Working overtime to deliver report linked to IC whistleblower complaint

The Washington Post reports that Congressional staffers worked through the holiday to complete a report on the House Intelligence Committee’s Ukraine investigation. It is expected to go to the Judiciary Committee Tuesday. That committee will meet Wednesday review the report and its own findings as it considers articles of impeachment. Those will go to the House floor.

Much has been said about that whistleblower and whistleblowing in general over the past two months. Here’s a roundup of some of our posts.

9/24 Will whistleblower battle lead to a crisis of confidence in the intelligence community?

Whistleblowers from the intelligence community face a different set of rules than other government insiders.

9/27 Attacks on whistleblower from the start. 

The past day’s demonization of the intelligence community whistleblower has been harsh. But, not surprising. Whistleblowers always face blowback.

9/28 Two months ago we asked: Can the Ukraine call whistleblower remain anonymous?

And, who is obligated to protect his or her anonymity? That the whistleblower remains officially unidentified is remarkable. A roundup of reports.

10/2 Grassley speaks out in defense of whistleblower. No surprise here.

This person appears to have followed the whistleblower protection laws and ought to be heard out and protected. We should always work to respect whistleblowers’ requests for confidentiality.

10/4 The journalist and the whistleblower

Every journalist who has ever worked with a whistleblower knows these are fraught relationships. 

10/7 Ninety national security experts agree: “A responsible whistleblower makes all Americans safer

An open letter to the American people notes: A responsible whistleblower makes all Americans safer by ensuring that serious wrongdoing can be investigated and addressed, thus advancing the cause of national security to which we have devoted our careers.

10/24 “Honk to thank the whistleblowers”

We hear he hasn’t been out there every day lately. But, through much of October, a retired software developer has stood outside the White House with this sign. DC public radio WAMU had a chat with him.

10/26 NYTimes: “Thanks Whistleblower, Your Work is Done,”

The New York Times includes an annotated version of the original intelligence community whistleblower complaint. They note that “every piece of information that the public first learned from the whistle-blower’s complaint has been corroborated.” You can find it all in the transcript of the call, congressional testimony and news reporting.

10/28 More defense of the whistleblowers and civil servants

A Washington Post piece includes a quote from NWC chair Stephen M. Kohn: “You can’t have a government based on rule of law unless citizens can freely report potential violations of the rule of law.” 

11/4 Push to unmask whistleblower continues despite confirmation of facts in complaint

A round up, including comments from David Colapinto, a lawyer and one of the founders of the National Whistleblower Center, who told MTV News that whistleblowers risk losing their careers, damaging their reputations, and even “bodily harm.” 

11/6 Omerta or good journalism?

Major news outlets aren’t naming the rumored Ukraine whistleblower despite disclosure of a name on social media and some news sites. 

11/11 It’s time for Congress to fulfill its constitutional oversight role and protect whistleblowers

John Kostyack,director of the National Whistleblower Center, argues that a robust conversation needs to happen over how to respond to the President’s hostile actions toward the Ukraine whistleblowers.

 11/14 Turns out hearsay can be pretty reliable.

The validity of secondhand information about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine reemerged as an issue at Wednesday’s impeachment hearings. The president’s supporters initially dismissed the whistleblowers’ revelations as unreliable “hearsay.” They are now making the same claim about the State Department diplomats who were first to testify.

11/27 A “searing time” for whistleblower rights — and a pledge to protect them

The Inspector General (IG) of the Intelligence Community, Michael K. Atkinson, calls IGs “first responders” in his semi-annual report to Congress

The past few months have been a searing time for whistleblowers’ rights and protections. Much has been written and much has been said about whistleblowers recently, some of it accurate and helpful, and some not. Time will tell whether whistleblowers’ rights and protections will emerge from this period with the same legal, ethical, and moral strength they had previously.

 He writes that he believes whistleblower rights will endure.

 My optimism comes from my belief that the American people want an honest and effective government that reflects their hard-fought values. Such a government benefits when individuals who suspect fraud, waste, abuse, or malfeasance in their government are encouraged to speak up. Those who demonstrate the personal ethics and moral courage expected of individuals who have the honor and privilege of working for the American people should not suffer from or fear reprisal when they do speak up.

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