Why are there more whistleblowers than ever? Because there’s more fraud.
In recent days, we’ve all been getting a new lesson in whistleblowing, a phenomenon as old as the republic. It’s a particularly American invention, based on the egalitarian presumption that any citizen or employee has the right to call out their boss or their organization for malfeasance. Whistleblowing can bring out both the best and the worst in us and our institutions. Now we are wondering if it could also unravel a presidency. So far, the new lesson is frustratingly incomplete. The Washington Post reported Sept. 18 that an unnamed official working in an intelligence agency blew the whistle on President Trump after concluding that Trump pushed the new president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate Trump’s domestic political rivals and to work with Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and Attorney General William P. Barr on it. We don’t know how Ukraine’s hopes for military aid from Washington might have influenced the exchange. But the whistleblower’s complaint has prompted the House to initiate an impeachment inquiry into the president. As two new books demonstrate with numerous examples, whistleblowing at its best is a form of public service. It isn’t yet clear what sort of service the Trump whistleblower has performed for the country, but there is no doubt about the favor he or she has done for the authors of these books: They are likely to get considerably more attention now than they might have a few weeks ago. “Crisis of Conscience” by Tom Mueller, the fatter and more ambitious of the two, deserves attention, though its shortcomings are substantial and occasionally exasperating. Allison Stanger’s “Whistleblowers” is a thinner, more academic study and has much less to offer.
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Book / 9781594634437 / Tom Mueller / October 1, 2019 / 2 / ..:::
Book / 9780300186888 / Allison Stanger / September 24, 2019 / 1 / ..:::