[JURIST] US Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) [official profile], chairman of the national security subcommittee [official website] of the House Government Reform Committee, said Tuesday that changes in whistleblower laws are needed to provide better protection for whistleblowers in the national security area. The remarks made during a subcommittee hearing [press notice] in which whistleblowers Spc. Samuel Provance [JURIST report], Russ Tice, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer [JURIST report], Richard Levernier and Michael German testified about retaliation they had received for going public on matters ranging from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal to the "Able Danger" Army intelligence program.
Shays was particularly interested in the revocation of security clearances as a means of reprisal, saying that it had the same chilling effect as demotion or firing. Federal whistleblowers are currently covered by the terms of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 [text]. The federal Office of Special Counsel (OSC) [official website] is the independent federal agency whose job it is to protect federal employee whistleblowers from retaliation. AP has more.