Will Obama Keep His Promise to Federal Whistleblowers?

Coleen Rowley, a former FBI agent turned whistleblower, went public about the bureau's alleged mishandling of the suspected terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui's case. She shed light on FBI and intelligence community issues in 2002 before the Senate Judiciary Committee, charging that the FBI's incompetence may have made the U.S. vulnerable to the 9/11 attacks. After unsuccessful attempts to warn the officials about the dangers of launching the Iraq War, Rowley stepped down from her position as a Chief Division Counsel and went back to being an FBI special agent. She retired from the agency in 2004 after 24 years of service.

Whistleblowers

Joe Darby

Joe Darby is the Army reservist who sounded the alarm about the infamous Abu Ghraib prison photos that highlighted prisoner abuse at the hands of U.S. soldiers. The photos became a worldwide scandal that prompted the investigation and conviction of several soldiers involved in the photo sessions, while Darby was hailed as hero by some and as a traitor by others. He received death threats and had to move his family to a military protection residence after his house was vandalized. In his statement, Darby said he made the disclosure because "it violated everything I personally believed in and all I'd been taught about the rules of war."

Sibel Edmonds

Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator, said she was fired from the bureau's Washington field office after accusing a co-worker of illicit activities and security breaches. Edmonds, who worked as a Turkish translator for the FBI, alleged that sensitive national security information – including nuclear weapon secrets – were compromised by corrupt officials who were paid off by foreign intelligence agents. Her lawsuit was thrown out of court after the Bush Administration invoked the state secrets privilege, which allows the government to withhold information to safeguard national security.

Justin Grant and Yuliya Talinova contributed to this report.

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