Lieberman and Collins Try to Pass Bill Weakening FBI Whistleblower Protection

Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman (AP Photo)

Legislation being fast-tracked through the U.S. Senate has been labeled a setback for protections guarding government employees who expose wrongdoing in the FBI and other national security operations.

According to the National Whistleblowers Center, the bill (S. 372) by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) “will set whistleblower protections back 30 years for hundreds of thousands of federal employees. It will become almost impossible for employees in various ‘national security’ related agencies to obtain protection against retaliation if they disclose contractor fraud, waste and misuse of federal monies, mismanagement and threats to the public health and safety.”
Among other things, the legislation would change current law (the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act) by requiring FBI employees to prove “gross mismanagement” when speaking out, otherwise they would not be protected by rules governing whistleblowers.
Lieberman and Collins are “hotlining” the bill, a procedure normally reserved for non-controversial legislation approved unanimously by the Senate. Senate Democratic and Republican leaders have reportedly agreed to move things along as quickly as possible.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Letter to Senators Lieberman and Collins (National Whistleblowers Center)
Whistleblower Protection Act of 2009 (report by Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the United States Senate) (pdf)


Lindsey M. Williams 13 years ago
Sibel Edmonds has now invited Norman L. Eisen, Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform and Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center to debate on S. 372. Mr. Kohn has accepted this invitation, Mr. Eisen has not responded. This debate will be posted Friday, March 26 at
Jay T. 13 years ago
Is there no one in the U.S. Senate who will stand up for those who speak truth to power ? Has speaking the truth been so devalued that it no longer can claim any higher ground ? Have issues of contractor fraud, waste and misuse of federal monies, mismanagement, corruption, malfeasance, misconduct, criminal behavior, and threats to the public health and safety, now risen to the level of acceptability by our elected officials ? Have ANY U.S. Senators ever talked to a national security whistleblower, to find out what a horrific effect this will have on whistleblowers ? God help this country, because obviously those who are "hotlining" S.372 are not.

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