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Whistleblower Protections

October 21, 2011 by  

Whistleblower Protections

The government hates it when people, especially government employees, point out its wrongdoing.

It has often demonstrated its displeasure by firing whistleblowers and sometimes even charging them with criminal activity for going public with its criminality. So, in its munificence, the government created the Office of Special Counsel to protect Federal whistleblowers.

But that office was for several years run by a thug named Scott Bloch, who pleaded guilty last year to contempt of Congress. After his own staffers pointed out that Bloch would retaliate against them for pointing out wrongdoing — such as closing whistleblower cases without proper investigation — a Congressional investigation was launched. Bloch had Geeks on Call wipe his computer. That revelation resulted in his guilty plea.

Now there’s a new sheriff in town, and it seems she’s really interested in protecting whistleblowers, according to an article in The Washington Post. She’s Carolyn Lerner, and the director of a whistleblower advocacy group called her “fearless.”

Since Lerner took over the agency in July, three stays have been granted in cases in which the Merit Systems Protection Board sought “serious adverse personnel actions” against Federal employees. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s more than were issued in 2008, 2009 and 2010 when there was a grand total of zero.

One case involved a civilian science and technology adviser with the Marines who faced indefinite suspension without pay for pointing out the failure of the Marine Corps to timely provide Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles for troops in Iraq.

In another, the Public Health Service fired a biomedical engineer assigned to the Food and Drug Administration. He, along with other scientists, found serious safety problems in a device designed to detect breast cancer. The FDA approved the device anyway.

When the scientist, Paul T. Hardy, objected, his supervisor accused him of insubordination. When he took his findings to Congress, the FDA began pursuing criminal charges against Hardy for releasing agency information without authorization.

Many government agencies have become criminal enterprises that bow at the feet of the corporate benefactors they are supposed to be watching. Brave souls willing to expose that criminality need protection. Maybe Lerner understands this.

Bob Livingston

is an ultra-conservative American who has been writing a newsletter since 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

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  • http://www.medicalsupplychain.com/news.htm Samuel Lipari

    AG Holder Legacy Targeting Whistle Blowers: http://bit.ly/qfy8lS

  • F86

    Why Mr. Livingston, it seems you do have at least goal in common with OWS. Instead of trying to put them down, why not look for other areas of agreement. Just the short answer please. No need to point out the differences.

    • Sam I am

      OWS for the most part is well intentioned but misinformed. They don’t know that they are unwittingly feeding the very beasts (wall street, big mega banks, etc.) that they profess to be against. They are led by charletons like Michael Moore. Michael Moore talks a good game against greedy millionaires on wall street, but says the federal Reserve, arguably the one true source of all of our economic suffering, is “irrelevent”. You see, Michael Moore, like all used and abused lap dogs, is completely obedient to his master. He would never dream of being a real man and standing up to the real power structure.

      • Jeryl

        Out of curiosity, I wonder how much he’s worth? He’s probably more of the establishment than he knows.

        • wandamurline

          I think someone said he is worth over 50 million dollars….small change for a hollywood elists, but remember he made all of it with the capitalism that he vows to throw away…you see, he wants all the amenities, he just doesn’t believe that the rest of us should have the same opportunities to become millionaires should we want to.

          • Bus

            His waistline is testament to his largess

      • BigBadJohn

        Scott Bloch, the former Bush administration official who pleaded guilty to using Geeks On Call to scrub his computer while under investigation for retaliating against his employees, has just had his month-long jail sentence overturned.

        another fine example of Bush and the republicans turning control of the
        government over to corporations at the expense of employees……

        Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.
        Benito Mussolini

        • Ray

          Not to excuse wrongdoing by Bush or his underlings, but it not as if Clinten or Obama’s hands are squeaky clean either. The democrats are just as corrupt as the republicans, just don’t hear as much about their corruptness.

          • vicki

            Trace the history of both the Community Redevelopment Act and the history of fannie may and freddie mac to find a lot of examples of dirty politics from the democrats.

        • s c

          Right on, B. Thanks for reminding everyone that fascism and corporations share the same ‘bed.’ Now, Obubba can emerge from his fascism/corporatism closet and hold his head high, knowing that his jockstrap supporters believe in him even more than they did.
          It takes a real fascist/corporatist to be in bed with GE and the Fed. There is SO MUCH to be said for solidarity and principles, eh?
          Thanks for the reminder. It’s not the kind of thing that anyone should ever forget.

