Antiwar.com has an excellent article online now about Thomas Drake (right), a former NSA employee who exposed government spying on Americans, lost his job and almost went to jail over the trumped up charges that followed. Drake ultimately was only convicted of a single misdemeanor, but saw his career and life almost destroyed.
Drake, reminds Antiwar.com, is not alone:
Today, Drake says that 9/11 exposed all of the secrecy and cynicism and venal impulses of a government he once defended and believed in. Though not outwardly analogous, his case is not so different from other post-9/11 whistleblowers and truth-tellers, like Anthony Shaffer or Peter Van Buren, who both lost their security clearances, their government careers sidelined as though they were suddenly “enemies of the state.”
Drake was vindicated by the efforts of the Government Accountability Project, a powerful organization determined not to see the abuse of authority.
“At one point they said what Tom had done was endangering soldiers’ lives,” said Jesselyn Radack, an attorney for the Washington DC-based Government Accountability Project, which defended Drake during the prosecution and has a long list of whistleblower clients (Radack is also a whistleblower, having exposed the FBI of committing ethics violations – and a cover-up – when it interrogated American John Walker Lindh without a lawyer present in 2001).
“They want to tag anyone who questions anything that happens as being unpatriotic. They are using laws that were meant to go after spies to go after whistleblowers. We have someone here who is trying to serve his country and blows the whistle on government illegality,” she said. “For the prosecution to say he is endangering lives is just offensive.