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Think Out Loud

Protecting And Punishing Federal Whistleblowers

Pete Springer/OPB

There has been a flurry of legislation regarding the rights of federal whistleblowers. A bill is heading to President Obama’s desk that expands the rights of federal whistleblowers except for those working in areas of intelligence and national security.

President Obama is expected to sign that bill. He has also signed an executive directive to extend protections to intelligence employees.

However, the Intelligence Authorization Bill that came before the Senate last week could negate that directive.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden blocked the Intelligence Authorization Bill from passing the Senate. He explained his hold by saying,

I am concerned that [certain provisions in the bill] will lead to less-informed public debate about national security issues, and also undermine the due process rights of intelligence agency employees, without actually enhancing national security.

Specifically, Senator Wyden says the bill would prevent the flow of unclassified intelligence information to the press, and potentially make it easier to punish leakers.

Have you ever blown the whistle on government corruption or mismanagement? What questions do you have about the rights of whistleblowers in the intelligence community?


national security ron wyden whistleblowers wyden

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