The Post's Aug. 18 editorial "An Oscar for Whistle Blowing?" questions the move by a Democratic member of Congress to provide bonuses for government employees who expose corruption. I am mentioned in context with The Post's comment that the liberal left protested bitterly and correctly against the whistle blowers' breach of faith with their oaths as federal officials. That comment is in need of clarification.
Washington politicians, like many privileged liberals (including prominent newspapers), often piously endorse rules for others to follow that such tutors breach by their own behavior.
As senator and as president, Lyndon Johnson advised all members of the executive branch to "put loyalty to country and to high moral principles above loyalty to any person, party or government department." This rule, a part of the "Code of Ethics for Government Employees," was in effect during my government career and my appearances before Congress.
As senator and as president, Richard Nixon sponsored legislation to prevent reprisals against government employees who exposed corruption before congressional committees. The legislation was never enacted.
It is well established that both Johnson and Nixon later falsified, misrepresented or concealed material facts that the public had the right to know.
As my perennial critic (now for 18 years), The Post found it unconscionable for me to provide information to Congress about chicanery in the State Department during the Kennedy regime because I did not obtain the express permission of my superiors in submitting proof of their false testimony under oath and other dishonest practices. The Post called my sworn testimony "leaking," although all my appearances were pursuant to formal requests directed first to my superiors. They never denied me permission to testify. My proof had no relation to the national security, a fact The Post never mentions.
Subsequently, when Post reporter Ben Bagdikian delivered to Post editors boxes of highly classified government documents furtively obtained from Daniel Ellsberg, the contents were published by The Post without government clearance. Ellsberg was proclaimed a national hero by the liberal left.
My greatest reward came from the satisfaction that, after 36 years of service, I left the government as I began--with honor and dignity--and that I was blessed with the courage to speak the truth and to defend it. Knowledge of the truth gave me the stamina to endure the prolonged vendetta mounted against me by dishonest officials aided by a biased press. I was vindicated, another fact The Post never mentions.
Offers of financial reward are a sick stimulant for honesty in any government incentive program. A person with decent values should be willing to stand by his integrity in defiance of his own materialistic interests.