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VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script Written by Brandon Stuhr.

If you've ever wanted to know corporation and government secrets, these are the individuals you can thank. Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for Top 10 Whistleblowers. For this list, we've looked at people who revealed corrupt or illegal behavior to the public. We've based our ranking on the importance of the leaked information, the individuals' overall notoriety, and the impact their information had on the public eye.

Special thanks to our users Jaime Enrique Gutierrez Pérez for submitting the idea on our Suggestion Tool at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest

#10: Coleen Rowley 1954 -

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Following the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, many agencies took a hard look at their policies and procedures as their agents began to doubt the agencies. FBI agent Coleen Rowley was one of those agents. She quickly became known for speaking out against the FBI due to their mishandling of information regarding the terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, who was linked to the attacks. For her actions, Rowley was named one of Time Magazine’s People of the Year in 2002, and was awarded the first ever Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence that same year. She retired from service in 2004.

#9: Jeffrey Wigand 1942 -

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Time to stand up to the tobacco companies. Coming from the research and development department of tobacco company Brown & Williamson, Jeffrey Wigand had enough of hiding secrets. In 1996, Wigand was interviewed by “60 Minutes” and told the public that his company had increased the amount of nicotine in their cigarettes by manipulating the tobacco blend, causing increased harm to both smokers and second-hand smokers. Since then, Wigand has become an expert witness in tobacco related cases, and his story got an even wider audience thanks to the Hollywood film “The Insider.”

#8: Mark Whitacre 1957 -

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It doesn’t matter what level of employment you’ve reached; anyone can be a whistleblower – just ask Mark Whitacre. Whitacre worked at Archer Daniels Midland, where he was president of the BioProducts Division. And he became the highest-level corporate executive to ever blow the whistle when he revealed that ADM had been involved in price fixing. However, the company retaliated and slammed Whitacre for embezzlement, which resulted in $9.5m worth of fraud charges and eight and a half years in a federal prison. Following his release, Whitacre’s exploits were comically dramatized in the 2009 Matt Damon-led film, “The Informant!”

#7: Mordechai Vanunu 1954 -

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Here is a controversial choice. Mordechai Vanunu was an Israeli nuclear technician who was abducted by Mossad agents after revealing the truth about Israel’s nuclear testing program to the public through a UK newspaper. He spent over 18 years in prison, 11 of them in solitary. Since his release in 2004, he has been an activist in freedom of speech and movement. Although named a traitor against Israel, Vanunu has been celebrated by the international community including numerous Nobel Peace Prize nominations, the Right Livelihood Award, and the LennonOno Grant for Peace.

#6: Sherron Watkins 1959 -

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If there’s anything that gets the whistleblowing, it’s shady finances. A Vice President with Enron, Sherron Watkins became famous after alerting the authorities of financial fraud within the company. Although she was criticized for not bringing her reports of financial anomalies to the public sooner, Watkins was named one of the three “People of the Year” in 2002 along with fellow whistle blower Coleen Rowley. Since leaving Enron, she has become an advocate of proper business and management and actively spreads her ideals about the problems of the corporate culture in the United States.

#5: Daniel Ellsberg 1931 -

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Like other industries, the military has no shortage of whistle blowers. One of these is Daniel Ellsberg, a former United States military analyst who worked for the RAND Corporation. While employed there, Ellsberg became disenchanted with the Vietnam War, and subsequently photocopied and publicly released a number of classified documents regarding decision making during the conflict. These documents – now known as the Pentagon Papers – revealed unreported bombings in Laos and Cambodia, raids in North Vietnam, and the full role of the United States in the assassination of South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963.

#4: Edward Snowden 1983 -

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Arguably the poster boy of whistleblowing, Edward Snowden is a former systems analyst who leaked classified government documents regarding mass surveillance from the National Security Agency. The information didn’t just affect the United States, as it disclosed information about surveillance on many different European countries, including some allies. Snowden’s actions have sparked the debate over government monitoring, individual privacy, and even national security – and he’s been branded as both a hero and a traitor.

#3: Julian Assange 1971 -

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Assange rose to notoriety as the founder of website WikiLeaks in 2006, but didn’t grab the world’s attention until 2010 when he began releasing classified documents obtained by Bradley, later known as Chelsea, Manning. The site – and Assange himself – have been under fire ever since, with questions surrounding the legality of the leaks. Public reaction has been mixed, as some governments have named him a criminal, while many groups have rewarded his actions. In 2010, Assange received the Sam Adams Award for intelligence and ethics, and in 2012 he won the Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal for Peace with Justice – putting him in a category that includes only Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, and Daisaku Ikeda.

#2: Mark Felt 1913 - 2008

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Mark Felt is the man we can thank for exposing corruption in the White House and taking down the Nixon administration thanks to the Watergate scandal. Known only as “Deep Throat” until he went public in 2005, Felt was the Associate Director of the FBI – the agency’s second highest post – when he released sensitive information to Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Deep Throat’s whistleblowing was made public in the mid-‘70s with the release of the book, and later the film, “All the President’s Men” – which only added to Deep Throat’s mystique. Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions: - Frank Serpico 1936 - - Peter Buxtun 1937 - - Jesselyn Radack 1970 - - William Binney Unknown - - Craig Murray 1958 -

#1: Chelsea Manning [born Bradley Manning] 1987 -

Formerly known as Bradley Manning, Chelsea is responsible for the largest leak of government documents in history, via WikiLeaks. Many of these documents – including 500,000 army reports – describe military operations and air strikes during the Iraqi and Afghanistan Wars and were obtained while Manning was serving as an intelligence analyst. As a result of this leak, Manning was charged with 22 criminal offences under the espionage act and was given a 35 year prison sentence. Like many on our list, Manning serves as an example of the treatment of whistleblowers by governments and the dangers they face. Do you agree with our list? Which whistleblower intrigued you the most? For more investigative top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.

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