Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), one of the Senate's longtime whistleblower rights champions, took to YouTube recently to defend whistleblowers and their importance in society. He praised whistleblowers as defenders of the public good, and promised his continued support.
Grassley makes some more important points about whistleblowers, but before we get into that, here’s the video:
Grassley has been a longtime supporter of whistleblower rights, including fighting to pass the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA), intervening on behalf of multiple whistleblowers, and calling out failing government whistleblower programs (like within the FBI and IRS). In a time of increasingly divided politics, Grassley is a leader in the bipartisan efforts to praise workplace truth-tellers instead of punishing them.
The video highlights, once again, the importance of whistleblowers to a functioning democracy. Whistleblowers help shed light on corruption, abuse, and other wrongdoing in government agencies and corporations. Grassley touches on the major retaliatory acts whistleblowers can face – especially apparent in light of the recent FDA surveillance scandal and the targeting of key ATF witnesses who disclosed the Fast and Furious debacle.
It is valuable when members of Congress, our nation’s leaders, stand up for whistleblowers because it shows solidarity in fights for truth. We, the public, have a vested interest in protecting the public good, which is what whistleblowers are continually trying to safeguard.
Thank you, Sen. Grassley, for the video and all of your efforts to protect whistleblowers over the years. We only wish more senators were as determined as you to protect those who report wrongdoing. Unfortunately, even in your own legislative body, some senators secretly act to kill the rights of whistleblowers. However, with your continued leadership in passage of the WPEA (S. 743, H.R. 3289), we are confident that whistleblowers will soon have the legal rights needed to protect themselves while protecting the public.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.