Examples of whistleblowing by government employees?
March 18, 2009 8:58 PM   Subscribe

Examples of whistleblowing by government employees?

Does anyone remember famous examples of this that I can research? So far, I just have the NSA wiretapping case from 2005.

I am doing research for a hypothetical(!) situation involving an illegal government project that has 1) a classified status and 2) implications for national (US) security. I have to figure out the possible options, outcomes, yadda yadda.

Thoughts on any other aspects of this? Suggestions? Advice?

posted by heatherfl to Law & Government (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How about Peter Buxtun, who exposed the Tuskegee Experiment?

There's a list of whistleblowers on Wikipedia, which should get you started in a number of possible vectors.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:08 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Daniel Ellsberg is the modern ur-whistleblower, although technically he was a RAND employee at the time.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:12 PM on March 18, 2009

Mordechai Vanunu.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:17 PM on March 18, 2009

Well, the run-of-the-mill government whistleblower case can actually be quite boring, legally speaking. Here's some information on procedure from the Office of Special Counsel.
posted by footnote at 9:42 PM on March 18, 2009

I actually do whistleblower cases before the Office of Special Counsel. I've used whistleblower defenses in MSPB cases. What would you like to know?
posted by Ironmouth at 9:51 PM on March 18, 2009

Response by poster: Wow! Such helpful answers!

I'm still in the preliminary stages of research, so I can't narrow it down much further at the moment. Soon, though, hopefully!
posted by heatherfl at 10:03 PM on March 18, 2009

Hi heatherfl,

My father was a govt whistleblower back in the early 1980s, just before the Iran-Contra scandal was made public. He was an upper-level budget comptroller at the Pentagon, and stumbled upon a piece of the scandal.

As minor as it was, it still took a pretty heavy toll on him and our family. Drop me a line if you want to hear more about it. mikeand1/AT/comcast.net

posted by mikeand1 at 10:38 PM on March 18, 2009

I heard Leuren Moret give a talk about how her credit was ruined and some various semi-threatening things happened to her after she became a whistleblower. The best online version I can find is here.
posted by salvia at 12:11 AM on March 19, 2009

msnbc article covers all the main US ones.

3rd link on a google search for famous whistleblowers...
posted by quodlibet at 5:00 AM on March 19, 2009

Paul van Buitenen
posted by DreamerFi at 7:30 AM on March 19, 2009

A couple of British whistleblowers.

Clive Ponting

Sarah Tisdall
posted by essexjan at 9:24 AM on March 19, 2009

posted by yoyoceramic at 12:17 PM on March 19, 2009

Sorry - Should be http://www.wikileaks.org
posted by yoyoceramic at 12:18 PM on March 19, 2009

Drs. Ned Feder and Walter Stewart got reassigned at NIH after exposing fraud and plagiarism in the scientific community. Dr. Feder also got into some hot water when he wrote letters arguing that researchers should have to disclose any money that they got from drug companies, which he talks about at the Project on Government Oversight blog.
posted by amarynth at 3:33 PM on March 19, 2009

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