ACLU: Free legal help for whistleblowers

Sept. 9, 2004 at 11:46 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- The American Civil Liberties Union said Thursday it would provide legal counsel to federal whistleblowers who expose government wrongdoing.

"Government employees who risk their careers to expose deception and misconduct are true American patriots," said Ann Beeson, ACLU associate legal director. "The ACLU stands ready to provide legal support and advice to individuals who want to reveal evidence of wrongdoing by the government."

The ACLU issued the offer at a Washington news conference sponsored by Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and his organization, the Truth-Telling Project.

An ACLU statement said whistleblowers need legal counsel because they may lose their jobs or even face criminal prosecution for exposing government wrongdoing.

The ACLU said it has set up a special e-mail address to respond to inquiries from potential whistleblowers, whistleblower@aclu.org, and will soon launch a hotline.

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