Members of the military would no longer fear being accused of "profiling" for reporting dangerous jihadist or other extremist actions and comments if a new bill by U.S. Representative John Carter (R-TX) becomes law.
Carter represents Fort Hood, Texas, and has introduced the Military Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act to protect against future incidents like the Nov. 5 attack on Fort Hood that left 14 dead and 32 wounded.
U.S. Army Major Malik Nadal Hasan, the suspect in the killings, reportedly gave repeated warning signs of pending violence, but other service members did not report or take action on the threats due to fear of reprisal for violating unwritten rules of "political correctness." Members were afraid of being accused of "profiling" based on religious and ethnic grounds, which could be a career-killing offense.
"If a military service member believes any person poses a clear and present danger to the military or the public," says Carter, a former Texas judge, "they need to be assured that reporting the danger or taking decisive action to prevent an attack is protected under the same Whistleblower regulations as those for reporting suspected sexual harassment or mismanagement of funds or resources."
The existing Whistleblower Protection Act protects military personnel from any negative personnel action or the withholding of any positive personnel action for the report of any regulation or law violation including those prohibiting sexual harassment or discrimination.
Additionally the Act protects service members' ability to communicate to Congress, an Inspector General, or their chain of command incidents of gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.
The Carter legislation further extends protected communications to include "ideologically based threats or actions" that the reporting service member "reasonably believes could be counterproductive or detrimental to United States interests or security."
"Never again should we allow all the glaring warning signs of a Major Hasan to be ignored," says Carter. "This bill should close the door on excuses for preventative action, and should help us all recognize that we cannot allow political correctness to cost another American life.