Most government employees are ordinary people who go to work day in and day out and do a good job. Few – if any – set out to be heroes. But some – when confronted with waste, fraud, recklessness about safety, or other abuses – make the extraordinary decision to risk their livelihoods to protect the public. While the federal government is supposed to serve the best interest of the public, this is not always the case. Too often, corners are cut or resources are wasted – or worse, government agencies are co-opted for political fights or private interests. When scientific research is altered or suppressed, when government contractors waste millions of taxpayer dollars, or when national security documents are falsified, the innocent government employees who witness these acts should be free to blow the whistle on others without fear of retribution. Unfortunately, whistleblowers all too often become victims. Retaliation by powerful political figures and lobbyists is a frequent occurrence.
Retaliation against those who speak up against such abuses must stop. The unmistakable, chilling message that reprisals against whistleblowers send to all employees — that they should “keep quiet, or else” — can’t be tolerated. Last year, strong whistleblower protection bills were passed in both houses of Congress. Now it’s time for Congress to finish the job by passing a final bill. It can and should be done without delay. We should demand better protection for all of the brave individuals who risk so much in serving the public good. We can show our support for honesty and accountability by letting members of Congress know that whistleblowers must be protected.
Source: Public Citizen
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