Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Protecting whistleblowers? Or prosecuting them?

Gov't obtains wide AP phone records in probe. If this is part of an investigation into that particular case, it may not be a violation of President Obama's campaign promise, since it isn't clear that any waste, fraud, or abuse was being leaked to the press. However, conducting a spying operation on the Associated Press seems to be a little too close to violating the First Amendment. I thought corporations were people? Don't they have a right to privacy? No more than you or I do, it appears. Not even the press.
This, by the way, is the Obama transition team at change.gov's statement about whistleblowers on the "ethics" page under "Spending Taxpayers' Money Wisely":
Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.
I guess the part about aggressively pursuing and prosecuting whistleblowers was left out of the final draft.
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