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Senate Set to Strengthen Protections for Military Whistleblowers and Victims of Sexual Assault

Four Senators have introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2014 that would strengthen protections for military whistleblowers and victims of sexual assault. The Project On Government Oversight and the Government Accountability Project organized a letter in support of the amendment with several signatures from notable military whistleblowers and concerned organizations with diverse interests and ideologies.

The bipartisan amendment offered by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) goes a long way to close loopholes that make it difficult and risky for whisteblowers to expose bad behavior.

From the letter:

The truth is that even with the best protections, blowing the whistle on wrongdoing is extremely risky. We believe that is even truer for our service men and women, given the military culture. Certainly, our men and women in the military deserve better than the third-rate rights they currently have.

Better protections for those seeking to fix what’s wrong in our military will increase accountability for those who undermine our military readiness. With authentic protections for those who report wrongdoing, problems will more often be addressed as they arise, and many will be averted altogether.

Provisions include providing a right to a hearing; increasing the statute of limitations from a short 60 days to one year, giving whistleblowers sufficient time to find counsel; and requiring that a higher level service Inspector General (IG) investigate reprisal charges, not the level where the whistleblower is stationed.

Read the rest of the letter here.

By: Avery Kleinman
Beth Daley Impact Fellow, POGO

Avery Kleinman At the time of publication Avery Kleinman was the Beth Daley Impact Fellow for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Whistleblower Protections

Related Content: NDAA, DOD Oversight

Authors: Avery Kleinman

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