President Bush has said he’d veto legislation to fortify legal protection for whistle-blowers, leaving in place a dysfunctional system that enables punishment for government employees who speak out—rather than those they indict. The finger-pointers lose their cases before special courts 97% of the time, reports a new study; Salon profiles the numerous disincentives to speaking up.
One whistle-blower was likened to terrorists by government lawyers and victimized by violent retaliation. Her case is indicative, Salon asserts, of a system “vulnerable to partisan politics” and bent on silencing accusers—who lose 97% of their cases. The current legislation would broaden whistle-blowers’ recourses—if it makes it past the presidential pen.