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Project on Government Oversight
 

 

 

 

POGO Testifies before Congress: Without Protections Against Retaliation, Whistleblowers Will Leak to News Media

February 13, 2006 

 

Tomorrow five national security whistleblowers will testify for the first time before Congress including Able Danger's Tony Shaffer and SPC Samuel Provance who alleged a coverup of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal (see http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Investigation/story?id=131658&page=1). Other whistleblower experts will testify as well (see witness list below).

Last Friday, the New York Times published an op-ed by CIA Director Porter Goss which claimed that individuals who blow the whistle on illegal activities to the news media are criminals, rather than whistleblowers. Tomorrow's lineup of witnesses promises an interesting debate on the merits of Mr. Goss' claims.

The Project On Government Oversight will testify regarding its findings that whistleblower protection laws have failed to create a safe venue for these whistleblowers to disclose wrongdoing internally, making the national news media a more attractive option. Follow this link to POGO's testimony.

Last year, POGO published a report "Homeland and National Security Whistleblowers: the Unfinished Agenda."

Also below is the press release from the House National Security Subcommittee announcing the hearing.

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House National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations Subcommittee
Contact: Bob Briggs (202) 225-2548

Chairman Shays to Hold February 14th Hearing on Protecting
National Security Whistleblowers in the post-9/11 Era

Washington, Feb 9 - Congressman Christopher Shays (CT-4), Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations, will convene an oversight hearing to assess the adequacy of whistleblower protections available to government employees in national security agencies.

"Whistleblowers in critical national security positions are vulnerable to unique forms of retaliation," Shays said. "Suspension or revocation of a security clearance can have the same chilling effect as demotion or firing, but clearance actions are virtually unreviewable. Those with whom we trust the nation's secrets should not be second class citizens when it comes to asserting their rights to speak truth to power."

The hearing, "National Security Whistleblowers in the post-9/11 Era: Lost in a Labyrinth and Facing Subtle Retaliation," is scheduled for Tuesday, February 14, at 1:00 p.m., in room 2154 Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

WITNESS LIST

House Committee on Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations

National Security Whistleblowers in the post-9/11 Era: Lost in a Labyrinth and Facing Subtle Retaliation

PANEL ONE

SPC Samuel J. Provance, USA
Department of the Army

Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer, USAR
Springfield, Virginia

Mr. Michael German
Arlington, Virginia

Mr. Russell Tice
Linthicum Heights, Maryland

Mr. Richard Levernier
Goodyear, Arizona

PANEL TWO

Mr. Mark S. Zaid, Esq.
Washington, District of Columbia

Ms. Beth Daley, Senior Investigator
Project on Government Oversight

Mr. Tom Devine, Legal Director
Government Accountability Project

Dr. William G. Weaver
National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC)

PANEL THREE

Mr. James McVay, Deputy Special Counsel
U.S. Office of the Special Counsel

Mr. Glenn A. Fine, Inspector General
Office of the Inspector General
Department of Justice

Mr. Gregory H. Friedman, Inspector General
Office of the Inspector General
Department of Energy

Mr. Thomas Gimble, Acting Inspector General
Office of the Inspector General
Department of Defense

Accompanied by

Ms. Jane Deese, Director
Military Reprisal Investigations
Office of the Inspector General
Department of Defense

Mr. Daniel Meyer, Director
Civilian Reprisal Investigations
Office of the Inspector General
Department of Defense


Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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