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Civil servants have spent two years watching post�September 11 security concerns trump their legal rights in the workplace. The Pentagon’s civilian employees, however, got some good news in January, when the Office of the Inspector General hired Daniel Meyer as director of Civilian Reprisals Investigations, giving whistle-blowers a point person for complaints. Meyer joins the U.S. Department of Defense from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. As general counsel of PEER, Meyer counseled environmental civil servants � from municipalities all the way up to the federal level � on matters like whistle-blower actions. At the Pentagon he’ll set up what is only the second dedicated whistle-blower ombudsman’s office within the federal government. (The U.S. Department of the Interior created a whistle-blower post two years ago.) Meyer, a graduate of Indiana University at Bloomington School of Law, did some whistle-blowing himself during his service in the U.S. Navy. In 1989 an explosion aboard the U.S.S. Iowa killed 47 sailors. Meyer, who was on the ship’s bridge at the time, disputed the findings of the Navy’s initial investigation. It blamed one of the deceased for intentionally overpacking a gun turret with powder after his love affair with another male sailor had ended. Meyer, whose role was documented in Charles Thompson II’s 1999 book A Glimpse of Hell: The Explosion on the U.S.S. Iowa and Its Cover-Up, argued that the tragedy was the result of incompetent commanding officers and that the initial investigation amounted to a cover-up. After two years of investigations by Congress and Sandia National Laboratory, the Navy stepped away from its original findings, leaving the cause of the blast unknown. Meyer and the OIG office declined several interview requests.

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