President Trump, Sen. Graham, Sen. Paul and others are publicly applying pressure to reveal the name of the whistleblower that is much in the news.

As the Office of Special Counsel (see states, whistleblowers are very important to the function of government. Whistleblowers are important to democracy itself, are protected, and can be anonymous (except in a couple of special cases).

By applying such pressure, the above individuals are creating a “chilling effect” — a work environment where other employees fear to bring forth misdeeds because of possible publicity or retaliation. This “chilling effect” stifles critical input from other workers who are in positions to see problems.

This “chilling effect” occurs in many work areas. How would you feel if an airline mechanic believed faulty parts were being installed, but kept silent due to fear of retaliation by his management? It is essential that he/she feels free to report the problem, and the same freedom from a “chilling effect” must apply in our government.

By pressuring the whistleblower, we could lose valuable insights that government workers can provide regarding errors and misdeeds.


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