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Ten Of The World’s Famous / Infamous Whistleblowers

Self-professed National Security Agency leader Edward Snowden has seemingly joined the list of famous Whistleblowers around the world. Some call these individuals heroes, many others call them traitors, but all of these figures became famous for providing information, sometimes secretly in an attempt to expose the people or organisation they worked for. A number of them have even been portrayed in movies.
1. Mark Felt – In the Watergate scandal that toppled the presidency of Richard Nixon, this FBI figure was the secret informant known as ‘Deep Throat’ who helped Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Though ‘Deep Throat’ became a symbol of shadowy Washington sources dishing out information in clandestine meetings, his identity was kept secret until 2005.
2. Daniel Ellsberg – The employee of the State Department in 1971 leaked the Pentagon Papers a secret account of documents pertaining to know the United States came to fight the Vietnam war. The Nixon administration sought the Supreme Court’s help in preventing the New York Times and Washington Post from publishing the papers but was rejected.
3. Linda Tripp – This former White House staff member was a key figure in the Monica Lewinsky scandal that led to an attempt to remove President Bill Clinton from office during his second term.
4. Frank Serpico – This New York police officer, later portrayed by Al Pacino in a 1973 movie, attempted to confront the rapid corruption within the police department. He left the force after being shot in the face during a botched drug raid and later moved out of the country.
5. Karen Silkwood – Like Frank Serpico, she was played in a movie named for her, in this case by Meryl Steep in 1983. She died mysteriously in 1974 in the middle of a campaign to challenge Kerr – McGee about the safety of a nuclear facility.
6. Mark Whitacre – Another figure who ended up the subject of a movie, this time “The Informant” starring Matt Damon, Whitacre worked with the FBI in the 1990s to expose price-fixing in agriculture by his own company, Author Daniels Midland, but ended up in legal trouble himself for his own actions.
7. Jeffrey Wigard – This former tobacco company executive made enemies by claiming on “60 Minutes” in 1996 that cigarette companies were fully aware that they were packi8ng their products with addictive levels of nicotine. He was played by Russell Crowe in the 1999 film “The Insider”.
8. Coleen Rowley – In 2002, this FBI special agent alleged that the agency had failed to act on information provided by agents in Minnesota about one of the figures in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. She ran for congress in 2006 but was not elected.
9. Sharon Watkins – An executive for Euro Corps., she helped expose the seemingly formidable company in 2001 & 2002 as one constructed on enormous financial lies and frauds. Along with Coleen Rowley and WorldCom;s Cynthia Cooper, she was one of 3 Whistleblowers named in Time Magazine’s ‘Persons Of The Year’ in 2002.
10. Bradley Manning – The Army soldier was court-martialled at Forde Mead, Md. In the summer of 2013 for documents provided to Wikileaks. “I am sorry that my actions hurt people. I’m sorry that they hurt the United States”, he said at his sentencing hearing.
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