For Immediate Release
WikiLeaks Release Underscores Need for Whistleblower Protections, Effective Channels
GAP Urges Passage of Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act
WASHINGTON - On the eve of what will reportedly be the most voluminous release of American classified documents in history, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) is stressing that the passage of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) would dramatically reduce the frequency of such releases in the future. The WPEA provides an orderly process for national security and intelligence community employees to safely report, within the system, their concerns about government waste, corruption, lawlessness or other abuses of power.
“The present system gives national security and intelligence employees no alternative to leaks, unless they are willing to engage in professional suicide,” said GAP Legal Director Tom Devine. “There are no safe channels to work within the system. This is a ‘lose-lose’ structure. Those who need to know information too often remain ignorant, and those who have no national security duties receive the evidence of government breakdowns.”
Unlike with WikiLeaks, a national security disclosure made under the WPEA would not be public; it would, instead, be directed to those in government departments and agencies with the authority to quietly investigate and, if need be, take corrective action.
“In the age of the Internet and WikiLeaks, reforming whistleblower protections is the single most effective anti-leaks measure available for classified information,” added Devine.
The House has twice passed this bill since 2007. The Senate failed to act timely before recessing for elections, but a bipartisan team is working hard to have legislation ready when Congress returns.
The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is a 30-year-old nonprofit public interest group that promotes government and corporate accountability by advancing occupational free speech, defending whistleblowers, and empowering citizen activists. We pursue this mission through our Nuclear Safety, International Reform, Corporate Accountability, Food & Drug Safety, and Federal Employee/National Security programs. GAP is the nation's leading whistleblower protection organization.