Military Whistleblowing Essay

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In an age when accelerated communications contribute to growing perceptions of organizational improprieties, the ethical and legal implications of whistleblowing have become a major topic of discussion. According to Lawrence and Weber (2014), whistleblowing is an employee disclosing apparent organizational misconduct to the government or media; however, this reporting of information should come after attempts at going through proper channels in order to persuade the organization to take appropriate actions has been ineffective. Whistleblowers’ motives often come under intense scrutiny, since the consequences of sensitive data disclosures can seriously impact an organization’s operations, finances, and public image (Lawrence & Weber, 2014) …show more content…

According to McIntosh (2013), “Private First Class Bradley Manning pled guilty to 10 criminal charges stemming from the largest national security leak in the history of the United States” (p. 148). While his dissemination of government documents to the media were considered criminal acts, many whistleblowing advocates consider Manning’s actions heroic. In fact, Manning stated that his intentions were not to damage the country but to trigger public debate over United States foreign policy; “however, I did believe the release of the cables might be embarrassing” (Savage, 2013, para 10). Military whistleblower laws have been created to protect military personnel from retaliation for reporting to proper authorities any complaints or disclosures of “information that the servicemember reasonably believes constitutes a violation of law, or regulation, including sexual harassment or discrimination, gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety” (McIntosh, 2013, p. 149); nevertheless, Manning’s decision to leak 250,000 documents to the Wikileaks, a forum for self-described whistleblowers, would not be justified, since releasing national secrets to the public can put people at

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