Obama Anti-Whistleblower Case Collapses

Saturday, June 11, 2011
Thomas Drake
The Obama administration’s effort to make an example of a former National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower has largely failed, now that its case in federal court has fallen apart.
Thomas Drake, an NSA computer specialist, was brought up on multiple felony charges under the Espionage Act that could have resulted in a 35-year prison sentence. His crime: telling Siobhan Gorman, a reporter at the Baltimore Sun, about the NSA’s decision to reject a $3 million in-house program for collecting Internet and cell phone communications in favor of a $1.2 billion contractor-run alternative.
The Department of Justice’s case unraveled last weekend after federal lawyers withdrew evidence that could have exposed an unidentified telecommunications technology targeted by the NSA’s spying network. With little behind its prosecution, the department agreed to allow Drake to admit a lesser charge.
The whistleblower now faces only a misdemeanor charge of misusing the agency’s computer system by providing “official NSA information” to an unauthorized person. He is not expected to serve time in prison for the conviction.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
US Reaches Plea Deal in Classified Leaks Case (By Douglas Birch and Pete Yost, Associated Press)


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