Archive

Silence of the whistle-blowers | TribLIVE.com
Editorials

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.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.