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Tag Archive: Whistleblowing

A Security Clearance Nightmare

As President, Donald Trump obviously has the right to hire and fire his top advisors as he sees fit. However, when the President indicates he may fire someone because they are not doing what he likes, such as when Jeff Session recused himself from the Russia investigation, there are frightening national security implications.…   continue »

Letter to the Editor: The Whistleblower Protection Debate Continued

Recently, Andrew Bakaj and my former counsel, Mark Zaid, responded to my critique of their first piece on the state of national security whistleblower protections, stating

We disagree, however, with Eddington’s position on our recent article, where we stated that, “it is only through cases like Ellard’s that senior officials will be forced to realize that reprisal comes with consequences and that seniority will have no bearing on an investigation’s outcome.” Eddington describes this as “magical thinking,” but that view is defeated by facts, our own casework and professional experiences, as well as our recent legal victories.

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Letter to the Editor: Whistleblower Protections Are Getting Stronger


The March 2 article on Just Security by Patrick Eddington, titled “Whistleblower Retaliation: A Governmental Accountability and National Security Crisis,” certainly captures not only the issues that bona fide whistleblowers have to live through after engaging in “protected activity,” but also the challenges those who investigate reprisal allegations, both within the Defense Department and Intelligence Community (IC), face by virtue of the role they serve.…   continue »

Ben Wittes and Quinta Jurecic on the “Oathless Presidency”—Questions raised by deep distrust in Trump

Just Security and the Center on Law and Security at NYU School of Law were delighted to host an event today for our friends from Lawfare, Ben Wittes and Quinta Jurecic, for a discussion of their essay, “What Happens When We Don’t Believe the President’s Oath?” I served as the discussant, and thought to write up some of the questions that I raised.…   continue »

Whistleblower Retaliation: A Governmental Accountability and National Security Crisis

The role of an Inspector General (IG) office in a federal agency or department is to root out waste, fraud, and abuse, and where necessary refer criminal conduct to the Justice Department for prosecution. But what happens when the IG itself is corrupt, especially in a national security context where secrecy can be used to conceal malfeasance?…   continue »

New Case Proves Intelligence Community Whistleblowers Have Protections

NSA headquarters, Ft. Meade, Md.

In December, Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the NSA, placed the agency’s Inspector General (IG), Dr. George Ellard, on administrative leave and recommended he be removed from his position after an investigation into whether he retaliated against a whistleblower was conducted by a panel of IGs at the CIA, Treasury and Justice Department.  continue »

Dissenting from Within the Trump Administration

After the presidential election, many of those who were already working in government or who were considering joining began to ask questions about the ethics of working for a Trump Administration. One of us argued in a Just Security post that those working in the federal government should stay, even if they oppose the policies articulated by Trump during the campaign, and that students should not automatically write off applying to enter the bureaucracy.  …   continue »

The Office of Special Counsel’s Oversight Role in National Security: A Home for Whistleblowers

To function efficiently and effectively, the government must promote whistleblowing by its employees. This is especially true in the national and homeland security contexts, where bureaucratic decisions can threaten the safety of U.S. forces, citizens, and basic liberties.

The vital role of government whistleblowers is exemplified by the case of a Marine Corps civilian scientist named Franz Gayl.…   continue »