Summary: Yesterday, President Obama signed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) into law. GAP has been fighting for these stronger whistleblower protections for the better part of 13 years. The WPEA will afford greater protections to federal workers who expose fraud, waste and abuse. For more specifics, please see GAP's press release, and the WPEA pages on our website.
Key Quote: Tom Devine, legal director of the Government Accountability Project, said, “This reform took 13 years to pass because it can make so much difference against fraud, waste and abuse. Government managers at all levels made pleas and repeatedly blocked the bill through procedural sabotage.”
Summary: Yesterday, Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of giving classified information to WikiLeaks, appeared in a pre-trial hearing in Fort Meade. His lawyers argued that some of the charges against him should be dropped on the grounds that he was mistreated while in Quantico, the marine base in Virginia. If that fails, the lawyers are seeking at least a reduced sentence and to qualify his treatment at Quantico as pretrial punishment. The trial continues today and Manning is expected to testify later in the week. He faces a full court martial in February.
Summary: NSA whistleblower and GAP client William Binney talked to MIT students last week about the government’s interception and storage of US citizens’ private communications. Binney, along with fellow NSA whistleblower Kirk Wiebe and Thomas Drake, has been speaking out about the rise of the “surveillance state” in the US.
Summary: This column argues that better whistleblower protection laws in New Zealand could potentially have prevented 29 miner deaths. The culture around whistleblowing must change to be more welcoming to those exposing wrongdoing, says the country’s Chief Ombudsman.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.