Chelsea Manning freed from prison


Chelsea Manning left Ft. Leavenworth prison today at 2 a.m. Central Time. She had served seven years of an extreme 35-year sentence for whistleblowing, a sentence President Obama commuted just before leaving office.

In prison, the Army private, formerly known as Bradley Manning, struggled for transgender rights and wrote about her upcoming release, “For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea, I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world.”  Upon release, she expressed appreciation for “the wonderful support that I have received from so many people across the world over these past years.”

Trump creates office of whistleblower protection at Veterans Administration


President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order on April 27 establishing, within 45 days, an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection, to be led by a Special Assistant to the Secretary.

The office will “work closely with relevant VA components to ensure swift and effective resolution of veterans’ complaints of wrongdoing at the VA” and to “ensure adequate investigation and correction of wrongdoing throughout the VA, and to protect employees who lawfully disclose wrongdoing from retaliation.”


Brave whistleblowers still face overwhelming odds


“Alamo evening” by Steven Kennedy, Flickr CC.

In a recent article, “Democrats on Capitol Hill ask White House not to gag federal employees“, the Washington Post quotes from a Congressional letter to President Trump.

“As the new Administration seeks to better understand what problems exist in this area, this is an appropriate time to remind employees about the value of protected disclosures to Congress and inspectors general in accordance with whistleblower protection law,” their letter added.

President Obama reduces Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence


We Support Whistleblowers / Free Bradley Manning / Twin Cities Pride Parade

The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama has commuted whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s 35-year prison sentence, allowing her to be released from Fort Leavenworth on May 17, 2017.  Manning’s sentence, wrote the New York Times, was “the longest ever handed down in a case involving a leak of United States government information for the purpose of having the information reported to the public.”

Intelligence officials leak surprise decision in whistleblower case



The Project on Government Oversight reports that a three-person panel authorized by Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive 19 concluded last May that the National Security Agency’s inspector general retaliated against a whistleblower. Based on that information, Director Michael Rogers sent IG George Ellard a termination notice.  The IG, who is on administrative leave while he appeals the decision, said in 2014, “Snowden could have come to me. We have surprising success in resolving the complaints that are brought to us.”

Our Hero in Flint


Story by Tom Nugent and Laura Silverman

Published in the September 2016 issue of At Buffalo (SUNY at Buffalo). Re-published with permission

When civil engineer Marc Edwards (BS ’86) warned Michigan state officials and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that lead-contaminated drinking water was poisoning the children of Flint, he expected them to declare an emergency. Instead, the regulators insisted there was no cause for alarm. That’s when Edwards, now frequently described as “The Hero of Flint,” realized he would have to take matters into his own hands.

Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” a bridge for the national divide


With the political campaign season over, now is a good time to see (or see again) “Snowden,” Oliver Stone’s powerful film about a whistleblower disclosure that rocked the world.  Information provided in the film is essential to understanding issues likely to be debated in the next Congress and administration.

Congress awaits TSA explanation for whistleblower’s treatment



Robert MacLean testifies to Congress. Photo by Linda Lewis

Robert MacLean testifies to Congress. Photo by Linda Lewis

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wants an explanation from the Transportation Security Agency for its treatment of Robert MacLean, whose disclosure foiled TSA plans to pull air marshals off long distance commercial flights after the 9/11 attacks.