WASHINGTON -- During President Obama's first term as president, Obama was criticized often for his tough stance against government whistle-blowers. The administration charged six people under the 1917 Espionage Act -- more than all past presidencies combined. "Leaks that favor the president are shoveled out regardless of national security, while national security is twisted to pummel leaks that do not favor him," wrote Peter VanBuren in TomDispatch, a liberal website.
Yet President Barack Obama signed legislation Tuesday that affords greater protection to federal employees who expose fraud, waste and abuse in government operations.
Capping a 13-year effort by supporters of whistle-blower rights, the new law closes loopholes created by court rulings, which removed protections for federal whistle-blowers. One loophole specified that whistle-blowers were only protected when they were the first to report misconduct.