Like all of us, even powerful institutions and governments have secrets; these may be secrets of fraudulent practice, corruption or simply just about incompetence. Many amid the institution may be aware of the under the wrap practices but it takes courage to be a whistleblower and bring to attention various dirty missions, under-the-table commissions and covert strategies of organizations or governments. Listed below are top 10 radical whistleblowers who deserve admiration. Lots of it!
Israel, the lone Jewish democracy in the Middle East, had always been really secretive about its nuclear program. Israel was always in the denial mode when it came to nuclear weapons everyone hated so much. It was only when Mordechai Vanunu, a technician told the secret to the Sunday Times in London. Soon, the world got to know that Israel had well over 100 nuclear weapons.
Allan Cutler was the first whistleblower in the Canadian AdScam or the sponsorship scandal, which involved the Canadian Government. Following his expose, Cutler was fired from the Canadian Government. But as the case processed (which is still subjudice) the government was compelled to pass a legislation for the protection of whistleblowers.
Turkish born American, Sibel Edmonds is a former FBI language translator who was fired from FBI in the year 2002, when she tried to uncover security issues, incompetence, money laundering and nuclear black market. Edmonds now runs the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, to help future whistleblowers with legal and other kinds of assistance. She’s quite an inspiration for people who want to give up the greed for petty profits or overcome the fear of losing the long and arduous legal battle against a mighty but corrupt institution or government.
The 9/11 attack on the world trade center is largely believed to be a per-planned assault. Journalists, experts and commoners believe that FBI and other government agencies had information that Zacarias Moussaoui was allegedly planning suicide hijacking. Coleen Rowley, wanted to search Maussaoui, but was denied permission. Post the attacks, Rowley told her superiors, owing to her honesty, many changes have been made in FBI’s strategies and working manners to improve counter terrorism.
National Security Agency executive, Thomas Drake was disillusioned by the agencies post 9/11 surveillance program. He thought it was waste and that it violated citizens’ rights. Having failed to resolve the concern internally, Drake informed a reporter. This act of his led Drake to an indictment.
Instrumental in diverting public support from the US-Vietnam war, Daniel Ellsberg along with assistance from Anthony Russo, leaked Pentagon’s secret papers on Vietnam War to the New York Times. The account of the war revealed prevalent practices of the previous administrations. His act of whistle blowing allowed for charges to be framed against Ellsberg.
Vijay Bahadur Singh observed manipulation of the case of an economic offender sub-judice in the Delhi High Court. Singh observed the manipulation was happening within the senior confines of the Finance Ministry in India. Vijay made an expose. Since then, the daring whistleblower has received two charge sheets issued in his name.
W. Mark Felt, known more famously as Deep Throat, played an instrumental role in exposing information about the involvement of the US President Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal. The leaked information resulted in the resignation of the President and prison terms for a couple of high-profile ministers.
Founder and editor-in-chief of the very highly respected alternative new voices and the regarded whistleblower repository, Wikileaks – Julian Assange is the whistleblower of the 21st century. Press leaks about Cablegate on Wikileaks turned into Tunisian revolution followed by many other revolutions in the Middle East.
The veteran, retired technician for AT&T, Mark Klein exposed the reality of National Security Agency’s secret spying program. Mark collected about 120 pages of technical evidence from San Francisco office showing and explaining how NSA was installing splitters to copy domestic and international calls. President Bush confirmed that he authorized NSA to tap the communication of all suspected terror links to and from the United States.