Friday, March 24, 2006

Whistleblowers Demand Apology From Souder

Indiana Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ft. Wayne) has earned a reputation as an independent, reform-minded conservative since he's been in Congress. He recently stunned many people with his derisive views toward government whistleblowers. While speaking at a House committee hearing on legislation which would offer whistleblower status to employees of the Department of Homeland Security, Souder said:

"I don't see a bunch of these whistle-blowers out there panning for food because they whistled," Souder said during the meeting. They're celebrities in the media. They sell books and all that. It's a bogus argument for political purposes."

Rep. Souder was speaking in opposition to an amendment offered by Rep. Ed. Markey (D-MA). Markey's amendment would have allowed any Department of Homeland Security employee who faced retaliation for reporting a national or homeland security concern to file a complaint with the Department of Labor. If the department didn't act within six months, the person could sue.

Rep. Souder's press secretary assures us his comments were taken out of context. "In fact he does support protection for whistle-blowers," Martin Green said. "He thinks we have to be very careful with national security whistle-blowers because of the classified nature involved."

But the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, which represents about 85 insiders, said Souder went too far with his criticism. "We read with astonishment, disappointment and a great deal of outrage the comments you made," coalition founder Sibel Edmonds said in a letter to Rep. Souder.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Gary, for always working to hold our public officals-as well, those 501 cheats-accountable.