International Business Times: FISA Court Should Directly Monitor Spying Agency, Former NSA Analyst Says
This article quotes NSA whistleblowers Thomas Drake, Bill Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe, all of whom spoke yesterday at a GAP conference at the National Press Club. The three former spy agency employees tried to draw attention to massive illegality, waste and abuse within the surveillance programs during the years following 9/11. Now, the three argue for increased accountability and oversight at the NSA, the public's trust for which has fundamentally deteriorated since Edward Snowden’s recent disclosures. GAP’s conference, "Whistleblowers, Journalists and the New War Within," focused on the NSA and issues surrounding journalists attempting to do their jobs, working with sources in America’s increasingly harsh surveillance state.
Video of the event will be posted on GAP's website in the next few days.
Key Quote: Wiebe, Binney and Drake spoke Thursday morning at a panel discussion in Washington, D.C., titled "Whistleblowers, Journalists and the New War Within," hosted by the Government Accountability Project, a whistle-blower advocacy group.
Recalling their time at the NSA during the panel discussion, Wiebe, Binney and Drake described the agency as hostile to oversight attempts by the intelligence committees as well as the 9/11 commission’s efforts to find out what went wrong in the lead up to the terrorist attacks. Drake, who helped investigators on the 9/11 commission, discussed during Thursday’s panel how he was warned about leaking to the commission. As detailed in the New Yorker report, then-NSA Director Michael Hayden was furious when he discovered Binney had met with a staffer on the House Intelligence Committee, whose job it is to oversee the agency.
US News & World Report: NSA Whistleblowers Defend Snowden’s Decision to Flee
More coverage of GAP’s conference at the National Press Club yesterday, quoting clients Drake, Binney and Wiebe, who spoke strongly against the “self interest, ego and arrogance of the NSA” as part of a larger panel discussion on national security and the threats facing whistleblowers and journalists today. The three NSA whistleblowers are understandably empathetic to Snowden’s current situation, having felt the full force of government retaliation for speaking out.
Key Quote: Binney and Wiebe worked with Drake – whose involvement was not initially disclosed – and two other NSA employees to expose to government oversight officials in 2002 the Trailblazer Project, which was allegedly selected over a less-intrusive, less-expensive alternative. They argued the program violated the Fourth Amendment, squandered taxpayer money and made intelligence-collecting overbroad and therefore less effective.
"I don't know what other choice he had," Binney said of Snowden's decision to become a fugitive. "He felt his only option was to leave the country and I don't blame him.
Washington Post: Prosecutor Portrays Pfc. Bradley Manning as Traitor During Closing Arguments
The closing arguments in the trial of military whistleblower Bradley Manning saw the prosecution proclaiming one last time that Manning is a "methodical, attention-seeking traitor." Hoping to secure the ‘aiding the enemy’ verdict, along with convictions for 20 other charges, the prosecution called Manning a "capable soldier" acting with "evil intent."
NBC: Edward Snowden’s Dad – ‘This Story is Far From Done’
Edward Snowden’s father appeared on national television this morning, saying that he still believes in what his son is doing and that “this story is far from done.” He also voiced his disappointment in the members of the two Congressional intelligence committees and their "concerted effort to demonize" the NSA whistleblower.
Reuters: Kremlin Says Russian Agencies in Talks on Snowden
Russia’s federal security agency, FSB, is speaking with the FBI today over the fate of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who remains at Moscow’s Shremetyevo airport, for the time being.
ESPN: Biogenesis Whistleblower – Not Only MLB Players
A whistleblower from Biogenesis, a Florida clinic that – according to their website – specializes in ‘nutritional supplements and comprehensive natural health products,’ has been cooperating with Major League Baseball (MLB) for over a month, providing extensive records of his connection to numerous players allegedly using performance-enhancing chemicals. The former employee is being awarded by MLB for his disclosures, some of which he previously released to a Miami newspaper last year, and says he is being heavily retaliated against by his coworkers and employers. He is now saying that the scandal goes beyond just MLB players to include athletes from other professional and college-level leagues as well.
Related Article: Miami Herald
Jack Davis is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.