As Michael Neff tells it to Senators on Capitol Hill: "Defending the need for whistleblowers is like defending the need for sunshine. The need should be self-evident to anyone."
Michael Neff of Web del Sol, and author of the new novel, "Year of The Rhinoceros", was chosen to be one of seven lobbyists (Seven Against Corruption) from the Government Accountability Project (GAP) now touring the Russell and Dirksen buildings in D.C. and meeting with Senatorial staffs for the purpose of enlightening them on the need for stronger protections for whistleblowers in Washington. It's all part of GAP's National Whistleblower Assembly 2009 effort to convince Washington that the nation cannot possibly be safe or prosperous without government workers on the front lines who feel secure about pointing out fraud, waste, and abuse of power.
Furthermore, he is using his knowledge of whistleblower history in Washington (from extensive research for his novel "Year of the Rhinoceros") to inform Capitol Hill that the notion of using bureaucrats to police bureaucrats is sheer folly. Specifically, he refers to the infamous Office of Special Counsel, a corrupt government agency that for over twenty years has betrayed and retaliated against whistleblowers.
"And in case you don't think this is a serious issue," Neff says, "we're talking, for example, about scientists muzzled by pharma money and blackballed from their jobs because they dared to truthfully report that classes of new drugs will cause cancer."
So, ask yourself, is it worth the well-being of this country to support protection for human beings with enough integrity and compassion to just tell the truth?
The answer should be self-evident.
Neff himself was once a whistleblower in a federal agency known as GSA. "On my way out the door, I supplied management with a two-inch thick folder concerning the incompetence and wrongdoing at my small office, the Committee Management Secretariat."
But unlike many whistleblowers, Michael Neff did not desire his old job back. "I didn't fight to return to GSA, because quite frankly, it would have been like struggling to return to Hell."