Daniel Ellsberg, Thomas Drake, Jesselyn Radack to Attend Latest Stop
(Washington, DC) – Tomorrow, March 28, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) brings its program, the American Whistleblower Tour: Essential Voices for Accountability, to Mount Holyoke College. The stop will feature prominent whistleblowers Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers), Thomas Drake (National Security Agency), and Jesselyn Radack (Department of Justice).
GAP's Tour is a dynamic campaign aimed at educating university students and the general public about the phenomenon and practice of whistleblowing. This Tour stop is highlighted by a panel presentation, free to all, featuring high-profile whistleblowers discussing their experiences. The whistleblowers include:
- Daniel Ellsberg is a former United States military analyst and government contractor who provided a voluminous classified government study about the Vietnam War (the Pentagon Papers) to the media. Ellsberg's whistleblowing led to protests, contributed to movement to force the resignation of President Richard Nixon, and emboldened the news media when the Supreme Court decided against prior restraint in the case New York Times Co. v. United States. The Pentagon Papers demonstrated, among other things, that several presidential administrations had directly lied to Congress and the public about their intentions and actions in the Vietnam War. Ellsberg is the subject of the widely acclaimed documentary, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.
- Thomas Drake is a former senior official of the National Security Agency (NSA) who attempted to expose massive NSA mismanagement and 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 readily-available alternative. For his actions, Drake was charged under the Espionage Act and faced 35 years in prison. The case against him collapsed in June 2011, when he pled guilty to a minor misdemeanor, and the judge excoriated DOJ lawyers for their conduct. Drake is the recipient of the 2011 Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling.
- 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 him without an attorney present. She also exposed that the DOJ attempted to suppress that information, and that former Attorney General John Ashcroft and other senior government officials made misleading public statements about the case. Since her ordeal, Radack has been a champion of whistleblowers, joining GAP as head of its National Security & Human Rights program. She recently served as counsel to Thomas Drake on whistleblower issues during the government's failed attempt to prosecute him, and she is the author of Traitor: The Whistleblower and the "American Taliban."
The panel presentation, free and open to the public, will take place from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. tomorrow night (Wednesday) in Gamble Auditorium.
Ellsberg, Drake, and Radack will also be making presentations in classroom visits as part of the Tour stop (at Smith College and Hampshire College). This Tour stop event is sponsored by Mount Holyoke College, the Weissman Center for Leadership and the Liberal Arts, Smith College’s Project on Women and Social Change, Hampshire College, and the Five Colleges Lecture Fund.
Mount Holyoke President Lynn Pasquerella and GAP President Louis Clark will introduce the panel, which will be moderated by Alison Bass, visiting senior lecturer in English at the college and author of Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial.
About the Tour
A full description of the Tour can be found at www.WhistleblowerTour.org.
This Mount Holyoke stop is the latest of several Tour stops this academic year. Thus far, stops have included the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Brandeis, Texas at Austin, Auburn, Florida International, Rutgers-Newark, Syracuse, Tulane, South Texas School of Law, and Seattle University.
Goals of the Tour include raising awareness about the vital role whistleblowing has in our democracy, preparing America's youth for ethical decision-making, countering negative connotations associated with whistleblowing, connecting prospective whistleblowers to available resources, and encouraging academic studies of whistleblowing.
To schedule an interview with the panelists or Tour officials, please contact Mt. Holyoke College Director of Media Relations Mary Jo Curtis at 413.538.2030 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Tour, please contact GAP Communications Director Dylan Blaylock at 202.236.3733 or email@example.com.
Contact: Mary Jo Curtis, MHC Director of Media Relations
Contact: Dylan Blaylock, Communications Director
Phone: 202.457.0034, ext. 137, 202.236.3733 cell
Government Accountability Project
The Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.