For further information, please contact Robert MacLean:
Phone: 310-218-6176

– Press Release –
Thirteen national security whistleblowers on Monday, May 11, sent
President Barack Obama an open letter asking that he take immediate
steps to end the “second-class status” of federal employees like
themselves and to criminalize bureaucratic retaliation against
government workers who exercise their free speech rights in the public

The group applauded Obama’s long-standing interest in and advocacy for
whistleblower rights, saying that it was also “heartened by your special
relationship with America’s young people and by your call on them to
make a significant contribution to their country through public service.”
However, the group noted in their letter, “A call to public service without
needed whistleblower protection can only – at some future date – put at
risk those most inspired by your leadership.”

It asked the president to take “concrete steps in favor of national security
whistleblowers that will help to restore time-honored values of openness,
honesty and transparency to the federal service – and help those
entrusted with the nation’s secrets to do their jobs in a manner
consistent with the public interest.”

“In the years before your presidency, each one of us undertook a largely
solitary battle in favor of the values we share with you,” they noted. “And
in doing so, each one of us, together with our families, and sometimes
our friends and colleagues, have paid a heavy price for our ethical

“As the federal government of necessity grows in response to the many
crises that you have inherited from your predecessor, the lack of
protection currently afforded to whistleblowers means that federal
workers – the front line in the fight against fraud and waste, and best
guarantee that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and government works
effectively – must either sit on the sidelines or, still forced to look over
their shoulders for signs of reprisal, risk their careers.”

The group pointed out that the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB),
charged with adjudicating federal worker claims, has found only one case
of illegal retaliation in 56 decisions on the merits. And only three
whistleblowers out of 212 prevailed in decisions on the merits in the
Federal Circuit Court of Appeals since October 1994, when the current
whistleblower “protection” law last was modified.

The letter pointed to the “special vulnerability” of people like those who
signed it, who do not have any “real safeguards” against retaliation.
“Instead, for protecting this nation, we and others face having our
security clearances yanked, as well as a rosary of humiliation,
demotions, threats, punitive polygraphs and myriad other intimidatory
measures.” Meanwhile, even as independent agencies and organizations
corroborate whistleblower complaints, the letter noted, “wrongdoers are
mostly allowed to retain their posts – and many even receive promotions.”

“For all that you have accomplished in little more than 100 days in office,
we are sure you would agree that ensuring true transparency and
accountability means the enforcement of a zero-tolerance policy for
repression and retaliation, and the guaranteeing of the legal rights of
every federal employee,” the group concluded.

One of the letter signers, Martin Edwin Andersen, called on President
Obama to endorse a proposal by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who has
reintroduced legislation (HR) 985 – supported by the president during
last year’s campaign – that would allow national security whistleblowers
federal court access, full due process and jury trials.

“For too long national security whistleblowers have been left to feel that
they are the contemporary ‘300’ of American bureaucratic Sparta,”
Andersen said, referring to the epic film about King Leonidas and a force
of 300 men who fought to the death against an army of autocratic and
decadent Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.

“The Van Hollen approach would at least provide us with real shields
rather than paper shields when doing battle against entrenched
bureaucratic wrongdoing.”

The signers of the letter to President Obama include:

Martin Edwin Andersen
Former senior advisor for policy planning at the Department of Justice’s Criminal
Division; Winner of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel’s 2001 “Public Servant Award”
Mark Danielson
Department of Energy Special Response Team (SRT) whistleblower
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Michael DeKort
Former Lockheed Martin program manager/systems engineer; exposed waste, fraud
and abuse on Coast Guard Deepwater program and major security/safety issues
Bogdan Dzakovic
Aviation Security whistleblower regarding the 9-11 attacks, as well as current issues
within the Transportation Security Administration
Richard E. Hoskins II
Formerly of the Federal Air Marshal Service; Only Non-Air Marshal to report corrupt
behavior and violations of veterans rights to the Office of Special Counsel and Congress
Robert J. MacLean
Former Federal Air Marshal, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
National Whistleblower Liaison, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA)
Spencer A. Pickard
Former Federal Air Marshal, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Coleen Rowley
Retired FBI Agent (retired 2004) and former Minneapolis FBI Division Legal Counsel
Craig R. Sawyer
Former Tier-1 level U.S. Navy SEAL Operator, decorated for “Heroic Service” in combat;
“Original 33” Federal Air Marshal and whistleblower, as an ATSAIC (manager) in the
Federal Air Marshal Service, against gross mismanagement and retaliation.
Lt. Eric N. Shine
Graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point [1991]; Federal
maritime engineering watch officer
George R. Taylor
U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Air Marshal Service
Frank Terreri
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) director of labor relations;
FLEOA Federal Air Marshal Agency President
Russell D. Tice
Former intelligence analyst and capabilities operations officer for Special Access
Programs (SAP) Information Warfare, National Security Agency (NSA)
(Non-National Security Whistleblower Category)
Peter D. Nesbitt
FAA Whistleblower Alliance