Dissenters’ Digest for July 22–August 4

1:32 pm in Uncategorized by MSPB Watch

ATF Director B. Todd Jones

Dissenters’ Digest takes a look back at news stories covering whistleblowers, watchdogs, and government accountability. Look for it every other Saturday evening at www.dissentersdigest.com.

Is the tide turning on whistleblower rights? There are signs of hope. First, ATF director B. Todd Jones clarified his remarks on what seemed to be a threat to his employees not to blow the whistle outside the chain of command. Now, Jones is reaffirming ATF employees’ rights under the Whistleblower Protection Act.

Second, a psychologist who blew the whistle about child abuse on an Indian reservation and was harassed for it is no longer under duress. Congressional and media pressure has resulted in a full reversal of several adverse actions taken against him by the Indian Health Service.

Not so fast: The Food and Drug Administration is apparently engaging in a classic character assassination campaign against the ringleader of the FDA 9, a group of scientist/whistleblowers who have been targeted for spying and harassment. The New York Times served up what has been received as a biased, personality-focused hit piece, but not before the editorial board criticized the FDA for engaging in spying. In some ways, this ambiguity completely reflects how people feel about whistleblowers. Still, NYTimes, wtf?

Below the Fold:

–Department of Justice HR officials are implicated in a nepotism ring.

–Open government groups, led by the Government Accountability Project, issued rules for prior restraint of whistleblowers’ speech. I have called for the lead lobbyist’s resignation after the end of this congressional session.

–A Senate bill would provide new protections for anti-trust whistleblowers.

–UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld, who helped the IRS uncover the biggest tax fraud in U.S. history, has been released from prison after 30 months.

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