Silence of the whistle-blowers |

Silence of the whistle-blowers

Since the Government Accountability Office this year exposed retaliation against whistle-blowers within the FBI, further investigation finds that only five bureau employees reportedly have been disciplined since 2004.

According to the GAO report, the Justice Department dumped 40 out of 62 FBI whistle-blower complaints, oftentimes because of technicalities. In some cases, claims of retaliation were discarded and, presumably, not refiled simply because they were made to the wrong person.

At least one FBI whistle-blower case, which dragged on for 10 years, involved a complaint about thievery from Ground Zero after the 9/11 terrorists attacks.

The discrepancy between the number of complaints received about retaliation against whistle-blowers and FBI employees disciplined merits a closer look. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, told The Hill newspaper he wants a better explanation from the FBI.

As we said when the GAO report was released, no federal agency should get a pass on whistle-blower complaints. Neither should retaliation be tolerated, least of all by a law-enforcement agency.

Punishing retaliators is necessary “to change the culture of the bureau,” Mr. Grassley said. The FBI needs to start doing a better job cleaning its own house.

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