Thomas Drake: The Case Of A Whistle-Blower

Thomas Drake: The Case Of A Whistle-Blower

Kojo chats with Thomas Drake, a former official at the National Security Agency who became the target of a high-profile leak case -- a flashpoint in debates about whistle-blowers and national security.

Thomas Drake was a senior official at the National Security Agency before he got ensnared in a whistle-blower case that became a flashpoint in debates about the freedom of information and national security. Drake eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, but the case came with a high price: he gave up his job and now works at an Apple Store in suburban Maryland. Drake joins Kojo in the studio to chat about his experience, the Obama administration's approach to whistle-blowers and the balance between security and freedom.

Guests

Thomas Drake

National Security Agency whistleblower

Jesselyn Radack

National Security & Human Rights Director, Government Accountability Project; author "Traitor: The Whistleblower and the "American Taliban" (Whistleblower Press)

Video From Inside The Studio

NSA whistle-blower Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack, national security director at the Government Accountability Project, talk about how the government's high-tech capabilities deter those who want to share intelligence. Radack said whistle-blowers now have to "basically use drug dealer tactics," such as aliases and disposable telephones. "It's really unfortunate that people have to behave like we're in the Dark Ages, especially with all this amazing technology," Radack said. Drake added that it's easy to forget similar events throughout history. "We've been here before. But this administration and the administration prior, with the combination of what's been happening since 9/11, makes the Nixon era look like pikers," Drake said.

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.