Petition Closed
Petitioning Department of Defense Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta

Marine Corps whistleblower Franz Gayl saved thousands of lives. Stop his retaliatory treatment!

Retaliatory investigations, workplace harassment, exile from the Pentagon, having his work duties stripped away, and a career-ending revocation of his security clearance. That's what Franz Gayl got for blowing the whistle and saving thousands of lives.

Gayl, a Marine Corps science adviser, exposed the fact that the Corps ignored an urgent request from troops in Iraq for vehicles that are better protected against improvised explosive devices and roadside bombs.

After the media reported on Gayl's disclosures, the Pentagon shipped thousands of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs) to Iraq. Our men and women in uniform finally got the equipment they needed. But Gayl, whose whistleblowing spurred the Pentagon into action, was eventually stripped of his security clearance, making it impossible for him to do his job.

This is a gross injustice. A whistleblower like Gayl should be praised for his efforts -- not demonized and put out of a job. Thanks to Gayl, thousands of troops' lives have been saved in Iraq and Afghanistan. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, in his final days as the Secretary, said that MRAPs had saved "thousands and thousands of lives."

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has the power to right this wrong and reinstate Gayl's clearance. If we can put enough pressure on Panetta and draw enough attention to this issue, we can help Gayl get his professional life back.

Urge Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to reinstate Franz Gayl's security clearance by signing our petition!

The Marine Corps' treatment of Gayl will also have a chilling effect on would-be whistleblowers. The message to those who witness wrongdoing is clear: stay quiet. That's not the message we want to send, especially when troops' lives are on the line.

Please take a moment now to tell Secretary Panetta to reinstate the security clearance for Gayl -- a national hero and devoted public servant.

This action is a joint effort by GAP and the Project On Government Oversight (POGO).

Letter to
Department of Defense Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
I am writing you today to urge you to reinstate the security clearance for Franz Gayl, a Marine Corps science advisor who blew the whistle and saved thousands of troops' lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2005, Gayl exposed the fact that the Marine Corps ignored an urgent request from troops in Iraq for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs), which, as you know, are better protected against improvised explosive devices and roadside bombs.

After the media reported on Gayl's disclosures, the Pentagon shipped thousands of MRAPs to Iraq. Our men and women in uniform finally got the equipment they needed. Secretary Gates thanked the media for alerting him to problems that his agency had blocked him from knowing. But Gayl, whose whistleblowing spurred the media and Congress to force Pentagon action after the bureaucracy ignored him, received far different treatment -- a series of retaliatory investigations, removal of duties, and suspension of his security clearance, which made it impossible for him to do his job. His clearance is being stripped three years after the alleged misconduct on charges for which there is no verifiable evidence. Furthermore, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service only recommended informal counseling as a response to the charges.

This is a gross injustice. A whistleblower like Gayl should be praised for his efforts -- not demonized and put out of a job. Thanks to Gayl, thousands of troops' lives have been saved in Iraq and Afghanistan. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, in his final days as the Secretary, said that MRAPs had saved "thousands and thousands of lives."

You have the power to right this wrong and reinstate Gayl's clearance.

It's important to reverse the retaliation against Gayl for another reason. The Marine Corps' treatment of Gayl will also have a chilling effect on would-be whistleblowers. The message to those who witness wrongdoing is clear: stay quiet. That's not the message we want to send, especially when troops' lives are on the line.

I strongly urge you to reinstate Gayl's security clearance. The retaliation against this hero must be stopped.