Over the last two months, TechFreedom has signed two letters urging members of Congress to enact legislation to protect whistleblowers within the military from retaliation.
The first letter, issued on April 29, is addressed to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in support of the Legal Justice for Servicemembers Act of 2015. The bill would overhaul existing laws, ensuring that military whistleblowers receive the same protections offered to civilian whistleblowers.
Among other reforms, the bill would permit whistleblowers to legally challenge investigations launched against them in retaliation, and it would apply the Whistleblower Protection Act burden of proof against retaliation.
As the letter notes, “speaking out on wrongdoing in the military can be particularly challenging for service members who are trained to stay in line and follow orders. The stakes could not be higher for military whistleblowers who speak out against fraud, waste, abuse, and sexual assault in the military. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office noted a number of deficiencies in the protections offered to members of the military who report wrongdoing, and far too often, those whistleblowers are unfairly punished for their efforts to bring accountability to the armed services.”
The letter, which was sent to several members of both the House and Senate armed services committees, highlights several sections of the NDAA that would help protect whistleblowers and should thus be preserved. These provisions establish similar protections against retaliation, including assistance from the Special Victims’ Counsel, the creation of a strategy to prevent retaliation, and protections against conflicts of interest in investigations.
Ultimately, the legislation discussed in these two letters will take an important step in providing the protection necessary for service members to help hold military accountable