Government workers speaking out in the face of security lapses and corruption have soared to record levels, while many are being retaliated against and punished by higher ups for daring to report misconduct.
The Washington Times reports that The Office of Special Counsel, which oversees government whistleblower complaints, has experienced an “unprecedented rise” in its caseload.
The OSC notes that 5,200 complaints were filed in fiscal 2014. That figure constitutes a 17 percent increase on 2013 cases, as well as a 30 percent rise in three years.
The leading source of whistleblowers within the Obama government is the Department of Veterans Affairs, which filed 1,504 cases throughout the year. The DoD filed 1,365 cases, while The Department of Homeland Security presented 489.
Instead of being rewarded and praised for speaking out in an effort to improve the inner workings of those government departments, whistleblowers are more often being punished.
“Whistleblowers are not the most beloved people by their leaders,” said Steven Bucci, an analyst on homeland security at The Heritage Foundation. “Unfortunately, the system that protects them is really imperfect. Rather than get the corrective action, instead you end up seeing organizations expend more effort to screw with the person who raised the issue.”
This is not surprising under an Obama administration that has overseen an unprecedented rise in convictions of government whistleblowers.
Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all other presidents combined. The President has sentenced whistleblowers to 25 times the jail time of all prior U.S. presidents combined. Critics have accused the President of protecting criminal activity by prosecuting and harassing whistleblowers rather than criminals. Indeed, Obama hasn’t prosecuted even one high-level Wall Street executive, despite the multitude of evidence against them.
This week, yet another whistleblower was convicted, as leaker Jeffrey Sterling was sentenced to 42 months in prison under the Espionage Act.
Sterling was fired in the early 2000s for leaking classified information to New York Times reporter James Risen regarding the US government’s attempt to sell Iran flawed nuclear weapon schematics and project a negative image about the country’s nuclear program.
In related news, two TSA managers recently claimed they were retaliated against after exposing major security problems at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The Office of Special Counsel is taking on the cases of the TSA workers, who claim that they routinely witnessed improperly handled ammunition found at TSA checkpoints and inadequate background checks on travelers.
Andrew Rhoades and Becky Roering, say they were ordered to be transferred by superiors who knew that they would rather quit the TSA than relocate.
“It was a total shock,” Mr. Rhoades said in an interview. “They couldn’t get me on a performance issue, so they reassigned me to try to get me to resign.”
Rhoades claims that the threat of “directed reassignments” is routinely used against whistleblowers by senior management in order to get them to back down.
“Overall security at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has precipitously declined, and most of the staff is absorbed with avoiding retaliation rather than focusing on their jobs,” he told the Office of Special Counsel.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.