Whistleblower Protection Blog

Whistleblower Protection Blog

Advocating Whistleblower Rights for over Twenty Years

Tag Archives: National Security

“No Right Without a Remedy”: Why NSA Whistleblower Protections Are Lacking

Posted in Federal Employee Whistleblowers, Government Whistleblowers, Intelligence Community Whistleblowers, National Security, News
"No Right Without a Remedy": Why NSA Whistleblower Laws Are LackingEarlier this month Stephen M. Kohn, executive director of the National Whistleblower Center, attended a roundtable discussion with the National Security Agency (NSA) Inspector General (IG) Robert Storch. The meeting served as an avenue for the IG to hear comments on the NSA’s whistleblower program. In attendance was Andrew Snowdon, NSA whistleblower coordinator and Office of the Inspector General (OIG)… Continue Reading

TSA Whistleblower Wins At Supreme Court

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, National Security
Washington, D.C.  January 21, 2015.  Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that former Air Marshall Robert MacLean was not “specifically prohibited by law” from disclosing information to the press about TSA’s plan to cutback on the number of air marshals during a terrorist alert.  Such a disclosure was against agency regulations. The Whistleblower Protection Act prohibits individuals in positions of… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in TSA Whistleblower Case

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, National Security
Yesterday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean.  This case arises under the Whistleblower Protection Act. The Whistleblower Protection Act prohibits individuals in positions of authority from taking a “personnel action” against a government employee when the employee makes a disclosure, which the employee reasonable believes to evidence a “substantial and specific danger to… Continue Reading

Intelligence Whistleblowers Should Use “Expanded Protections” With Caution

Posted in National Security, News, Uncategorized
New intelligence community whistleblower protections lacking On July 7, 2014, President Obama signed the “Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.” This bill includes a section providing “Protection Of Intelligence Community Whistleblowers.” These protections specify that employees who divulge information about possible misconduct within their agencies to their Inspectors General or other designated intelligence offices will be protected. Stephen M.… Continue Reading

Congress Slams National Security Whistleblowers Again!

Posted in National Security
Take Action! As part of a House/Senate Conference approved Tuesday, Congress passed an “Enhancement Act” for Department of Defense contractors.  These contractors already had a right to go to federal court and obtain a jury trial.  However, this new “Enhancement Act” creates a “National Security Exception” that does not exist in the current law.  The new amendment states that whistleblower… Continue Reading

Presidential Policy Directive on Whistleblowers Draws Criticism

Posted in National Security, News
A recent White House directive on national security whistleblowers has sparked a major dialog in the whistleblower community. You can read the National Whistleblowers Center’s press release on the directive here. Below is a full-text analysis from the Whistleblower Support Fund’s Linda Lewis (originally published here).  On Wednesday, President Obama signed a new Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-19) entitled, “Protecting Whistleblowers with… Continue Reading

NWC joins in amicus to Federal Circuit on Conyers

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, National Security
Today the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) joined with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in an amicus brief filed by the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). The brief urges the Federal Circuit to reverse the holding of its panel decision in Berry v. Conyers.  There, the Court held that the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) does not have jurisdiction over… Continue Reading

Happy Birthday! Lloyd-La Follette Act

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, National Security
Today is the 100th anniversary of the Lloyd-La Follette Act, a milestone in our nation’s protections for government whistleblowers and a watershed in the balance of power between Congress and the President.  In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order prohibiting all federal employees from making disclosures to Congress without the permission of their supervisor. In 1909, President Howard… Continue Reading

ATF attempts to stifle “outside” whistleblowing

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, National Security
John Solomon, writing in the Washington Guardian, is reporting today that B. Todd Jones, the Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), released a video last week to all employees. In the video, Jones warns that there would be “consequences” for any employees who report wrongdoing outside their chain of command. Jones was a federal… Continue Reading

MSPB holds it can address due process in security clearance cases

Posted in National Security
In two landmark decisions last week, the federal Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) held that it does have the authority to enforce the procedural protections for federal employees who suffer adverse employment actions as a result of issues with their security clearances.  The MSPB recognizes that it does not have authority to review the security determinations themselves, respecting the Supreme… Continue Reading

RTTV Covers FBI Censorship of Sibel Edmonds

Posted in National Security, News
NWC Executive Director Stephen Kohn appeared live on RTTV last night to discuss the treatment of national security whistleblowers under the Obama administration. Specifically, RTTV asked him about the FBI’s attempts to censor Sibel Edmonds as she attempts to publish a book about her experience blowing the whistle at the Washington Field Office. How does Obama’s record on whistleblowers compare… Continue Reading

NWC Condemns CIA Whistleblower Indictment

Posted in National Security
The Department of Justice’s policy of distorting privacy laws to pursue and discredit whistleblowers continues. The Associated Press reported yesterday that a former CIA officer, John Kiriakou, is being charged with leaking classified information after publicly expressing concerns over the use of torture during interrogations. The National Whistleblowers Center obtained a copy of the indictment, available here. In the indictment,… Continue Reading

Connecticut jury awards over $1 million in first FRSA case

Posted in National Security
In the first Federal Rail Safety Act (FRSA) case to go to a jury trial, the jury awarded $50,000 in compensatory damages, and one million dollars in punitive damages. Andy Barati was working for the Metro North commuter rail on Grand Central Terminal, New York City, in 2008 when a jack failed and a railroad tie injured his foot. Management’s… Continue Reading

DC Circuit Judges understand Convertino’s appeal

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, National Security
Attorney Stephen Kohn today presented oral argument on behalf of former federal prosecutor and whistleblower Richard Convertino (pictured).  Convertino is seeking reversal of an order issued last year by Chief U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth in Washington, DC.  That order dismissed Convertino’s claim that an official of the Department of Justice willfully released private information about a pending investigation against… Continue Reading

U.S. Air Force receives Whistleblower Retaliation Report from Special Counsel

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, National Security
This week, the U.S Office of Special Counsel (OSC) presented their report regarding the allegations made by four whistleblowers about retaliation at U.S Port Mortuary in Dover, Delaware’s Air Force Base. The report reviewed events that occurred over a 17 months period in 2009 and 2010. It concluded that three Port Mortuary officials had indeed retaliated against the four whistleblowers,… Continue Reading

FBI has “blackballed” records, violated FOIA

Posted in FBI Whistleblower Blog, Freedom of Information (FOIA), National Security
Truthout reporter Jason Leopold is reporting today that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released five pages of a PowerPoint presentation that describe a previously unknown program of "blackballing" records that would not be disclosed in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Labor historian Trevor Griffey obtained the document while following up on Manning Marable’s research… Continue Reading

Julia Davis blasts House version of WPEA

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, Legislation, National Security
TAKE ACTION! Julia Davis, the Homeland Security writer for the Los Angeles Examiner, released an article yesterday calling for action today to "protect whistleblowers, so that they may continue protecting our nation." The article is called, "The House cooks up another turkey of a bill, guts whistleblower protections." Davis laments that, "Instead of improving an already deeply flawed Senate bill… Continue Reading

House Leadership Guts Whistleblower Bill

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, Legislation, National Security
TAKE ACTION! Today, leaders in the House of Representatives introduced a bill (H.R. 3289) to amend the Whistleblower Protection Act. Their new bill would strip federal employee whistleblowers of court access. The House version of the bill further erodes federal employee whistleblower protections from an already weakened Senate bill that was introduced earlier this year. The amendments would: Cut out… Continue Reading