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In this in-depth interview, Thomas Drake shares the wrenching experience of becoming a target of the national security machine he’d been part of. Charged with 10 counts, including 5 under the draconian Espionage Act, he took a guilty plea on a minor charge to avoid prison and bankruptcy. Drake has a lot to say, and Americans need to hear it! Tom Drake was a high ranking official at the National Security Agency, and witnessed the corruption and failure of the Trailblazer program, which is described by his former colleague Bill Binney and reporter Tim Shorrock in Part 1 of this 2-part special on the “NSA 4”.
While Drake is still not permitted to disclose many details of his work at the NSA, he is remarkably candid–and at times agitated–in describing the retaliation he faced as an unwilling whistleblower.
–he describes the personal and professional cost of his investigation, indictment and trial
–he talks about his oath to defend the Consititution and his angst over the intentional violations caused by surveillance programs approved by Bush and Obama
–how the NSA went to “the dark side” after 9/11
–the rejection of surveillance software that protected our rights in favor of outsourced, grossly expensive software that squandered more than $6 billion and profited contractors with cozy connections
–Michael Hayden was director of NSA, promoted the Trailblazer program, covered up its failure, and was promoted
–he confirms CIA’s Michael Sheuer’s claim that NSA would not share an intercepted bin Laden call, and says 9/11 could have been prevented if CIA and NSA had collaborated
–he believes he was the scapegoat for the disclosure of the illegal wiretapping by the NY Times in 2005, but he had never talked to their reporters
There’s much more in this important interview, be sure to listen to the end as he talks about the attacks on whistleblowers and efforts “to break people, bankrupt and blackball them”.