The government is supposed to serve the public’s best interests. But, too often, corners are cut, resources are wasted or worse, government agencies are defrauded or co-opted to serve narrow political or private interests.
Enter the Whistleblower.
Whistleblowers are often the first line of defense to shield the public from wrong doing when government is no longer protecting the public’s interest.
Sadly, the Obama administration’s actions are creating a chilling effect on whistleblowers who disclose waste, fraud and abuse and diminishing citizens’ ability to blow the whistle. It is a rather ironic state of affairs, considering the administration has promised to be the most transparent ever.
Robert Greenwald’s new film: War on Whistleblowers – Free Press and the National Security State discusses several accounts of whistleblowers who took a stand. The film examines the lives of four whistleblowers Michael DeKort, Thomas Drake, Franz Gayl and Thomas Tamm and describes how the government took aim at destroying their lives for speaking out.
Standing up and speaking truth to power is a right that all Americans have; it is not a liberal or conservative ideology. However, in the current political climate it takes a brave individual to do so. Greenwald’s film shines light on the challenges whistleblowers have faced and exemplifies those who have had the courage to take a stand when they have been presented with information they just couldn’t live without revealing.
Keith Wrightson is Public Citizen’s worker safety and health advocate.