Doeden makes the effort here to bring whistleblowing out of the seamy shadows and describe its role.
It may be a new word, but whistleblowing is no new phenomenon; the Continental Congress acknowledged the citizen’s duty “to give the earliest information to Congress or any other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds and misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge.” Of course, this brings up the age-old question of who is spying on the spies or, even more vital: to whom does a whistleblower give the information? Doeden makes it clear that whistleblowing is a selfless deed, one that may well have implications for the whistleblower down the road, including exile, as those in Washington wrangle over whether Homeland Security trumps the First Amendment when it comes to “misconduct, frauds and misdemeanors.” As Doeden shows, nearly one-third of the states do not have laws protecting whistleblowers’ “rights to report illegal activity [as] part of a philosophy of social obligation...when it could prevent or reduce harm of suffering.” To illustrate his case, he draws a number of sharp vignettes (accompanied by photographs) of whistleblowing importance: Enron, the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Watergate, FBI withholding of crucial 9/11 information; Edward Snowden’s story leads everything off.
A keen challenge to received opinions for high schoolers to chew long and hard upon. (Nonfiction. 13-18)