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View Diary: Criminally Investigating Not the Problem, But Rather the Person Who Raised the Problem (198 comments)

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  •  Obviously the whistleblower protections currently (13+ / 0-) place are totally inadequate to protect ethical people who risk their careers and their futures by speaking out against government wrongdoing.  

    It's a complicated problem because in all workplaces, but especially in government, people with conscience risk their jobs by pointing out corruption and violation of rules.  In government there is an atmosphere of just following orders, just sticking to the status quo.  In some ways this makes sense, to encourage stability and continuity of government over changing administrations.  

    But, leaders like Nixon and Bush have used that very ethos as a way to wrongfully silence and punish just, and necessary speaking out by whistleblowers.  

    I don't know if it would help to have a separate government department, not under the Justice Dept. or other agencies--whose mandate it is to investigate whistleblower charges.  A Whistleblower Investigation & Protection Agency could also have a unique coalition with private groups like Common Cause and the ACLU, etc to publicize proven claims that the Admin. and or Congress refuse to address.  

    Just some ideas, but people like Jesselyn and others direclty involved are the ones best to consult with and brainstorm for a complete revamp of whistleblower protections, and for just vindication and compensation of whistleblowers who have wrongfully lost their employment and been unjustly persecuted.

    •  Additional thought... (8+ / 0-)

      At one time, it seemed that investigative reporters and the stories they published were the means that whistleblowers could anonymously use to expose corruption and wrongdoing, without fear of retaliation.  However, with the "murdochization" of the media, I don't know if there are still many investigative reporters who would do this type of reporting, or outlets that would publicize these reports.  Also--as much as I detest Judith Miller--her jailing for not naming her source was a warning that I'm sure many reporters noted well.  

      •  I think what the Bushes learned from the (11+ / 0-)

        Pentagon Papers case was that prior-restraint doesn't work.  However, once something has been published, the government can intercept its wider distribution by citing national security concerns.  That might account for why information doesn't get more widely distributed.  
        Since most people need to get new information three times before it really registers, the strategy of post-publication censorship is potentially much more effective than prior-restraint, which tends to generate a lot of attention.

        On the other hand, if the scenario I suggest is opperative, then it's even more important that, instead of getting discouraged at not getting more media attention, whistle blowers take that into account and seek out multiple additional venues to release the information repeatedly.

        How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

        by hannah on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:23:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Investigative journalists (18+ / 0-)

        have been a saving grace in my case: Jane Mayer and Eric Lichtblau, especially.

        ProPublica, a new and independent non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest, has been created to help preserve this dying breed of "muckrakers."

        The Canary in the Coalmine is available for purchase at

        by Jesselyn Radack on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:56:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  NYT Management Is Corrupt (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          antirove, moosely2006, LaFajita

          Their journalists, such as Eric Lichtblau, are doing their job well. It is the management/owners who chose to hold back the fall 2004 story of illegal wiretaps of Americans till after the November election, helping Bush to a second term.

          Investigative journalists
          have been a saving grace in my case

          Well I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari... Tehachapi to Tonopah--Lowell George/Little Feat

          by frandor55 on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 07:42:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for info. Here's a link (8+ / 0-)

          to ProPublica for those interested.  Also here's a link to their "About Us" page which says:

          "...ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Our work focuses exclusively on truly important stories, stories with "moral force." We do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them...

          Investigative journalism is at risk...This is therefore a moment when new models are necessary to carry forward some of the great work of journalism in the public interest that is such an integral part of self-government, and thus an important bulwark of our democracy..."

          As the Bush administration has proven, there is a void in investigative journalism, one that the writers at ProPublica are seeking to try to fill.  I hope they are a huge success.  

        •  I read your story in Jane Mayer 's book, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The Darkside, which should be mandatory reading for every American.  I promise to continue to use my voice on behalf of all of you. Some months ago, I wrote to every media outlet and my members of congress pertaining to Sibel Edmunds and Don Seigelman.  On Sibel the silence was astounding, but Seigelman at least got a whisper from 60 minutes and MSNBC.  

          I promise to use my voice continuosly after 1-20-09. Mr. Hersh is right, as I truly believe and have faith that we are about to experience a historical era like never before for the better of all.

          Again, thanks for standing up for me and I promise to do the same for you.

      •  The govt. got hold of records of phone calls (7+ / 0-)

        between myself and journalist Mike Isikoff, and neither of us knew how they did it.

        The Canary in the Coalmine is available for purchase at

        by Jesselyn Radack on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 09:51:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Office of Special Counsel (7+ / 0-)

      was established to do just that.  Unfortunately, under the recently-resigned Scott Bloch, it is a very beleaguered agency.

      The Canary in the Coalmine is available for purchase at

      by Jesselyn Radack on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:53:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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