Free Speech

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
senate, whistleblower



Do We Need A Whistleblower To Tell The World Which Senator Killed Whistleblower Protection Law?

from the or-are-they-too-scared dept

Last month, we mentioned that the Senate had given its approval to a new law protecting whistleblowers in the federal government. There were some problems with the bill, which led some to fight against it, but much of the bill was useful. With the whole Wikileaks stuff going on, there had been some concern that such a law might lead to similar leaks, but most of Congress recognized that protecting whistleblowers is important. Except for one anonymous Senator. Even though the bill had already passed the Senate. After the House took a bunch of stuff out of the bill, it went back to the Senate again, where an anonymous Senator put a hold on the bill, effectively killing it. It does seem kind of silly that a Senator can do this anonymously. Of course, we can hope that, in the long run, this will work out for the best. Perhaps sometime in the future Congress can pass a better bill that is actually much more protective of whistleblowers.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2011 @ 3:54pm

    Lieberman?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2011 @ 4:46pm

    This is part of the democrat package to reform the rules for filibusters that would remove this option. An individual senator can (and often does) use this Nuclear option to knock legislation off the order papers. It is ugly and it's been very popular with whichever side is in the minority.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Coward (Anon), 3 Jan 2011 @ 4:58pm

    But sometimes it is used for good

    Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon put a hold on the COICA (aka the Internet Blacklist bill) that prevented it from coming up for a vote in 2010. Given the money and leverage the AAs can bring to the table, the bill is likely to pass if voted on. But the anonymous aspect of the hold on the whistleblower bill seems not right. Either stand up for what you believe in or get out of the way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Matt, 3 Jan 2011 @ 5:30pm

      Re: But sometimes it is used for good

      But there's a huge difference between one principled Senator standing up to block a bad piece of legislation - and a cowardly one sabotaging it from the shadows!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2011 @ 5:46pm

        Re: Re: But sometimes it is used for good

        One is worse than the other, but both are bad. No single senator ore representative should ever have power to completely stop legislation.

        The reason we have 100 senators and multiple hundred representatives is so that everyone's voice is heard equally and the majority opinion prevails. Allowing one person to stop legislation is literally giving that person power greater than the presidential veto (at least the president can be overruled).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Casey, 3 Jan 2011 @ 7:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: But sometimes it is used for good

          It is wrong that the majority view is supposed to prevail. The founding fathers were as distrustful of true democracy as they were of living in a monarchy. We are a representative republic. That rule was created so that legislation would NOT be pushed through the halls of government without being thoughtfully considered. The big issue with the American government is the people who hold power. Our politicians are in no way looking out for us and it is not one side or the other doing it, it is both.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2011 @ 6:19am

          Re: Re: Re: But sometimes it is used for good

          This rule was specifically crafted to avoid "the tyranny of the majority".

          Also, it can be overruled. By the same margin as a presidential veto if I'm not mistaken (2/3rds majority)

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      abc gum, 4 Jan 2011 @ 4:36am

      Re: But sometimes it is used for good

      "Either stand up for what you believe in or get out of the way."

      I like the idea that politicians should wear stickers like in NASCAR.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    monkyyy, 3 Jan 2011 @ 5:58pm

    if its mine again, after i wrote him complaining about voting for the internet censorship bill, and got repeated lobbyist lies back including ones i did argue of being unsupported; im going to have to....ummmm write him again and complain about his ignorance

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2011 @ 7:35pm

    Senators's action must be responsible for the people they represents. The permission to submit bills anonymously doesn't make any sense at all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Darryl, 4 Jan 2011 @ 1:31am

    wikileaks is not a whistleblower, by its definition

    None of this makes any difference to assange or wikileaks, and they do not fall under the definition of a whitleblower.

    The US will ignore whistleblower laws, and change him on something more substantial.

    Also, if you have been following international news regarding wikileaks, it is MOST CERTAINLY NOT, about how the US has responded to it. Or their reaction to it..

    Most of the international news about wikileaks is about specific leaks, and how trivial they generally are.

    It's turned out to be very little 'dirt' some fluff and little substance. Certainly nothing to get really upset about, but regardless, assange will probably meet his cumuppense soon enough.. if he has not allready, but just does not know it yet.

    He got his 15 minutes of fame, then some, his time has passed, it will be "what ever happend to him??" next. the reply will be 'who cares !!'..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws.org (profile), 4 Jan 2011 @ 1:58am

      Re: wikileaks is not a whistleblower, by its definition

      next. the reply will be 'who cares !!'..

      Which are you quite used to given your bogus comments. Still, ppl will remember Assange as the one who started it and not a puny Darryl. Pity.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2011 @ 9:05am

      Re: wikileaks is not a whistleblower, by its definition

      I love how the Wikileaks whiners seamlessly jump back and forth between "there is nothing that damaging in the leaks so who cares!?" and "these leaks are destroying America!!!!!!!!"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2011 @ 7:13am

    They are all just waiting for the check. Put it on hold until the bribe comes in.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chinese overlord, 4 Jan 2011 @ 8:58pm

    Senators bought and sold

    Every senator and congressman is for sale to do the bidding of private industry. This is the American way, and part of the reason America is going down into the shitter. Good luck when the only thing left in America is lawyers, politicians and a giant debt which you can't pay off.

    I'd like to find out who this senator is and send them a big bag of shit to tell them my opinion of their vote.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Yuhong Bao, 4 Jan 2011 @ 10:25pm

    It is worse than silly

    "It does seem kind of silly that a Senator can do this anonymously."
    It is worse than that. Why did you think the Senator wanted to do this anonymously?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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