How CREDO funding helps protect whistleblowers with the Government Accountability Project

Note from the CREDO team: This November, the Government Accountability Project is among three amazing groups that will receive a share of our monthly grant. Funding from the CREDO community will help the organization expand whistleblower protections and to disclose corruption within jails and detention centers, on factory farms, at nuclear power plants, within the oil industry, at banks, by big pharma, and throughout society.

Read this important blog post from Louis Clark, Executive Director and CEO of the Government Accountability Project, then click here to visit to cast your vote to help determine how we distribute our monthly grant to this organization and our other amazing grantees this November.

Nurse Dawn Wooten was horrified when the women under her care confided in her about their medical abuse at an immigration detention center. Many of these women were receiving unnecessary hysterectomies and other invasive medical operations without their consent. Subsequently, she also learned that some of the victims who complained about losing their ability to ever have children were quickly deported. Raised in a religious home by a mother and grandmother that encouraged her to speak up about injustice, she blew the whistle on what was happening at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia. She was immediately fired. Soon we at Government Accountability Project, headquartered in Washington DC, took up her cause. When we went public, news media from every part of the world contacted us to report about the human rights violations. 173 members of Congress including Speaker Pelosi signed on to a demand that the Department of Homeland Security thoroughly investigate, leading to the firing of the doctor responsible and the permanent closing of the detention center. At events honoring her courage and tenacity, Ms. Wooten explained: “All these poor, vulnerable people who I cared for were seeking was just a better life for their families. And this nation—the ‘land of the free and home of the brave’—denied these young women their ability and right to ever have children.”

At all times, we at the Government Accountability Project represent a hundred or more clients just like Nurse Wooten. While everyone around them remains silent out of fear or complacency, these courageous truth-tellers are moved to speak up. It is our mission to ensure that they do not drown beneath the waves that they make. Not only do we fight to keep them on the job or to get their jobs back, but we also launch campaigns like we did for Nurse Wooten to force governments and corporations to end corrupt practices and institute reforms that will ensure that the exposed wrongdoing will never again take place. Finally, we convince elected leaders to enact whistleblower protections and develop effective channels to address whistleblower concerns. Over the last 45 years, we developed over 35 federal laws that Congress later enacted and are working to do the same for 27 nations of the European Union.

Whistleblowers are society’s most powerful tool to fight abuses of power, illegality, public health dangers, environmental threats, gross waste, politicized science, and other forms of wrongdoing. Insider information effectively investigated, strategically applied, and brought to public attention has the potential to transform companies and agencies in profound ways. In actual fact, truth-tellers are the antidote to corruption because they bring the sunlight to the dark corners of our society that need reform. They cannot perform this positive function without organized, experienced, and expert help, such as what we provide daily. When whistleblowers stand alone, it is easy for bureaucracies and corporations to focus on and then destroy the messenger, rather than clean house. As soon as we become involved, we change the narrative. We focus instead on the wayward institution and bring government regulators, government officials, the news media, other public organizations, citizen groups to bear on the wrongdoing institution. Of course, we fight just as hard to see that the truth-teller is made whole as well.

Government Accountability Project also represents whistleblowers in agriculture, pharmaceuticals, intelligence, education, nuclear energy, and countless other fields. Wherever a whistleblower stands up to speak the truth, Government Accountability Project is there to stand with them. Since our founding in the wake of Watergate in 1977, we have become the world’s leading advocate for whistleblowers and advocate for addressing their concerns. We have achieved success in bringing significant change based upon the information whistleblowers disclose on a wide range of public interest issues, including climate change denialism, food integrity, drug safety, fossil fuel contamination, banking and financial fraud, nuclear weapons cleanup dangers, nuclear power quality assurance violations, medical malpractice at Veterans Administration hospitals, international money laundering, and scientific fraud.

Just as whistleblowers need legal and advocacy support to challenge powerful institutions and interests, Government Accountability Project needs your support to stand up for truth and democracy. By sharing our message with your community, reaching out to your elected representatives to express your support for whistleblowers, and honoring us with your vote of confidence and donations, you become an active participant in the fight for accountability and justice. We cannot do what we do without you. When we stand together, we can successfully challenge even the most powerful forces in our society. You will also demonstrate that you agree with us that truth deserves a champion.