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Tue Dec 13, 2016, 02:58 PM


Government Watchdog Conducting New Investigation Into Pentagon Whistleblower Retaliation

Thomas Drake learned the hard way how whistleblowers are treated. He lost his career, was charged with a crime, and pretty much had his life destroyed. Hopefully this investigation will finally bring Thomas Drake some justice.

Government Watchdog Conducting New Investigation Into Pentagon Whistleblower Retaliation

Jenna McLaughlin
December 13 2016, 12:03 p.m.

THE WATCHDOG WING of Congress has quietly launched an investigation into the “integrity” of the Pentagon’s whistleblower protection program. The previously unreported investigation, started in late October, expands on an ongoing effort by the Department of Justice on this same issue.

The Government Accountability Office, which serves as the investigative arm of Congress, has been looking into the extent to which Department of Defense whistleblower policies “meet executive branch policies and goals,” reassure employees of their rights to raise concerns “without fear of reprisal,” and require officials to report to Congress, among several other areas of concern.


The nonprofit Government Accountability Project, which is devoted to protecting whistleblowers, provided The Intercept with documentation on the new investigation. According to the group, the investigation will also likely target senior Pentagon officials accused of destroying evidence that would have exculpated former senior NSA official Thomas Drake, who raised internal complaints about what he believed to be NSA misconduct and waste before ultimately approaching journalists.

Rather than having his concerns acknowledged, Drake spent months fighting charges against him under the Espionage Act, ultimately pleading guilty to just a single misdemeanor. His career in the intelligence community was ended, however...

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More about Thomas Drake:

NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake: ‘I’ve had to create a whole new life’

November 12, 2015 12:30PM ET
by Timothy Bella

Years before Edward Snowden, there was Thomas Drake, the first American charged with espionage in almost 40 years

WASHINGTON — Five years after becoming the first American to be charged for espionage in nearly four decades, Thomas Drake is still trying to rebuild his life.

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....

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60 Minutes interview with Thomas Drake in 2011. Two other whistleblowers William Binney & Kirk Weibe are also interviewed:

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