National Security Whistleblowers Coalition

                                  Alexandria, Virginia, www.nswbc.org

          

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- March 13, 2006

For Additional Information Contact: Sibel Edmonds, Founder & Director- National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), sedmonds@nswbc.org

Senate & House Members come together for Meaningful & Enforceable Whistleblower Protection

 

 

What: Whistleblowers & watchdog organizations will present in support of meaningful and enforceable whistleblower protections, the recently introduced senate legislation by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), S.2285, Whistleblower Empowerment, Security and Taxpayer Protection Act (WESTPAct), and a house bill, HR 4925, Paul Revere Freedom to Warn Act, sponsored jointly by Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). Both bills were drafted with direct input from the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC) and its whistleblower members. This conference is sponsored and organized jointly by National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC) and Liberty Coalition (LC).

 

In addition to members of congress, speakers from the whistleblowers community and government watchdog organizations will present statements. The list of speakers and presenters includes:

 

        Senator Frank Lautenberg-D-NJ

        Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney-D-NY

        Congressman Ed Markey-D-MA

           

·          Mr. Gordon Haberman, 9/11 Family Member

·          Mr. James Bamford, Author & Investigative Journalist

 

·          Mr. Melvin Goodman- Former Senior Analyst & Division Manager, CIA; NSWBC Member 

·          Mr. Russell Tice- Former Senior Intelligence Analyst & Action Officer, NSA; NSWBC Member

·          Mr. Bogdan Dzakovic- Former Red Team Leader, FAA; Current, TSA; NSWBC Member

·          Mr. Sandalio Gonzalez- Ret. Special Agent in Charge, DEA; NSWBC Member

·          Major Thomas Rempfer- Current, DOD; NSWBC Member

·          Mr. Steve Elson- Veteran Agent, FAA; NSWBC Member

 

 

·          National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC)-Ms. Sibel Edmonds

·          Liberty Coalition (LC) - Mr. Michael Ostrolenk

·          National Whistleblower Center (NWC) - Mr. Stephen Kohn

·          American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) - Ms. Lisa Graves

·          National Taxpayers Union (NTU) – Mr. Peter Sepp

·          Common Cause- Mr. James Benton,

·          US Bill of Rights Foundation (USBOR) - Mr. Dane Von Breichenruchardt

·          Concerned Foreign Service Officers – Mr. William Savich

 

     

Where: The United States Senate Capitol Building, SC-4 (The senate side of the Capitol Building; 1st Street, Between Constitution & Independence Avenue)

When:  12:00PM-1:30PM, Tuesday, March 14, 2006

BACKGROUND:  whistleblowers must be provided with meaningful and enforceable protection so that executive branch activities remain accountable to the Congress and the public. We need to adopt protections for employees that allow them to be secure in their jobs and encourage them to report waste, fraud, and abuse of power. The recently introduced legislation in the senate by Senator Frank Lautenberg, Whistleblower Empowerment, Security and Taxpayer Protection Act (WESTPAct), and in the House by Representatives Markey and Maloney, Paul Revere Freedom to Warn Act, are the first real attempts by Congress to do just that. Many lives, our national security, and the health of our democracy may hinge on whether or not Congress is brave enough to provide meaningful and effective protection for whistleblowers.

 

Senator Lautenberg's legislation would, for the first time, empower whistleblowers to pursue their case in court instead of having to go through the cumbersome federal bureaucracy. This bill extends whistleblower protections to National Security Whistleblowers and Federal Contractors. It would make the worst cases of whistleblower retaliation a criminal offense, and would hold those who engage in prohibited personnel practices civilly liable. The bill will also provide protection from frivolous government claims of state secrets, such as when the government asserts that a whistleblower's date of birth is a state secret.

 

The Joint House Bill introduced by representatives Markey and Maloney will extend whistleblower protection to all federal employees, federal contractors or subcontractors. Based on this legislation, if the government prevents the case from being heard because it asserts its State Secrets privilege, then judgment will be automatically in favor of the whistleblower so they can move forward with their lives free of the stigma the retaliation against them brings. In addition, it will also be made a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison to engage in such retaliation.

 

 

About National Security Whistleblowers Coalition

National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), founded in August 2004, is an independent and nonpartisan alliance of whistleblowers who have come forward to address our nation’s security weaknesses; to inform authorities of security vulnerabilities in our intelligence agencies, at nuclear power plants and weapon facilities, in airports, and at our nation’s borders and ports; to uncover government waste, fraud, abuse, and in some cases criminal conduct.           The NSWBC is dedicated to aiding national security whistleblowers through a variety of methods, including advocacy of governmental and legal reform, educating the public concerning whistleblowing activity, provision of comfort and fellowship to national security whistleblowers suffering retaliation and other harms, and working with other public interest organizations to affect goals defined in the NSWBC mission statement. www.nswbc.org

 

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