The Ron Ridenhour Awards

Article excerpt

* With the tightly closed, repressive Administration now in power America has never so badly needed those brave, public-spirited truth-tellers popularly known as whistleblowers. As Anna Quindlen wrote in Newsweek, "Whistle-blowers have become the new heroes ... a bridge between power and humanity." During the Vietnam War, Ron Ridenhour, a former soldier, revealed firsthand the truth about the My Lai massacre and in so doing, helped turn public opinion against a war that was rotting the nation's moral fiber. He went on to a career as an independent investigative reporter, until his too-early death in 1998 at the age of 52. In his memory and to encourage more people to follow his example, the Fertel Foundation and the Nation Institute established the Ron Ridenhour Awards to honor current and future whistleblowers and truth-tellers. The first set of three awards were presented October 15 in Washington. The Prize for Truth-Telling went to former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who blew the whistle on the Administration's false claim that Iraq was buying uranium from Niger. …