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Debating the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007

Posted on by Jesse Lee

UPDATE: The Act has passed, 331-94.

The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007, being debated now as part of the Democrats’ Accountability Agenda, strengthens protections for federal whistleblowers to prevent retaliation against those who report wrongdoing, waste, fraud, or abuse to authorities. It would protect all whistleblowers, with specific language for national security, contractor, and scientific whistleblowers. As such, it would enable whistleblowers to come forward in situations where intelligence was being mishandled as in the run-up to the Iraq War, where contractors are overcharging as has happened with Halliburton and many others, and where scientific integrity was being breached as has apparently happened repeatedly with the Bush Administration and global warming science.

Full text of the bill >>

Chairman Henry Waxman:
“There are a lot of federal officials who knew the intelligence on Iraq was wrong officials in the C.I.A. and the State Department knew that iraq did not try to import uranium from Niger. Officials in the Energy Department knew the aluminum tubes were not suitable for nuclear centrifuges…It is imperative that national security employees be protected against retribution so they will not be afraid to report national security abuses to members of Congress.”
Rep. Bruce Braley
(IA-01):

“The starkest reminder of the need to protect those who remain silent in the face of government wrongdoing, came at last week’s hearing at walter reed, which we learned about the terrible living conditions and bureaucratic hurdles that soldiers have endured there. At the hearing, it became clear that nobody dared to complain about the living conditions and inadequate care at what is supposed to be the best military medical facility of the world, because of fear of retribution.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD-07):
“Congress has a mandate to oversee the functions of the executive branch to ensure that government runs as effectively and efficiently as possible. But we cannot fulfill this mandate if we cannot get reliable information, and we cannot get that information if people must put their lives on the line.”
Rep. Alcee Hastings
(FL-23):

“When history judges this current administration, I believe it will look down upon the drastic and despicable actions taken by this administration which has stifled those seeking to speak truth to power. These actions are indeed some of the very reasons why this bill is so desperately needed.”
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