An article published in the San Francisco Examiner by Barbara Hollingsworth explains why you should be concerned about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s plan to include a provision in the Intelligence Authorization Bill that will “require federal employees working at intelligence agencies to sign a contract stipulating that they would forfeit their federal pensions if they were caught leaking even non-classified information to the press, outside groups like Wikileaks, or even Congress.” The provision will give the “head of each intelligence agency broad discretionary power to decide what a ‘leak’ is – which could be defined as complaints about waste, fraud and abuse – or even risks to public safety.”
Those familiar with whistleblowers know that federal employees who have the courage to speak out about misconduct and violations of law are often wrongfully accused of leaking information in retaliation for speaking the truth. This provision will now allow intelligence agencies to take it one step farther and strip an employee of his or her hard-earned pension if they are accused of leaking information. The chilling effect on federal employees will be immense. They already risk their careers to blow the whistle and have little, if any, legal remedies for getting their jobs back. Now they will be risking their pensions as well.
We cannot stand by and allow this to happen. Please TAKE ACTION and tell the Senate to remove this harmful language from the Intelligence Authorization Bill.