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Despite What Obama Says, Intelligence Contractors Have Few Protections

President Obama

In a news conference last week, President Obama implied that Edward Snowden could have voiced his concerns through official channels and been protected from retaliation as a whistleblower, according to an article in The Washington Post.

Except whistleblower protections do not extend to intelligence and national security government contractors. It is true the a recent presidential policy directive from Obama extended protections to intelligence community employees for the first time, but that only covers federal employees and not contractors like Snowden, who worked for Booz Allen Hamilton at the time of his leak.

This lack of protection is disturbing as contractors make up an increasing share of the government workforce, especially in the intelligence community.

From the Washington Post article:

“They are a workforce of people with whom we entrust our nation’s deepest secrets, but give them no protections if they want to disclose wrongdoing,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight.

Contractors who have their claims of retaliation substantiated after blowing the whistle are few and far between. POGO strongly supported bipartisan legislation to extend whistleblower protections to all federal contractors, arguing that whistleblowers have saved taxpayers $27 billion since 1987. However, when those protections finally became law, intelligence and national security contractors were excluded.

Read more at The Washington Post.

Image from The White House.

By: Andre Francisco
Online Producer, POGO

andre francisco Andre Francisco is the Online Producer for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Whistleblower Protections

Related Content: Government Privatization, Intelligence

Authors: Andre Francisco

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