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March 30, 2005

Federal Whistleblowers Still Unprotected

While the Supreme Court established a victory for anti-discrimination whistleblowers yesterday, the sad reality is that federal employees who tell the public that their bosses are failing to protect their safety still suffer retaliation.

As this piece by the former chief of the United States Park Police details, the Bush administration is using the threat of terrorism not to protect the public but to silence the internal critics who might expose its failures to deal with threats from terrorism.

When Teresa Chambers complained that Park Police were too underfunded to protect the public safety in national parks, she was stripped of her badge and terminated by the Department of Interior. Here are the official charges against Ms. Chambers-- which back up her claim that this was a political hit against an employee daring to give an honest public assessment of her budget, rather than parrot the political line imposed by the White House.

Essentially, the principle the White House has established is that no one in government may say anything about the buget, our national security, or any other public policy topic that differs in any way from the official White House position. Federal employees lose any right to free speech and the public lose any confidence of a check on lies told by the White House, since those government employees who know that the lies are occuring are barred from saying so under threat of losing their jobs.

You can read more about the case as www.honestchief.com

Posted by Nathan at March 30, 2005 09:44 AM