• Open Letter to Congress from Federal Whistleblowers: Strengthen Protections

    July 26, 2012

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy

    Over the course of the last year or so I have met many men and women who risked their freedom, their careers and their livelihoods to expose government waste, fraud, unconstitutional domestic spying, torture and more– “blowing the whistle” as it has come to be known.

    Instead of talking about what is a whistleblower, maybe it is better to say why is a whistleblower. Some easy points: No one intends to do this, starts out with a plan, hides among unsuspecting bureaucrats for say 15-20 years waiting for the right moment to tear down the wall. No gray ponytails, no earrings or Grateful Dead tattoos among us. We’ve heard of Anonymous in the same way we’ve heard of Lady Gaga but don’t know either well.

    We’re made. We’re made by what the government does, and what we witness. If government did what the founders expected it to do– public service– we would not be here, like the mushrooms that don’t pop up on the lawn. Unfortunately, it’ll be awhile before that happens.

    The thing is, there should be more of us and not simply for the cheap reveal that the government does lots of naughty things. It probably does, but the reasons why there should be more whistleblowers is because so much of what we see is seen by so many. You have a right to know how your tax money is being spent. To allow more people to stand up and tell the public what is really going on inside government, whistleblowers need to be protected. There need to be meaningful protections for conscientious truth tellers in government. Otherwise you– the people– will know less and less about what your government really does behind closed doors, just the way the government would like things to be. Nice and quiet, nothing to see here, move along and enjoy your Hulu.

    That is where this Open Letter from whistleblowers on the WPEA comes in. While Congress has provided credible rights for private sector whistleblowers, rights for government workers are weak.

    Take a moment to read through the Letter, and then forward it to your Congressperson.

    If you’d like to learn more about or donate to organizations that work to protect whistleblowers, both the Government Accountability Project (GAP) and the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) are excellent places. I personally owe much to both groups for protecting me. While GAP and POGO support this letter, it is organized by whistleblowers Evy Brown and David Pardo.

    Bonus: Since I published the letter above, US Marine Corps whistleblower Franz Gayl has also signed.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Evelynn Brown, CEO said...


      Thank you very much for this great article and publication of the Open Letter from federal whistleblowers to Congress. We (David and I) could not have removed summary judgment powers being granted to the Merit System Protection Board without the help of the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC).

      These issues are so important because federal whistleblowers who protect the public, are being harmed by abusive management at tax payer expense calculated at billions of dollars over the last decade since the No Fear Act took effect in 2002. The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) must provide meaningful redress for government employees who work for the public. The Bill must be changed now while in the House!

      Supporters can contact me, Evy Brown at ebrown@whistlewatch.org. A not for profit, public benefit corporation (501c3). We charge nothing to help whistleblowers!

      David Pardo can be contacted at his website MSBPWatch.net.

      The current list of signatories to the letter are as follows:

      Ray Adams
      Air Traffic Controller
      Federal Aviation Administration / Department of Transportation
      Gerald Bini
      Captain, Lead Firefighter
      Department of Defense
      Evelynn Brown, J.D., LLM
      Former Federal Program Officer
      Administration for Children and Families / Department of Health and Human Services
      Gabe Bruno
      Retired Manager, Flight Standards Service
      Federal Aviation Administration / Department of Transportation
      Kim A. Farrington
      Former Aviation Safety Inspector – Cabin Safety
      Federal Aviation Administration / Department of Transportation
      Rand L. Foster
      Aviation Safety Inspector
      Federal Aviation Administration / Department of Transportation
      Franz Gayl
      Science and Technology Advisor
      Headquarters Marine Corps, Pentagon
      Cathy Harris
      Customs and Border Protection/Department of Homeland Security
      Sandy G. Nunn, MBA
      Former Special Agent
      U.S. Customs Service Office of Investigations/Department of Treasury
      Edward Jeszka
      Retired Aviation Safety Inspector
      Federal Aviation Administration / Department of Transportation
      Douglas Kinan
      Former Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist
      Defense Contract Management Agency / Department of Defense
      Jeff Lewis
      Former Air Traffic Controller
      Federal Aviation Administration/Department of Transportation
      Scott A. MacDonald, CPA
      Former Supervisory Management Analyst
      Federal Bureau of Investigations/Department of Justice
      Robert J. MacLean
      Former Federal Air Marshal
      Transportation Security Administration / Department of Homeland Security
      Scott A. MacDonald, CPA
      Former Supervisory Management Analyst
      Federal Bureau of Investigations/Department of Justice
      David Pardo
      Former Attorney/Advisor
      Federal Aviation Administration / Department of Transportation
      Dr. Janet Parker M.S., DVM
      Executive Director, Medical Whistleblower
      Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network – Human Rights Defenders
      Spencer A. Pickard
      Federal Air Marshal
      Transportation Security Administration / Department of Homeland Security
      George G. Sarris
      Aircraft Mechanic
      Offutt AFB, Nebraska
      Dr. Don Soeken,
      Retired Captain 06
      United States Public Health Service/Department of Health and Human Services
      Jane Turner
      Former Special Agent
      Federal Bureau of Investigation / Department of Justice
      Glenn A. Walp, Ph.D.
      Former Office Leader of the Office of Security Inquiries
      Los Alamos National Laboratory / Department of Energy
      Richard Wyeroski
      Former Aviation Safety Inspector
      Federal Aviation Administration / Department of Transportation

      07/26/12 8:59 PM | Comment Link

    • C4CFED said...


      Whistleblower protections are sorely needed to protect our Nation’s security. Federal employees are America’s first line of defense against terrorism and disasters. Unfortunately, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)continues to fail many civil servants “truth-tellers” who serve to uphold the public trust. A number of integrity issues exist with regard to MSPB. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fedfsTz28Vc&feature=relmfu

      07/26/12 9:42 PM | Comment Link

    • Bruce Schundler said...


      It’s been eighteen months since our supervisor at Mesa Verde National Park was ordered not to re-hire my wife and me—and eighteen months since we first contacted the Whistleblower section of the Inspector General’s office—and there’s still no resolution! Worse still, it seems the Department of Interior and the National Park Service are more interested in protecting the Superintendent who violated two federal laws—the Whistleblower Protection Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act—than in helping and supporting us, the victims. (For details about our case, I’ve shared our experiences on my website at http://www.schundler.net/Whistleblower.htm.)
      When such a simple and almost text book violation of the Whistleblower Protection Act cannot be resolved quickly, equitably, and impartially, it just proves that the Department of Interior and the National Park Service do not want to enforce the Whistleblower Protection Act. And they aren’t interested in creating a workplace free of retaliation….as required in the No Fear Act. And they don’t want to encourage openness and transparency as discussed by President Obama ever since his inauguration.
      To be sure, how can the President and administration say they are interested in openness and transparency if federal employees can suffer simply for asking basic questions about a park’s budget?

      07/30/12 2:55 PM | Comment Link

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