When does telling the truth become a dangerous act? The moving stories of federal whistleblowers – including GAP's own Jesselyn Radack and three GAP clients – will be featured in Oscar-nominated filmmaker James Spione's new documentary SILENCED to answer that question.
Describing the project, the filmmaker states:
SILENCED follows a group of high-profile truthtellers who dared to question official national security policy in post 9-11 America, and have endured harsh consequences.
Spione, whose 2012 film Incident in New Baghdad was nominated for an Academy Award, became increasingly interested in the issue of government transparency and accountability. Now he aims to show the American public what the war on intelligence whistleblowers looks like from whistleblowers' perspectives. Watch the spine-tingling SILENCED trailer for insight on what these whistleblowers have been through!
Currently, Spione is raising money on Kickstarter to fund the film's post-production. He's already at nearly half his goal of $35,000. The deadline for giving is March 14 to help support a prominent filmmaker working to share these historic whistleblower stories with the world.
The featured individuals in the film didn't necessarily consider themselves whistleblowers initially, but felt an obligation to the public and to themselves to do what they believed was right and speak the truth. Little did they know what such truth-telling would entail. They include:
- Jesselyn Radack served as an Ethics Advisor in the Department of Justice and blew the whistle on the agency's unconstitutional treatment of John Walker Lindh. Radack is now GAP's National Security & Human Rights Director.
- Thomas Drake is a former senior official of the National Security Agency who was prosecuted under the Espionage Act after he exposed NSA's wasteful data collection program that sacrificed Americans' security and privacy.
- John Kiriakou is a former CIA employee slated to start serving 30 months in prison (starting on Thursday) after blowing the whistle on the Bush-era torture program.
- Peter Van Buren is a State Department whistleblower who wrote the book "We Meant Well" about wasteful, corrupt US aid programs in Iraq – resulting in the State Department trying to fire him.
Sarah Damian is New Media Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.