On March 2, a group of whistleblowers, led by Whistleblower Network News’ Jane Turner, launched a campaign calling on President Biden to sign an Executive Order permanently establishing July 30 as National Whistleblower Day and requiring all federal agencies to recognize the day.
Each year since 2013, the U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a Resolution designating July 30 as National Whistleblower Day. The date commemorates the first whistleblower law in the history of the United States which was passed on July 30, 1778. In recent years, a growing number of federal agencies have celebrated National Whistleblower Day by informing employees of their whistleblower rights and by highlighting the critical role whistleblowers play in exposing fraud, corruption, and abuse of power.
The whistleblowers behind the campaign, Turner, Sherron Watkins, Frederic Whitehurst, Aaron Westrick, and Bunny Greenhouse, believe that it is time for the United States to permanently designate July 30 as National Whistleblower Day. According to the whistleblowers, by signing such an Executive Order, President Biden would honor the United State’s history of whistleblower protection, help change the culture around whistleblowing, and demand justice and respect for those whistleblowers who have sacrificed so much to speak truth to power.
In an op-ed published in WNN, Turner explains why she and her fellow whistleblowers believe the time is now for President Biden to permanently designate July 30 as National Whistleblower Day.
“The time has come for a culture change, for President Biden to elevate whistleblowers to the status they deserve as people of integrity,” Turner writes. “It is time to support whistleblowers by making National Whistleblower Day permanent. The world needs to know the United States government stands behind whistleblowers, provides recognition, and honors their sacrifices.”
In a new podcast, Turner and Watkins also discuss the impetus of the campaign. They delve into their personal experiences blowing the whistle and explain how the whistleblower community is coming together in support of the campaign.
The whistleblowers behind the campaign have signed onto a petition urging President Biden to sign an Executive Order making National Whistleblower Day a permanent designation and requiring federal agencies to recognize the day. The whistleblowers are calling on whistleblower supporters to sign the petition.
Jane Turner was a highly decorated 25-year veteran of the FBI who exposed the FBI’s mishandling of child sex crimes on Native American reservations and theft at the World Trade Center Ground Zero site. She is the host of WNN‘s Whistleblower of the Week podcast.
Sherron Watkins blew the whistle on financial fraud within Enron to the company’s then-CEO. She went on to be labeled TIME magazine’s person of the year alongside two other whistleblowers in 2002. Sherron continues to mentor other whistleblowers and advocate for better protections.
Dr. Fred Whitehurst blew the whistle on misconduct within the FBI Crime Lab. His case exposed forensic fraud in the FBI crime lab and subjected it to outside oversight for the first time.
Bunnatine “Bunny” Greenhouse served as the highest-ranking civilian-contracting official at the Army Corps of Engineers when she blew the whistle on a highly improper $7 billion no-bid contract to Halliburton for the repair of Iraqi oil fields following the 2003 invasion. Greenhouse’s disclosures resulted in major reforms prohibiting no-bid contracts.
Dr. Aaron Westrick, a former research director for America’s largest body armor company, Second Chance Body Armor, blew the whistle on the production and sale of defective vests that were sold to police officers.