Thomas Drake Talk – TODAY
Thomas Drake will be speaking on campus today during an event (2:30-4 p.m., Gallagher Center MPR) that is co-sponsored by the departments of communication studies and political science. His talk is titled “Speaking Truth to Power: Withering Away of our Constitutional Republic? – The National Security State, Surveillance, Privacy and You.”
60 Minutes ran a full segment on Drake in which he was interviewed by Scott Pelley. He was also featured on Frontline.
In 2010, Drake, a senior executive with the National Security Agency from 2001 to 2008, was indicted under the Espionage Act by Barack Obama’s administration for leaking classified information, after speaking out on secret mass surveillance programs, multibillion-dollar fraud and intelligence failures from 9/11. He was the first U.S. whistleblower to be charged under the Espionage Act since Daniel Ellsberg in 1971 and faced 35 years in prison before the government’s charges against him were ultimately dropped in 2011.
“I had become a dissident, as far as the NSA was concerned,” Drake said during “Secret Sources: Whistleblowers, National Security and Free Expression,” a panel examining the impact of the Obama administration’s response to national security leaks, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. “If you become a dissident, the white blood cells kick in, culturally, to get rid of you.”
And Drake, much like fellow NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, remains a case study of sorts for the present and future of whistleblower protections in the U.S.
“Thomas Drake is exhibit A of someone who goes through all the appropriate channels,” said Jesselyn Raddack, a national security and human rights lawyer and the director of ExposeFacts’ whistleblower and source protection project, during the panel.
The talk is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
Questions can be directed to Dave Reilly at email@example.com.