Legacy of Truth Telling: Famous Whistleblowers
When you see misconduct, wrongdoing or fraud on the job, it can be very easy to turn your head and ignore it, particularly if it is being perpetrated by one of your superiors. Doing the right thing can often be difficult. If you are considering becoming a whistleblower, you are not alone. There is a long history of people coming forward to expose the truth, and doing so has toppled both governments and corporations.
Policy of Truth: 5 Famous Whistleblowers
Though back in the day whistleblowers often feared losing their jobs, truth-tellers today enjoy a certain amount of protection by the courts and the law. If you are considering coming forward to expose wrongdoing, it’s important you consult a whistleblowing attorney like Goldberg Kohn to find out exactly what the expectations placed on you will be, what will happen and what the possible results are. They will be able to guide you through the process and ensure you get the best possible outcome.
1) Mark Felt (a.k.a. Deep Throat)
A secret FBI informant, the identity of Deep Throat was debated for decades until Mark Felt finally decided to come forward in 2005. Helping Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein by passing them highly sensitive information, Felt became a symbol for those who wanted to do the right thing. Nixon avoided impeachment by resigning in disgrace, and a nation learned to take a harder look it its politicians.
2) Jeffrey Wiggand
A high ranking executive in the tobacco industry, Jeffrey became aware that huge cigarette brands were packing their product with highly addictive levels of nicotine, as well as targeting “younger markets.” He went on the television news program, “60 Minutes” in 1996 to expose the practices of big tobacco firms and certainly didn’t win himself any friends. A few years later, he was portrayed by Russell Crowe in a movie about the incident, “The Insider.”
3) Coleen Rowley
Former FBI Special Agent Rowley provided the agency with important information about the 9/11 attacks that she said was essentially ignored. In 2002, she came forward with this information and publically demanded to know why it was not acted upon. In doing so, she became one of the nation’s most high-profile whistleblowers.
4) Sherron Watkins
When the Enron scandal broke, Sherron Watkins was at the heart of it. Though Enron was a formidable company to take on, she helped the government to expose them for financial fraud and lies. She was named Time Magazine’s Person of the year, a title she shared with Coleen Rowley, another whistleblower.
5) Bradley Manning
The national jury is still out on Bradley Manning, who some call a traitor and others call a patriot. Manning provided ultimate exposure site, Wikileaks, with official and sensitive government documentation, including the now infamous “Collateral Murder” video which showed both civilians and journalists being killed by a US Apache helicopter crew in Iraq. He has been jailed for 35 years, but the legal campaign grows for him daily.
If you’re thinking of blowing the whistle, there is a long legacy of other truth-tellers you can look to for guidance. While it may not be the easiest path, a specialist whistleblower attorney can help guide you through what you need to do and ensure you come out of it okay. Remember, honesty is always the best policy, no matter what.
Writer Melanie Fleury loves learning about the history of our government and history of people who spoken out against the government. She found the website of Goldberg Kohn very informative. It offers resources for whistleblowers that is valuable for anyone contemplating joining the legacy of truth telling.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/keyofnight/9409921931/
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