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.
This is why New Media Rights recently joined with a variety of organizations, including Project on Government Oversight, Government Accountability Project, Public Citizen, Sunlight Foundation, Demand Progress and others, in sending a letter to Congressional leaders supporting critical protections f in sending a letter to Congressional leaders supporting critical protections for military whistleblowers. We've worked with various filmmakers and creators who bring light to issues in our military. These have included working on an important film about the treatment of workers in U.S. bases overseas, and a recently launched podcast on Veteran's issues.
New Media Rights joined the Electronic Frontier foundation and over 30 other groups in sending an open letter to U.S. lawmakers today, calling on government officials to respect freedom of expression in the debate over the whistle-blower website Wikileaks.
In the wake of Wikileaks' recent publications of U.S. diplomatic cables, some lawmakers have attacked newspapers' rights to report on the information in those documents. Other government officials have cast doubt on Americans' right to download, read, or discuss documents published by Wikileaks and even the news reporting based on those documents.
Rash legislation was proposed that could limit the free speech of news reporting organizations well beyond Wikileaks. In the open letter sent Wednesday, 30 groups, including New Media Rights, urged lawmakers to remember and respect constitutional rights as Congress continues to discuss the issues at stake.
New Media Rights joined the call for stronger whistleblower protection by supporting S. 372 over the last few months with our friends from the Government Accountability Project and numerous other public interest organizations. Last Friday, the Senate unanimously approved the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 372), bringing us closer to achieving enhanced whistleblower protections than ever before. The House could vote on the bill as early as tomorrow.The letter included here encourages the House of Representatives to protect Whistleblowers and Taxpayers by passing this legislation.
Wikileaks.org, a site dedicated to providing an open forum for whistleblowers to expose corporate and government misdeeds, has been shut down in its entirety by a U.S. federal district court in San Francisco. This is really a "New Media Wrong."
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