Washington Post: Ex-NSA Official Thomas Drake to Plead Guilty to Misdemeanor
In front page news, GAP client and NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake agreed last night to a plea bargain arrangement on the charges brought against him by the federal government. The Justice Department accused Drake of 10 felony counts and sought to put him in jail for 35 years; instead, this settlement agreement stipulates no jail time or fines shall be imposed on him. In return, Drake will plead guilty this morning to a mere misdemeanor – exceeding authorized use of a government computer.
The plea deal is consistent with what Tom Drake told the government all through his five year-long ordeal – that he never disclosed classified information to a reporter. Drake turned down earlier plea deals because he did not want to “plea bargain with the truth.”
Today’s news is an absolute victory for whistleblowers, and a blow to the Obama Administration's attempts to use the Espionage Act to punish whistleblowers. Thank you for all of your support, and a special thanks to all those who lent their voices to stand up for Drake by signing our petition.
Key Quotes: The New York Times: But Jesselyn A. Radack, a lawyer for the nonprofit Government Accountability Project who had rallied support for Mr. Drake, hailed the outcome. “This is a victory for national security whistle-blowers and against corruption inside the intelligence agencies, she said. “No public servant should face 35 years in prison for telling the truth.”
Washington Post: “It’s an unambiguous victory for Drake,” said Jesselyn Radack, director of national security at the Government Accountability Project, who supported Drake on whistleblower issues. “The prosecution’s case imploded.”
Wall Street Journal: Jesselyn Radack, a director at the Government Accountability Project and an attorney who has been advising Mr. Drake, said the government's case "was largely built on sand. Once it was put to the test, it started collapsing under the weight of the truth."
Related Articles: Baltimore Sun, Associated Press, MSNBC, The New Yorker
Click here to read GAP’s official statement.
Click here to read more on GAP’s blog.
U.K. Guardian: Barack Obama Worst President for Whistleblowers, Says Film-maker
Filmmaker Judith Ehrlich – creator of the documemtary The Most Dangerous Man in America, which investigates the story of Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers – says Obama “has the worst record of any US president when it comes to dealing with whistleblowers.”
BBC: German Tests Link Bean Sprouts to Deadly E. coli
German authorities declared Friday that enough evidence points to bean sprouts as the source of the E. coli outbreak that has killed 29 people and sickened around 3000. The sprouts were initially blamed earlier this week but officials backpedalled after lab tests showed up negative.
On the U.S. front, a Salmonella outbreak
Lindsay Bigda is Communications Fellow for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower advocacy organization.