"The below has been edited entirely by deletion, mostly by the removal of sections (e.g., on Free Silver) which are not relevant today and which seem unlikely to become relevant in the future.
[Note: If you think the below is irrelevant at this point in time, you should still check back in again every year or two.]
'Corruption dominates the ballot-box, the Legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench. The people are demoralized.The newspapers are largely subsidized, homes covered with mortgages, labor impoverished, and the land concentrating in the hands of capitalists.The urban workmen are denied the right to organize for self-protection, imported pauperized labor beats down their wages, a hireling standing army, unrecognized by our laws, is established to shoot them down, and they are rapidly degenerating into ["European" = terrible] conditions. The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented in the history of mankind; and the possessors of those, in turn, despise the republic and endanger liberty. From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed the two great classes—tramps and millionaires.
The national power to create money is appropriated to enrich bondholders; a vast public debt payable in legal tender currency has been funded into bonds, thereby adding millions to the burdens of the people. A vast conspiracy against mankind has been organized, and it is rapidly taking possession of the world. If not met and overthrown at once it the establishment of an absolute despotism."
("Ignatius Donnelly's Preamble to the 1892 Omaha Platform of the People's Party" via Trollblog)
There's a petition on Public Citizen to designate a part of the stimulus for whistleblower rights. I had a problem signing it and I needed to ask myself why.
It's not just the federal workers who need protection. Anyone working for a company that finds instances of fraud and corruption needs protection. This should be across the board, and should go without saying. Corporate corruption plays a big part in this economic mess.
The whistleblower rights that are in place now are a joke. For every whistleblower that's had their voice heard there are thousands whose voice was either ignored, or had their voice silenced by the corrupt in power. I've followed several cases that went to court and the majority of these cases were won by the company or dismissed for “lack of evidence”. In the meantime many of the whistleblower(s) lives had been ruined.
There was one particular case I followed in which a whistleblower lost his business, his wife left him and he lost everything. When he posted about his situation on various law blogs he was often dismissed as a nut, and had trolls from the company he was fighting following him around trying to ruin his reputation and silence him. He's still vocal and out there, and he has my complete admiration for that. He already lost everything, so he has nothing to lose.
When someone blows the whistle, how do they know the person on the other end isn't corrupt themselves? We hear plenty about corruption in government (see the petition), so how does one know if someone on the other end of a government agency like the Treasury or the SEC isn't corrupt themselves? When someone brought this up on a blog a few months ago the response was chilling and spot on. “There are some who are above the law”.
“Protection” for whistleblowers?
(ETA: "Illusions of whistleblower protection" By Brian Martin)