Recent Whistleblowers Commentaries

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The Leak
The leak of a US Supreme Court draft decision raised a lot of concerns about the state of confidentiality and trust of the high court. While I’m concerned about the long-term effects of overturning Roe v. Wade, a law that’s been on the books since 1973, I’m seriously concerned about the public’s trust in the Supreme Court. At a conference...
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May 17, 2022
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What Happens When Enough People Are Fed Enough False Information?
In Michael Morell’s 2015 book, The Great War of Our Time, the former CIA deputy director begins with a stunning statement: “the threat of terrorism did not die with Bin Ladin in Abbottabad,” and, left unchecked, is the greatest threat to America. It’s an extraordinary book with details and insight that are both overwhelmingly thought-provoking and frightening. However, when misinformation...
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December 14, 2021
How Do We Fix Facebook?
Embed from Getty Images Facebook is optimizing “content that gets engagement, a reaction, but its own research is showing that content that is hateful, that is divisive, that is polarizing, it’s easier to inspire people to anger than it is to other emotions.” Haugen, a former data scientist who worked for Facebook, came forward with thousands of documents that show...
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October 19, 2021
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The Insiders
Jeffrey Wigand and Frances Haugen have two things in common. Both blew the whistle on impropriety within their respective companies, and both appeared on the news show, 60 Minutes to tell their stories. At the social media company, Facebook, Haugen—with a degree in computer engineering, and a master’s degree in business from Harvard—has 15 years experience in the computer world...
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October 8, 2021
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The Enablers
On July 23, 1974, Republican Congressman Lawrence Hogan held a press conference to explain why he was calling for the impeachment of Richard Nixon. In a story that would easily garner a place in John Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage, had it been written later, Hogan spoke with passion and commitment to a higher principle. “I want with all my heart,”...
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September 30, 2019
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“Credible” and “Urgent”
While trying to stay above the crisis-du-jour by this president, there are some matters that are just too vital to ignore. According to several media reports, a whistleblower in the intelligence community notified the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General (ICIG) of a serious issue involving communication between the president and a foreign leader. “Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence...
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September 20, 2019
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Who is Deep Throat?
For years, during and after Watergate, that was the singular political question that many were interested in knowing the answer. Deep Throat was the secret and anonymous source in the Executive Branch who pointed Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in the right direction to uncover the covert and illegal operations that were taking place in the Nixon...
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September 7, 2018
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Alone with Her
“The film starts with Doug seeking out his next prey. He becomes obsessed with a woman named Amy… he’s able to learn details of her life… He meets her at a coffee shop… strikes up conversations with her. The two become friends, but it seems as though Amy isn’t interested in continuing the relationship further.” That bit of opening plot...
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October 16, 2017
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Sometimes the Good Guys Win
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ordered Wells Fargo, the third largest U.S. bank, to pay a former employee $5.4 million who was fired after he blew the whistle on supervisors regarding fraudulent behavior by the bank. According to the ruling, Wells Fargo must also reinstate a similar position previously held by the employee. NPR reports (Apr. 4), “The...
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April 7, 2017
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Four Who Made a Difference in 2014
While everybody is posting their own end-of-the-year list, here’s my selection of ethical stand-outs. Mike Carey – Carey is the first African-American to referee the Super Bowl and has been honored as one of the best in the game in 2008. While honesty and fairness are critical to his job, so is respect. So, in 2006 Carey quietly requested that...
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December 31, 2014