Sunday, July 11, 2010

NSA Employee Thomas Drake

NSA Employee Thomas Drake

Text with video:
mmflint | May 08, 2010

REPORTER: How do you check identity and credibility of sources from the intelligence community, mostly those who are working undercover?

HERSH: We've all been fooled. We've all been burned. As I said, at this stage I'm lucky enough that I don't deal with anybody I don't know. If you call me—there was a big story in the paper in America the other week about somebody in the National Security Agency who was accused of giving secrets away to the Baltimore Sun. He was accused of telling about wasteful management—they spent $20 billion [sic] on a computer system that didn't work. This fellow had come to see me two years ago with a totally, completely story [sic], much more devastating, much more important. At to this day—because I just didn't like the situation, and also it's a story that's very hard to prove, and I was doing other things. I can't help but think is he caught on that story because he started to make noise about other things? I don't know.

But essentially, it's a bitch. A good undercover guy can get us. Because no matter what happens, we like stories.

* * * *

Spy Swap Reveals Injustice of Prosecuting Patriotic American for Espionage
By Jesselyn Radack

Originally published on Daily Kos.

I get that the United States is willing to forfeit a solid prosecution to get justice for Western spies. But what I don't get is why the United States is prosecuting one of its own citizens--who spent most of his adult life serving in the Air Force and later working for the government--for revealing gross waste, abuse and illegality by the National Security Agency (NSA).

The spy exchange brings into sharp relief the bogus criminal case against whistleblower Thomas Drake.

Drake, who disclosed one of NSA's failed billion-dollar illegal secret surveillance programs is charged under the Espionage Act for "retaining classified information" (something countless national security and intelligence employees who have ever worked from home have done) and faces 35 years in jail.

The United States charged Drake as a "spy" when what he was complaining about was our government spying on us!

The indictment of whistleblower Tom Drake is a pathological perversion of the truth. The government spied on us, so that makes him a "spy" for revealing their lie?

Want to know what Drake is guilty of?

Spying on behalf of the Constitution against the Surveillance State into which our country was warped after 9/11. He's guilty of exposing government illegalities, and massive fraud, waste and abuse that made us less secure and decreased our capability to inform top-level government decisionmakers regarding intelligence indications and warnings.

Now his very freedom is at stake, and the future of all potential whistleblowers and a truly accountable government--of, by and for the people. Not against the people.

According to a Washington Post article,

U.S. officials said there was no point in holding the [Russian spies] since authorities had monitored their activities for years and had unraveled their network.

Huh?? Is there no point in prosecuting those in the drug trade because law enforcement has monitored their smuggling activity for years and unraveled their gang?

Of course not. Let's at least be honest about what the hasty spy swap is really about:

  1. further improving our relationship with Cold War "frienemy" Russia just days after President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev shared cheeseburgers; and
  1. freeing our own spies who got caught.

We can cloak it in humanitarian concern about Russia's mistreatment of their prisoners, but this is belied by our refusal to "look back" at our own torture of prisoners.

Other U.S. spies for the Soviet Union--think Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames--are behind bars serving life without parole. The Obama/Holder "catch-and-release" policy is no deterrent to future spying.

And Tom Drake, whom Pentagon Papers whistleblower icon Daniel Ellsberg called a "hero," is the convenient "senior"-level scapegoat to be sacrificed on the alter of the national security apparatus--as atonement for the government's sins against our citizenry and our Constitution.

My name is Jesselyn Radack and I am the former Justice Department ethics attorney and whistleblower in the case of "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh. In today's issue of The National Law (more...)

* * * *

Text with video:
SvenVonErick | July 10, 2010

more info:

Rob Kall of interviews Jesselyn Radack, 7/7/2010. Subjects are, whistleblowers, the US Department of Justice, retaliation, and how US President Barack Obama is worse that George W. Bush.

Text with video:
SvenVonErick | February 26, 2010

more info:

Rob Kall Radio, Feb. 24, 2010, show.,,
Scott Horton and Jesselyn Radack interviewed.