    • http://www.boblivingstonletter.com/ Bob Livingston

      Dear F86,

      I have yet to comment on Occupation Wall Street. There is not room here to comprehensively do so. This post is about the criminal enterprise commonly called government. However, polls seem to show that most of the OWS protesters support Obama’s re-election. Obama has taken more contributions from Wall Street than anyone in history. OWS protesters fail to see the connection between the criminals on Wall Street and the criminals in government and the way the government not only endorsed the criminality of Wall Street and the banksters, it supported it with billions of dollars in payouts. Obama voted for TARP as a Senator and then pushed through more bailouts as President. He is as culpable as anyone. Until the OWS crowd understands that and focuses on the source of this criminality, their protests will be in vain.

      Best wishes,
      Bob

      • ernest

        good-one Bob.

        • eddie47d

          There are also anti-Obama signs at these demonstrations so not all are on board with his policies.

          • Brad

            Eddie,

            Sorry but I don’t believe you, please provide a link, providing proof you have seen anti-Ohmama signs at OWS in NYC.

          • eddie47d

            I went to a OWS rally in Denver and the guy next to me had a 3′x10′ placard asking for a Democrat replacement for Obama.

      • F86

        Dear Mr. Livingston,
        You did hit on the crux of the complaint from OWS. The connection between Wall St. and our government. You lament the polls that seem to indicate a preference for Obama as President without bringing to bear the fact that no republican candidate would think to break that connection. They all are up in arms against the fed, but no one credits OWS with that mantra either. I didn’t bring up OWS to begin a comprehensive debate about their motives, just that there may be some common goals between you. And don’t say their protests are in vain either. They, I believe, “have just begun to fight”.

        • http://www.boblivingstonletter.com/ Bob Livingston

          Dear F86,

          Our disagreement–yours, and I suspect the majority of the OWS crowd, and mine–is that you are caught in a left/right paradigm. You say no Republican candidate would never consider breaking the connection. I say no Democrat or Republican candidate would consider it. They are two sides of the same coin. However, Ron Paul is different. He is not beholden to Wall Street, the banksters or gangster government.

          Best wishes,
          Bob

          • vicki

            And the REAL paradigm that we need to point out again and again is
            100% government vs limited government vs 0% government. This video is the best I have found to date in explaining this critical point.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4r0VUybeXY

            It is only 10 min long. It’s info could save the Republic.

          • F86

            Dear Bob,
            I don’t have the same feeling you do about Ron Paul, but I am aware that he does not seem to get his due. For whatever reason, he can’t seem to get any traction.
            My views are defined by my experience and vision, and thus some are liberal, and some conservative. That’s why I was able to see at least one thing you and OWS may have had in common. By the way I am very much aware that Obama got the lion’s share of Wall St. money for his campaign in 2008 and in spite of his rhetoric, will propably do so this cycle also.

  • Sam I am

    A real whistle blower will continue to blow the whistle HARD until the air is completely sapped ouf of his lungs due to death or serious injury.

    • BigIron

      “A real whistle-blower would …” .. WRONG! Not everyone is possessed of “super-hero” strengths and intelligence no matter what you see in the movies and on the TV.

      A “real whistle-blower” IS someone who has the COURAGE to even “utter” the truth when it IS contrary to the “preferred lie”. To do so when it is against THEIR own best interests, when to do so may be (and probably will be) damaging to their personal and professional lives and possibly EVEN their lives, and the lives of their families, is extraordinary thing in itself and more than should not and can not be DEMANDED of them by the people. To EXPECT someone to sacrifice everything they have for someone else who refuses to put “their skin in the game” is indicative of the “entitlement mentality” where someone else MUST bear the responsibilities of others.

      A “whistle-blowers” responsibility is to speak TRUTH and that alone; it is the responsibility of the people to honor that act with THEIR action.

      It IS up to the people to support even the most meek of “whistle-blowers” with their OWN “blood” when necessary and to continue to acknowledge their contribution even when found in error if that error was NOT due to malice and their reasoning sound.

      • vicki

        Did you join the cause to protect WikiLeaks and Mr. Assange? Or are some whistles more equal than others?

        (The you is directed at the reader not necessarily BigIron since I do not know what his opinion is with respect the WikiLeaks.)

        • Clint

          Vicki, Julian Assange may be part of an elaborate scheme to create animosity amongst people and their governments. Wikileaks has been very effective in this aspect and deservedly so. It also might be a ploy to further escalate tension diplomatically. The reason I say this is two fold. (1)Why give it so much mainstream media attention? (2)There are claims that he was brought up with the Santiniketan Park Association. This was an Australian Cult that raised babies and used all kinds of drugs and techniques to manipulate them.

          • vicki

            So you ARE saying that some whistles are more equal than others.

          • vicki

            “There are claims that he was brought up with the Santiniketan Park Association.”

            Demonization of ones enemies/opponents is a time honored tradition of tyrants world wide. Why even Obama does it.

