July 28, 2009

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

On May 8, 2007, your presidential campaign promised America’s whistleblowers in writing that you stood behind their need for legal protection and fully supported federal court access and jury trials for all federal employees. The House of Representatives enacted these protections when it overwhelmingly passed H.R. 985 in a veto-proof, bipartisan manner. In another bipartisan effort, Representatives Van Hollen (D-MD), Waxman (D-CA), Towns (D-NY), Braley (D-IA), and Platts (R-PA) have reintroduced this bill as H.R.1507.

Now we need your help. While the House version of the bill is more inclusive, the Senate version (S.372) lacks many key protections. The Senate bill currently lacks coverage for the hundreds of thousands of federal employees who participate in the global war on terror and oversee a budget well over $150 billion. Please stand by your promise and ensure that all federal employees receive comprehensive whistleblower protections.

The reason typically cited for denying court access for all federal employees is that it could create a national security risk. As current or former national security whistleblowers, we know this is not true. In an objective and independent review, the General Accounting Office (GAO) saw “no justification for treating employees at [intelligence] agencies differently from employees at other federal agencies except in rare national security cases.” This finding has held since 1996, and yet misinformation about extending full due process protections to national security whistleblowers is still pervasive today.

Moreover, whistleblowers have actually been instrumental in pointing out issues that threaten our nation’s security. Even without full due process protections, courageous employees have pointed out problems including deficiencies in the counterterrorism program that contributed to the success of 9/11, the promotion of faulty intelligence that led to a war, systemic due process violations through misconduct in crime labs, and billions of dollars in waste and illegal contracting. Rather than a national security threat, whistleblowers are a central defense against misconduct.

The future of our nation depends on your support for this critical oversight and accountability issue. Taxpayers put forward billions in government spending, and they deserve accurate information and a guarantee of accountability. Please safeguard our nation against future terrorist attacks by removing the gag order from the brave men and women who are charged with ensuring our safety.

The past ten years have demonstrated the invaluable contributions of whistleblowers. We have made countless preventable mistakes, including the failure to search Moussaoui, abuses in Abu Ghraib, and lies to Congress about secret CIA programs. The need to fully protect national security whistleblowers is indisputable. They are vital to our country’s safety, and their future is in your hands.

Respectfully submitted,

Sibel Edmonds
FBI Whistleblower and Director of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition

Dr. Frederic Whitehurst
Former FBI Supervisory Special Agent and FBI Whistleblower (Crime Lab)
Member of the Board of Directors, National Whistleblower Center

Colleen Rowley
Retired FBI Agent, Whistleblower
Former Minneapolis Legal Counsel

Jane Turner
Retired FBI Agent, Whistleblower

Robert MacLean
Former U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Air Marshal
National Whistleblower Liaison, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association

Jon Adler
National President
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association

P. Jeffrey Black
Nevada State Chapter President
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
Federal Air Marshall Whistleblower

John B. Vincent
Retired FBI Counter Terrorism Agent, Whistleblower

Bill Russell
Former NSA Employee, Whistleblower

Melvin A. Goodman
Former CIA Analyst, Senior Fellow, Center for
International Policy, Whistleblower

Russell D. Tice
Former Intelligence Analyst & Capabilities Operations
Officer, NSA, Whistleblower

Sandalio Gonzalez
Special Agent in Charge, Ret., DEA, Whistleblower

William Savich
Special Agent, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Department of
State, Whistleblower

Martin Edwin Andersen
Former Senior Advisor for Policy Planning
Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice
First-ever National Security Winner of U.S. Office of Special Counsel´s “Public Servant Award”

Joseph Carson, PE
Nuclear Safety Engineer, Department of Energy
“Multiple-time Prevailing” Whistleblower

Gabe Bruno, Representative
FAA Whistleblowers Alliance
Retired FAA Manager

Craig R. Sawyer
Former U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Air Marshal Manager
Whistleblower Against Gross Mismanagement and Retaliation Member, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association

Linda Lewis,
Emergency Programs (WMD) Specialist,
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Bill Bergman,
Former Senior Financial Market Analyst, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Whistleblower

Spencer A. Pickard
Former U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Air Marshal
While on active duty, exposed the Federal Air Marshal Service’s safety and security lapses on ABC News 20/20

Mark Danielson
DoD Police Officer, Whistleblower

Bogdan Dzakovic
Former FAA Air Marshal Team Leader and Red Team Leader, Current TSA, Whistleblower


Hon. Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
H-232, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Hon. Darrell Isa
Ranking Member
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
2347 Rayburn House
Office Building
Washington, DC 2051

Hon. Bruce Braley
U.S. House of Representatives
1019 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515

Hon. Chris Van Hollen
U.S. House of Representatives
1707 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington, D.C. 20515

Hon. Todd Platts
Vice Ranking Member
Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs
2455 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Hon. Edolphus Towns
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
2232 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Hon. Henry A. Waxman
U.S. House of Representatives
2204 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Hon. Harry Reid
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-2803

Hon. Joe Lieberman
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
One Constitution Plaza, 7th Floor
Hartford, CT 06103

Hon. Susan Collins
Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
413 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Hon. Daniel Akaka
U.S. Senate
141 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Hon. George Voinovich
Ranking Member
U.S. Senate Subcommittees on Homeland Security & Oversight of Government Management
524 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510


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