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Whistleblowers Not on Planet Supreme Court

According to the Supreme Court opinion issued today in the whistleblower case Garcetti v. Ceballos (No. 04-473): �We reject, however, the notion that the First Amendment shields from discipline the expressions employees make pursuant to their professional duties.� In other words, public employees who blow the whistle can be retaliated against. In making the decision, the court cites �the powerful network of legislative enactments�such as whistle-blower protection laws and labor codes�available to those who seek to expose wrongdoing.� Anyone who works with whistleblowers or who bothered to read the daily newspaper would know that this claim is complete fallacious � especially see the Congressional Research Service�s December 2005 report, the House National Security Subcommittee Briefing Memo on whistleblower protections from February 2006 (pdf), or POGO�s report from last year. Here is a list of important federal whistleblowers who have been fired or demoted in recent years. These cases are just the tip of the iceberg � please add more in your comments. Also see goverup's posting today on this issue.

Click this link to see the list.

Teresa Chambers � Post 9/11 security of national monuments. Fired.

SOURCE: CNN, July 10, 2004.

Bogdan Dzakovic � Protection of commercial aircraft from terrorist attacks. Demoted.

SOURCE: Dzakovic�s Statement to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, May 22, 2003.

Sibel Edmonds � FBI translation unit failures post 9/11. Fired.

SOURCE: New York Times, January 15, 2005.

Kevin Gambrell � Oil and gas industry fraud on federal and Indian lands. Fired.

SOURCE: Associated Press, September 19, 2003.

Bunnatine Greenhouse - Halliburton whistleblower. Demoted.

SOURCE: Washington Post, August 29, 2005.

Rich Levernier � Nuclear weapons security. Demoted (security clearance revoked). Now retired.

SOURCE: 60 Minutes, August 29, 2004, and Levernier�s Congressional testimony before the House Subcommittee on National Security in February 14, 2006.

Joe Mansour - Islamic fundamentalism, terrorism training in the prisons. Demoted.

SOURCE: Washington Post, March 10, 2006.

Sergeant Samuel Provance � Prisoner torture at Abu Ghraib. Demoted ("reduced in rank").

SOURCE: Provance�s Congressional testimony before the House National Security Subcommittee, February 14, 2006.

Anthony Shaffer - Intelligence gathering to identify potential terrorists. Demoted (security clearance taken away).

SOURCE: Shaffer�s Congressional testimony before the House National Security Subcommittee, February 14, 2006.

Christopher Steele - Nuclear weapons safety and security. Pushed out of job.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times, May 1, 2006.

Russ Tice � Espionage of co-worker. Fired.

SOURCE: Tice�s Congressional testimony before the House National Security Subcommittee, February 14, 2006.

By: Beth Daley
Director of Investigations, POGO

At the time of publication, Beth Daley was the Director of Investigations for the Project On Government Oversight.

Authors: Beth Daley

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