First, of all, it has been some time since federal employees had a true pension. At least three different retirement systems exist. Employees have been put in to one of them based on when they started their federal service. It used to be that workers had something more like a pension in many federal and state jobs, including teaching. But over time, that was abandoned by the employers as it was seen as too expensive. (for them) Currently federal employees who have been working for around 20 years have essentially just a 401 K, which is called the Federal Thrift Savings Plan. For a short while, employees got a small percentage of matching funds, but I am not sure if that is still being honored. The money these federal employees have in the Federal Thrift Savings Plan is their own money, deducted out of each paycheck and put away for their own retirement, should they live long enough to collect it.
Several years ago, the Executive Branch made the decision to borrow a bunch of money from these federal employees personal savings accounts to pay for war expenses. Supposedly they were supposed to pay it back. The withdrawal was done very quietly. Most federal workers did not know their funds were being taken out. Does anyone have good knowledge of this and do you know if it indeed was paid back? Somehow I doubt it, in which case, it more resembles theft. It would be like someone going to your bank, without your knowledge or permission, accessing your personal individual savings account and withdrawing a large portion of your savings and leaving you an "iou" sitting in the account. If you didn't go in to check your balance and account status, you would not even know it happened. For those of you who will be irritated by my clarifying that situation, please read on.
The real issue of this article appears to be efforts by at least part of the Senate Intelligence Committee to take away the retirements of anyone they deem to be a whistleblower. Just great. Many federal and other government whistleblowers are individuals who were trying to do their jobs following the laws and ethical demands so stated in their employment oath and/or job description.
Due to the extreme amount of corruption and corrupt people, particularly in management in some areas of government, they became whistleblowers for standing up to wrongdoers, refusing to look the other way when they discovered criminal behavior, waste, fraud, and other problems. If they refused to take orders from supervisors to commit fraud, or to help cover up the crimes rather than report them, open up and finish inquiries, and other types of correct response, many of them became targeted whistleblowers, whose work life, and in some cases personal life as well were no doubt going to take on nightmare qualities and proportions, due to the efforts of the bad actors to take them down and out.
Please read the next notice from a whistleblower organization carefully and take action as they ask. This is very important for everyone. If they are allowed to do this, then no one will dare stand up to the evil and corrupted people in management. We will be moved ever so much closer to living in a dictatorial police state. GFS
Whistleblower's Pensions Threatened By Intelligence Committee
Tomorrow in a "closed" mark-up, the members of the Senate Intelligence Committee plan to slip into an appropriations bill a provision that will give the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the heads of other intelligence agencies, such as the CIA and NSA, the power to strip whistleblowers of their pensions. The appropriations mark-up is scheduled for Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm EST.
The provision empowers intelligence agency bureaucrats to strip whistleblowers of their hard-earned pensions, simply by accusing them of leaking classified information.
This provision is so dangerous because intelligence agencies often retaliate against whistleblowers by accusing of them of leaking information. For example, prominent whistleblower Dr. Frederic Whitehurst, who blew the whistle on forensic fraud and misconduct at the FBI crime lab, was falsely accused of leaking information.
TAKE ACTION! Protect whistleblowers' pensions!
The government also retroactively classifies information as way of targeting whistleblowers. For example, in the case of FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, who blew the whistle on national security breaches in the FBI's translation division, the FBI retroactively marked as classified information about her allegations long after the same information had been publicly released by the FBI.
The Obama administration's recent announcement targeting whistleblowers as part of its campaign to prevent leaks to the news media and Wikileaks makes situations such as Dr. Whitehurst and Ms. Edmonds more likely to occur.
TAKE ACTION! Time is of the Essence!
Stripping pensions based on accusations of classified leaks will be yet another way that the government can retaliate against whistleblowers. It will also increase the existing chilling effect and deter federal employees from lawfully exposing waste, fraud and abuse. On the whim of the DNI, whistleblowers will lose their life savings and be forced into poverty.
The whistleblowers who lose their pensions will not be able to take their case to court. Instead, they will be forced to use the DNI's Mickey Mouse administrative procedures to try to defend themselves. In other words, the DNI will be the prosecutor, the judge and the jury to strip pensions from whistleblowers.
Please take a minute to Call Senator Diane Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and tell her to stop threatening whistleblowers and withdraw such harmful language from the Intelligence Authorization Bill.
Senator Diane Feinstein (202) 224-3841
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