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Ear to the Ground

Obama Signs Whistle-Blower Protections Into Law

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Posted on Nov 28, 2012
White House/Pete Souza

The president put his seal of approval Tuesday on legislation extending support to federal employees who reveal fraud, graft and abuse.

Wonder whether Obama spared a thought for Pfc. Bradley Manning, the federal employee who stands accused of leaking military abuses and other secrets to WikiLeaks and whose torturous confinement was the subject of a pretrial hearing the same day.

According to The Associated Press’ interpretation, the whistle-blower law was necessary after court decisions that have left federal employees unshielded from retribution. But it goes much further.

The Associated Press:

The new legislation, however, would go beyond restoring protections, to expand whistle-blower rights and clarify certain protections. For example, whistle-blowers could challenge the consequences of government policy decisions.

Specific protections would be given to certain employees, including government scientists who challenge censorship. Workers at the Transportation Security Administration, who provide airport security, would be covered under the law for the first time.

The law also would clarify that whistleblowers have the right to communicate with Congress.

Read more

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer.

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