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Government rejects Thomas Drake’s retaliation claims

NSA whistleblower and Courage Advisory Board member Thomas Drake had his career and professional reputation ruined after he disclosed information about warrantless wiretapping. Charged under the Espionage Act, Drake narrowly avoided a trial that could’ve landed him in prison for years but was bankrupted defending himself.

Drake formally complained of government retaliation, and as McClatchy reports, his claims were rejected, with the government condoning Drake’s treatment.

Drake told McClatchy, “What happened to me already had a chilling effect on whistleblowers relying on official channel. … This is just more evidence that the system is corrupted.”

Jesselyn Radack, Drake’s attorney with the Government Accountability Project, criticised the government’s handling of his claims: “This report epitomizes the utter lack of protection for national security whistleblowers. …“This is a pathetic, anemic excuse for an investigation.”

Although the Pentagon Inspector General’s Office conceded that his disclosures legally qualified as a whistleblower, it doesn’t believe he was retaliated against —but as McClatchy says, “Drake says the retaliation by the NSA began long before the prosecution and soon after he began cooperating in 2002 with congressional investigations into 9/11 intelligence failures.”

Read McClatchy’s full story here.

Read the report here.