Whistleblowers: An In-Depth

A deeper look into the history of whistleblowers

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Whistleblowers: An In-Depth

Bhavana Sunil and Katie Swanson, Editor and Reporter

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Recently, an intelligence officer issued a whistle-blower complaint about President Trump’s attempts to solicit interference in the 2020 elections. President Trump called Ukranian President Volodymr Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic Candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. This accusation was severe enough that Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued an impeachment inquiry into President Trump and his proceedings; if enough evidence proves Trump acted inadequately he could be impeached and convicted of his crimes. This is kind of a big deal.

The real question here is not whether of not Trump is guilty-just kidding, this is a big deal-but what is a whistle blower?

A whistle blower is exactly like the name denotes— much like how a referee blows his or her whistle when witnessing a player commit a foul or flagrant offense, a whistleblower is someone who exposes corruption, unethical activity, or illegal offenses in a private or public organization.

Besides the intelligence whistleblower, the most famous government whistleblowers in recent history have included: Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, and most famously, Edward Snowden.

Chelsea Manning was a U.S. army analyst who relayed hundreds of thousands of classified documents she found troubling to Wikileaks. Manning was later acquitted of knowingly giving out intelligence and was convicted of theft and six counts of espionage. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2014. In 2017, President Obama commuted her sentence and she was released. She has since gone to prison again for refusing to testify against Julian Assange. Julian Assange

Edward Snowden, perhaps, the most notable whistleblower of the decade, infamously leaked highly classified information while he was an employee of the CIA such as that the NSA is constantly monitoring and has access to phone calls. As social studies teacher Philip Onwiler said, “Edward Snowden is both seen as a hero and a revile person depending on who you ask.” This seems to be true for all whistleblowers. While some admired Snowden’s willingness to risk his career and future, others felt he betrayed intelligence agencies and put our nation’s national security at risk.

It’s rather ironic that there is such a detestation for whistleblowers when whistleblowing in government has, seemingly, been an American tradition. According to History.com, the first protections for whistleblowing were noted after the creation of the United States. On February,

More will be published on November 15, 2019