This coming Monday, February 13, GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack and National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Tom Drake will speak at Americans Who Tell the Truth: Ethics, Integrity and the Law, a “Founder's Day” event at the American University Washington College of Law (WCL), presented by the National Lawyers Guild and the WCL Program on Law and Government.
In addition to Radack and Drake, this program features a keynote address by Ralph Nader and talks by other notable activists and whistleblowers. The event is a mixed symposium of speaker portraits by artist Robert Shetterly and presentations by the individuals depicted in the art. Presentations will focus on ethics and integrity in the context of fighting for positive social change.
The symposium runs from 12 pm – 6 pm on Monday at the AU Washington College of Law, Room 603. More on the event can be found here.
About Radack and Drake
Jesselyn Radack is a former ethics adviser at the Department of Justice (DOJ) who disclosed that the FBI committed ethical violations in its interrogation of "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh, such as interrogating Lindh without an attorney present. She also exposed that the DOJ attempted to suppress that information, and that former Attorney General John Ashcroft made misleading public statements about the case. The Lindh case was the first major terrorism prosecution after 9/11. Since her ordeal, Radack has been a champion of whistleblowers, recently serving as counsel to Drake on whistleblower issues during the government's failed attempt to prosecute him under the Espionage Act.
Earlier this week, Radack released a new book covering her time at the DOJ and her experiences blowing the whistle, Traitor: The Whistleblower and the "American Taliban."
Tom Drake's whistleblowing case made national headlines this past summer, and the now-failed criminal case against him continues to receive widespread coverage. Drake, along with former NSA colleagues William Binney, Ed Loomis, and Kirk Wiebe, and former House Intelligence Committee staffer , Diane Roark, blew the whistle through internal channels on massive NSA mismanagement and the agency's funding of a data collection program that was expensive, ineffective, and invasive of Americans’ privacy rights while ignoring a legal and functional alternative. In retaliation, the government subjected the whistleblowers to armed FBI raids, years of investigation, and the specter of criminal prosecution. The Justice Department charged Drake under the Espionage Act, and he faced decades in prison until the case against him collapsed in June 2011. The government dropped all ten felony counts, and Drake pleaded guilty to a minor misdemeanor. At Drake’s sentencing, the judge lambasted the Justice Department’s treatment of Drake, comparing it to British offenses against colonial Americans.
Dylan Blaylock is Communications Director for the Government Accountabiilty Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.