Halliburton Whistleblower Gagged by US Army Corps of Engineers after Testifying in Congress
Bunnatine H. Greenhouse www.opednews.com
May 20, 2009
Bunny Greenhouse Retaliated Against After Testifying To Congress
I wrote last week that I would be testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform because I believe that all employees should be protected from retaliation for reporting waste, fraud, and abuse. I did not expect that within hours of my testimony I would be subject to additional retaliation. At 6:23 p.m. I was forwarded an email written by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chief of Staff stating that from now on, all testimony before Congress must be pre-approved by the Army Corps and that all oral testimony must conform to the approved written testimony.
I am shocked by this blatant violation of the First Amendment. I said nothing improper during my testimony, I simply told the truth. I was testifying on my own time while I was on unpaid leave. I appeared at the invitation of Congress, to explain what happened when I reported improprieties surrounding the awarding of contracts to Halliburton-KBR just prior to the invasion of Iraq. The restriction imposed upon my right and the right of other federal employees to testify before Congress in our personal capacity free from restrain and censorship must stop NOW!
The newest attempt to silence me is the kind of retaliation that frightens government employees. Federal employees have no protection when up against powerful special interests, who can intimidate and prevent federal employees from enforcing the law. This is why Securities and Exchange Commission employees are afraid to police Wall Street. This is why Food and Drug Administration employees are afraid to police powerful pharmaceutical companies. This is why food safety inspectors are afraid to police powerful agri-business.
Its time to fight back when federal employees are forced to submit to censorship and are blocked from exercising their constitutional right to "petition Congress for redress of grievances."