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Mark Hertsgaard is a veteran journalist, and The Nation’s environment reporter. His new book profiles a number of whistleblowers, and makes news with the story of John Crane, the Pentagon whistleblower who ran the whistleblower protection unit at the Defense Department.The book is Bravehearts: Whistleblowing in the Age of Snowden. Hertsgaard talks about the first whistleblower he covered, Bogdan Dzakovic of the FAA, who was first to expose the high failure rate of airport security.
Hertsgaard shows a kind of thread that starts with NSA whistleblowers Tom Drake, Bill Binney and others, and how the retaliation they endured informed the decisions made by Ed Snowden when decided to leak. While Hertsgaard isn’t very critical of Snowden or others he covers, he adds some new information to the story.
But he breaks news with the story of John Crane, who handled the Drake case and was outraged when he was overruled by superiors when they referred the case to Justice and revealed Drake’s identity, in destruction of evidence that would’ve been helpful to Drake, and lying about their actions to the judge who presided over the Drake prosecutions.