campus police.

Second, McQueary’s testimony concerning Gerald Sandusky to the grand jury is protected whistleblower speech. The public interest is served when employees provide truthful testimony about their employer’s misconduct.

In my 28 years of experience representing whistleblowers, I have seen employees sit in court and shield their employers, often conveniently forgetting key facts. This appears to have happened in this case. The grand jury found portions of testimony by two key university officials, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, not credible after they sugar coated and downplayed the abuse that was reported to them by McQueary. According to the grand jury report, Schultz was “very unsure” about what McQueary told him, and he testified that McQueary’s allegations were, “not that serious,” and that there was, “no indication that a crime had occurred.” This type of obfuscation and loss of memory is typical of managers covering up wrongdoing.


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