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Talking Points: Michael Walzer on Whistle-blowing

Published 2018

If American citizens are good democrats, they will always be suspicious of government officials, and that will make them receptive to the information that whistleblowers provide. But they ought to be suspicious of whistleblowers, too. Citizens may not need to know the information that a whistleblower provides—indeed, the whistleblower might be acting for profit or publicity and not out of a desire for more democratic decision-making or a concern for law and morality. Sometimes, however, whistle-blowing opens a debate that should have started long before and exposes government activities that many citizens strongly oppose.—Michael Walzer, Professor Emeritus in the School of Social Science, in “Just and Unjust Leaks,” Foreign Affairs, February 20, 2018, bit.ly/2HLE6vP 

Published in The Institute Letter Spring 2018