Drake Gives First Public Interview
(Washington, D.C.) – This week, GAP client Thomas Drake is prominently featured in the May 23 issue of The New Yorker magazine, in an explosive article on widespread corruption and wrongdoing within the National Security Agency (NSA). The piece, “The Secret Sharer,” highlights Drake’s legal and proper attempts to expose massive NSA waste, mismanagement, and illegality regarding the agency’s use of a data collection program that was more costly, more threatening to American citizens’ privacy rights, and less effective than a legal alternative.
The New Yorker article can be read here.
The article describes several areas of widespread gross waste, fraud, abuse, and illegality at the NSA, including: the implementation of a warrantless, domestic surveillance and datamining system; the agency’s attempt to hide information about the surveillance from Congress and the Supreme Court; the squandering of billions of taxpayer dollars on an undeveloped data collection program that violated American privacy rights; the NSA’s failure to give other intelligence agencies critical information it had obtained prior to 9/11; and the overreaching prosecution of Drake.
GAP Homeland Security and Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack commented, “It is abhorrent that the Obama administration, which routinely pledges openness and transparency, is prosecuting brave federal employees who stand up against wrongdoing inside government agencies. Tom Drake went through all of the appropriate channels for bringing information to Congress and the Defense Department Inspector General. Drake did not leak classified information to the media and, tellingly, is not charged with disclosing classified information to the media.”
Drake has been charged under the Espionage Act with retaining, not leaking, allegedly classified information. His trial is slated to begin June 13. GAP represents Drake on whistleblower issues. He has a separate criminal defense team.
Radack continued, “Drake’s prosecution sends a chilling message to would-be national security and intelligence whistleblowers: Not only can you lose your career for reporting corruption, but also your very liberty.”
Radack is available for comment on Drake's case to media outlets. Please refer all media inquiries to GAP Communications Fellow Lindsay Bigda at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-230-8032.
For a background on Tom Drake, please click here.
For a commentary by Jesselyn Radack on The New Yorker article, please click here.
In April 2011, Drake was awarded the Ridenhour Prize for Truth Telling – a prominent annual whistleblower award given by the Fertel Foundation and the Nation Institute. It is recognized as the most prestigious honor a whistleblower can receive in America.
Drake’s Ridenhour acceptance speech can be viewed here.
The introduction of Drake by Jesselyn Radack can be viewed here.
Contact: Lindsay Bigda
Government Accountability Project