Ed O’Keefe of The Washington Post is quoting Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center, in a story appearing on today’s Fed Page. Called, “Immigration agency assailed over leak probe,” the story reports on criticism the immigration service is getting from the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 118. AFGE is upset that management at the immigration service is conducting a witch hunt for whoever leaked to The Washington Post an email about quotas for arrests of undocumented immigrants. The investigation has focused on an agent who has an Asian last name, apparently because the Washington Post reporter also has an Asian last name.
Kohn told O’Keefe that the backlash for President Obama on prosecuting whistleblowers is less than it would be since Obama is a Democrat. “It mutes the criticism,” Kohn said. Kohn also said that whistleblowers face more risk since the president has not yet appointed a Special Counsel to protect them. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif) told O’Keefe that he is calling on the president to appoint top leaders for 15 inspector general offices that still lack permanent leadership. Rep. Issa’s letter is available here.
O’Keefe’s story also mentions other whistleblowers facing prosecution by this administration. These include Thomas Drake who used to work for the National Security Administration (NSA). The article also mentions concern about the Internal Revenue Service failing to issue any whistleblower rewards, but neglects to mention Bradley Birkenfeld who is still in jail after delivering to the U.S. government information that helped collect $20 billion in unpaid taxes.