Excerpt:The current controversy surrounding the velvet glove treatment the Justice Department gave to torture memo authors John Yoo, Jay Bybee, and Steven Bradbury led me to an interview with Jesselyn Radack, a former Justice Department lawyer who "did the right thing." Not only did she dispense indubitably accurate advice, she caught the Justice Department in the middle of acts of what might have been criminal obstruction and insisted that they be corrected. What happened? Radack found herself facing trumped up criminal charges, had frivolous complaints filed against her before two bar associations, and was subjected to repeated petty harassment, including being placed on the "No-Fly" List. I put six questions to Jesselyn Radack about her nightmarish experience in the hands of so-called Justice Department ethics staffers.

1. When an American citizen, John Walker Lindh, was captured in northern Afghanistan, FBI agents sought guidance on whether and how he could be questioned and the request was sent to you for an opinion. Can you explain what your job was, and what advice you wound up giving?

Jesselyn Radack

I was a legal advisor to the Justice Department on matters of ethics. On December 7, 2001, I fielded a call from a Criminal Division attorney named John DePue. He wanted to know about the ethical propriety of interrogating "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh without a lawyer being present. DePue told me unambiguously that Lindh's father had retained counsel for his son. I advised him that Lindh should not be questioned without his lawyer.

2. Was your advice followed?

I gave my advice on a Friday. Over the weekend, the FBI interrogated Lindh anyway. DePue called back on Monday asking what to do now. I advised that the interview might have to be sealed and used only for intelligence-gathering or national security purposes, not criminal prosecution. Again, my advice was ignored.

Three weeks later, on January 15, 2002, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that a criminal complaint was being filed against Lindh. "The subject here is entitled to choose his own lawyer," Ashcroft said, "and to our knowledge, has not chosen a lawyer at this time." I knew that wasn't true.

Three weeks later, Ashcroft announced Lindh's indictment, saying Lindh's rights "have been carefully, scrupulously honored." Again, I knew that wasn't true.

3. Later, when the Bush Administration decided to try Lindh on criminal charges in a federal court in Virginia, the judge issued a discovery order. How did you find out about it? What did you learn about the Justice Department's compliance with discovery requests? What did you do about that?

On March 7, I inadvertently learned that the judge presiding over the Lindh case had ordered that all Justice Department correspondence related to Lindh's interrogation be submitted to the court. Such orders routinely are disseminated to everyone with even a remote connection to the case in question, but I heard about it only because the Lindh prosecutor contacted me directly.

There was more. The prosecutor said he had only two of my e-mails. I knew I had written more than a dozen. When I went to check the hard copy file, the e-mails containing my assessment that the FBI had committed an ethical violation in Lindh's interrogation were missing.

With the help of technical support, I resurrected the missing e-mails from my computer archives. I documented and included them in a memo to my boss and took home a copy for safekeeping in case they "disappeared" again. Then I resigned.

4. Once the "disappeared" e-mails resurfaced, what did the Justice Department do to you?

As the prosecution proceeded rapidly, and the Justice Department continued to claim that it never believed at the time of his interrogation that Lindh had a lawyer, I disclosed the e-mails to Newsweek in accordance with the Whistleblower Protection Act and the crime-fraud exception to confidentiality.

Financial Whistleblowing Panel with Jesselyn Radack and Jack Blum

Text with video:
GovAcctProjTV | November 13, 2009

The worldwide recession has provided a public call for greater transparency and accountability in financial markets. But the complexity and detail of these makets and companies make identifying wrongdoing difficult - to the point that often only insiders can identify when malfeasance occurs. What issues face international (and national) financial whistleblowers? Why is the only person being sent to jail for the recent UBS scandal - which involved illegal off-shore tax havens - the whistleblower, Brad Birkenfeld? Birkenfeld's disclosures allowed the government to recoup almost $800 million in fines, penalties and back taxes. We speak with experts from the Tax Justice Network and the Government Accountability Project.

* * * *

Why is UBS Whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld the Only One Heading to Prison?

Text with video:
mediagrrl9 | January 07, 2010

Full video:

Democracy Now! Thursday, January 7, 2010
A former banker for the Swiss giant UBS who blew the whistle on the biggest tax-evasion scheme in US history is preparing to head to prison tomorrow to begin serving a forty-month federal sentence. Bradley Birkenfeld first came forward to US authorities in 2007 and began providing inside information on how UBS was helping thousands of Americans hide assets in secret Swiss accounts. We speak with his attorney, Stephen Kohn, the executive director of the National Whistleblowers Center.

* * * *


Post a Comment

<< Home

Hit Counter