Whistleblowers, Moral Injury, and Endless War Was Chelsea Manning Motivated By Moral Injury?

By Peter Van Buren

“My guilt will never go away,” former Marine Matthew Hoh explained to me. “There is a significant portion of me that doesn’t believe it should be allowed to go away, that this pain is fair.”

If America accepts the idea of fighting endless wars, it will have to accept something else as well: that the costs of war are similarly endless. I’m thinking about the trillions of dollars, the million or more “enemy” dead (a striking percentage of them civilians), the tens of thousands of American combat casualties, those 20 veteran suicides each day, and the diminished lives of those who survive all of that. There’s that pain, carried by an unknown number of women and men, that won’t disappear, ever, and that goes by the label “moral injury.”Continue reading

Chelsea Manning freed from prison

Chelsea Manning left Ft. Leavenworth prison today at 2 a.m. Central Time. She had served seven years of an extreme 35-year sentence for whistleblowing, a sentence President Obama commuted just before leaving office.

In prison, the Army private, formerly known as Bradley Manning, struggled for transgender rights and wrote about her upcoming release, “For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea, I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world.”  Upon release, she expressed appreciation for “the wonderful support that I have received from so many people across the world over these past years.”Continue reading

Trump creates office of whistleblower protection at Veterans Administration

President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order on April 27 establishing, within 45 days, an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection, to be led by a Special Assistant to the Secretary.

The office will “work closely with relevant VA components to ensure swift and effective resolution of veterans’ complaints of wrongdoing at the VA” and to “ensure adequate investigation and correction of wrongdoing throughout the VA, and to protect employees who lawfully disclose wrongdoing from retaliation.”

[Cross-posted from Whistleblowing Today}

Brave whistleblowers still face overwhelming odds

“Alamo Evening” by Steven Kennedy, Flickr CC

In a recent article, “Democrats on Capitol Hill ask White House not to gag federal employees“, the Washington Post quotes from a Congressional letter to President Trump.

“As the new Administration seeks to better understand what problems exist in this area, this is an appropriate time to remind employees about the value of protected disclosures to Congress and inspectors general in accordance with whistleblower protection law,” their letter added.

I have worked with whistleblowers for 40 years and would like to share my thoughts with the President and Congress about the problems they face.

Continue reading

President Obama reduces Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence

We Support Whistleblowers / Free Bradley Manning / Twin Cities Pride Parade

The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama has commuted whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s 35-year prison sentence, allowing her to be released from Fort Leavenworth on May 17, 2017.  Manning’s sentence, wrote the New York Times, was “the longest ever handed down in a case involving a leak of United States government information for the purpose of having the information reported to the public.”Continue reading

Intelligence officials leak surprise decision in whistleblower case

justice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Cross=posted at Whistleblowing Today]

The Project on Government Oversight reports that a three-person panel authorized by Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive 19 concluded last May that the National Security Agency’s inspector general retaliated against a whistleblower. Based on that information, Director Michael Rogers sent IG George Ellard a termination notice. The IG, who is on administrative leave while he appeals the decision, said in 2014, “Snowden could have come to me. We have surprising success in resolving the complaints that are brought to us.”Continue reading