    • AJ

      Ya inflicted by the criminals being whistled at.

  • eddie47d

    A couple of years ago Eliot Spitzer blew the whistle on Wall Street and exposed their wrong doings. He had reams of information to stop the corruption that was going on and the investigations were in full swing. Several indictments were already in progress but because he was seen with a prostitute the Republicans hammered him in the news. They had the chance to catch some big fish on Wall Street but the Republicans and then the news media decided his personal life was more important to go after. Eliot Spitzer was no longer in charge of putting Wall Street criminals in jail and they were all but forgotten. Whistle blowing is a thankless job and being seen will a prostitute is more in touch with our tabloid journalism style in this country than the fate of our economy. I smelled a political cover up in protecting Wall Street.

  • Bus

    Interesting how spitzer, using capitalism and paying the prostitutes what they are worth gets run out of office. While slick Willie takes advantage of an underling and still charges $50,000 per speech.
    “Some animals are more equal than others”

  • daniel

    Eddie I appreciate your comment about Spitzer. I noticed that you only mentioned the media and the Republicans as being duplicitous in the misdirection concocted to divert public attention to the real issue. Please to give more credence to posts you can include the Democrats as well. Personally the attacks on whistleblowers should be met with counter-charges such as obstruction of justice, fines, terminations, etc. The way that business has been done ion the past has been a dog and pony show. Politicians use it for photo-ops while B-crats obfuscate to protect themselves and their benefactors.

    • eddie47d

      The Democrats didn’t directly go after Spitzer so they weren’t mentioned. Since most on this site claim the media is all Liberal controlled I thought that would have made it clear that they didn’t do Spitzer any favors either.

      • “JAVOPE”

        The media will always drop the important stuff to air some dirty laundry.

  • Robert Guy

    I believe the word “whistleblower” is a misnomer and that anyone who points out an error or decietfull action by their “boss” should be called a truthsayer instead. These are people with a conscience and some form of moral guidance who should be called heros for doing the right thing. Lord we need more truthsayers.

  • http://WhistleblowerProtections anti-eddy

    eddy….. truth is Elliot Spitzer caught Sptizer…. during his AG time, he was the one who initiated the idea to investigate money transactions less than $10K, trying to identify perp’s who were laudering money, shady deals, etc. The he bacame the Gov of NY, and shortly there after his own investigation basically caught himself….. I call it sweet irony – did you see the look on his wife’s face when he was doing the news conference admitting all? Now thats Priceless!

  • s c

    Whistleblowers good. Government bad. Public (as a rule) DUH.

  • Baba

    All it takes for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.

  • Bob Pitas

    This woman should start by protecting the ATF agent who blew the whistle on Fast and Furious. I think I read he got fired, and whoever fired him should be brought up on some sort of charges…

  • Jeffrey A. Williams

    The OSC’s mandate is a good one if and when it is followed and applied in a honest and straight forward legal manner. Retaliation by government agencies of contracted organizations for filing a potential wrongdoing by anyone is ethically and morally wrong and is significantly against biblical scripture.

  • Clint

    Hello Bob, Speaking of whistleblowers, I wonder if you have covered Richard Grove. His troubles began when he tried to expose Sarbanes-Oxley software in 2003. From his interview posted on Tragedy and Hope, he claims that if they exposed his information to the general public, that most of the fraud would have been averted. Dr. Ron Paul mentioned Sarbanes-Oxley during one of the debates. Just seems asinine that it hasn’t been repealed along with the Patriot Act.

  • Verus Langham

    Well! Very very good for her and those who appointed her. It is high time that the stated mission of the Office of Special Counsel to protect Federal whistleblowers should be, without a doubt, to provide the ultimate guarantees against reprisal for those willing and intense enough to report crimes by their bosses and the bosses of any other federal agency. That said, I believe that – should she continue in her course of doing her job – there might well be a “dam-bursting” effect in the ranks of the liberal task masters answering to the call of the leftist agendas within government, especially those who chose to not follow the rule of law and the restrictions placed upon them by our Constitution. Thence there should be a natural outflow of the message throughout this administration that their doom is in the offing.

  • jopa

    As of Oct.15 Romney has taken in 1.5 million from Wall Street, in comparison Obama has received $270,000.Obama is not very popular on the street anymore after trying to reign in some of the corruption going on.Not only that Romney actually worked on Wall Street and that gave him the only credentials he has on foreign policy.His job was to send jobs overseas.The only way Ron Paul will build a war chest is from donations from American citizens aand they don’t have the money to give.

  • jopa

    Hmmm Carolyn Lerner.Anyone have her phone number?I gotta tell her about a guy name Dubya.

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