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Enact a National Whistleblower Day

On July 30, 1778, the Continental Congress enacted America's first whistleblower protection law. Ask today's Congress to declare July 30th National Whistleblower Day, honoring whistleblowers for their contributions throughout history.

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In 1777, a group of American sailors and marines blew the whistle on the first Commodore of the US Navy. They accused him of torturing British soldiers and other misconduct. The Continental Congress did not throw the whistleblowers in solitary confinement, prosecute them, or execute them. Even in a time of war, the government did not use the "state secrets" privilege to hide these abuses.

Instead, they passed a law that all whistleblowers should be protected, released all the records related to the whistleblowers' concerns, and used funds from Congress' meager treasury to protect the whistleblowers from retaliation.

As a country we have moved so far away from what the Founding Fathers recognized at the foundation of democracy - freedom of speech. The federal government should immediately drop the criminal investigations and prosecutions of national security whistleblowers, and President Obama should pardon NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake.

Ask Congress to honor the Founding Fathers' actions to protect whistleblowers during the American Revolution.

Check out our New York Times op-ed about America's first whistleblowers and see original documents from the Continental Congress.