On the Daily Show last night, following President Obama’s Oval Office speech, Jon Stewart delivered a monologue addressing the president’s record on civil liberties and executive power. Stewart plays a number of clips of President Obama from the campaign trail, where he states his positions on Guantanamo Bay, warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, covert military operations, habeas corpus rights for detainees, and whistleblowers.

The whistleblower clip quotes President Obama on the campaign trail saying that he “knows something about whistle blowing, and about getting those folks the proper protection.” Stewart responds by asking, “if by protection, did he mean sun block? …Because arresting them doesn’t seem like protection.”

It is true, as a presidential candidate, President Obama championed whistleblower rights and supported enacting best practice whistleblower legislation. However, his administration has presided over the prosecution of numerous whistleblowers, including UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld and NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake. The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, meant to be the centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s commitment to accountability, transparency and oversight has been watered down and filled with poison pills and roadblocks.

Watch the Daily Show clip below. When you finish watching, take action, and let President Obama and Congress know that the time to truly enhance whistleblower rights is now.  

 *Meryl Grenadier (NWC Fellow) drafted this post.

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