Demand Accountability for the Selective Prosecution of NSA Whistleblower Tom Drake
  • Petitioned Attorney General Eric Holder

This petition was delivered to:

Attorney General Eric Holder
Michigan-14
Rep. Gary Peters
Texas-21
Rep. Lamar Smith
Vermont
Sen. Patrick Leahy
Iowa
Sen. Chuck Grassley

Demand Accountability for the Selective Prosecution of NSA Whistleblower Tom Drake

    1. Petition by

      Government Accountability Project

  1.  
  2.   
June 2011

Victory

Thomas Drake is a former National Security Agency (NSA) employee who was being prosecuted under the Espionage Act for retaining, not leaking, classified information about a data collection program that was costly, threatening to Americans' privacy rights, and wholly undeveloped. He did everything by the book, raising concerns through official channels first - including senior NSA management, the Defense Department's inspector general, and Congress.

His concerns were ignored. Drake started, legally, communicating with a reporter - never sharing any classified information whatsoever. But the consequences looked to be severe, with prosecutors looking to make him spend the rest of his life in prison. So in response, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) ran an all-out campaign, which included a petition here on Change.org with nearly 5,000 signatures, calling for the charges against Drake to be dropped.

Their efforts, thanks in part to the thousands of Change.org members who signed the petition, payed off.

On June 9, Thomas Drake agreed to a plea bargain arrangement on the charges brought against him by the federal government. While Drake was facing 10 felony counts and 35 years in jail, this settlement agreement stipulates no jail time or fines shall be imposed on him. In return, Drake pled guilty to a mere misdemeanor. It's a real victory for whistleblowers in the US.

 

Tom Drake is a former National Security Agency (NSA) employee who discovered massive waste, corruption, and illegality at the agency. He used all the available legal and proper channels to fight the wrongdoing. Now the federal government is prosecuting him under the Espionage Act, and he's facing 35 years in prison.

A military veteran with intelligence experience, Drake discovered the NSA's use of a data collection program that was costly, threatening to Americans’ privacy rights, and wholly undeveloped, despite the availability of a cost-effective, functional alternative that respected Americans’ privacy. He did everything by the book, raising concerns through official channels first -- including senior NSA management, the Defense Department's inspector general, and Congress. His concerns were ignored. 

Drake started, legally, communicating with a reporter -- never sharing any classified information whatsoever. A series of articles exposed this billion-dollar affront to privacy rights. Now, Drake is being prosecuted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Espionage Act for retaining -- not leaking -- classified information.

The criminal prosecution of Tom Drake is selective and retaliatory. With this action, the DOJ is sending a clear message to federal whistleblowers: Expose corruption and risk your liberty.

Lend your voice to help Tom Drake, who risked his liberty to protect your rights. The Government Accountability Project (GAP) represents Drake on whistleblower issues, and we are asking you sign the petition below -- targeting the Attorney General and heads of the Congressional Judiciary Committees -- demanding to know why the Justice Department is selectively prosecuting him for protecting Americans and exposing gross waste.

Drake's trial starts on June 13. On Friday, June 3*, GAP will hand deliver this petition, along with your signatures, to the five people who can make a difference in this case. (* The original deadline of May 27 has been extended due to related developments - see updates below!).

·      Eric Holder, Attorney General

·      Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Senate Judiciary Committees Chairman

·      Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member

·      Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) House Judiciary Committee Chairman

·      Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member


Holder heads the Justice Department and has the power to drop the prosecution and, the Judiciary Committees can provide desperately needed oversight to the Justice Department's handling of this case. Help us demand accountability and an explanation for why Tom Drake is being selectively prosecuted for his brave actions.

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Victory: Government Drops Espionage Charge Against Thomas Drake

      Thomas Drake is a former National Security Agency (NSA) employee who was being prosecuted under the Espionage Act for retaining, not leaking, classified information about a data collection program that was costly, threatening to Americans' privacy...

    2. Case against ex-NSA manager accused of mishandling classified files narrows

    3. WaPo Editorial: Prosecution of NSA Whistleblower Tom Drake Is Overkill

    4. Listen: The upcoming trial of whistleblower Thomas Drake who’s charged with violating the Espionage Act

    5. Injustice for All: Did Eric Holder's Justice Department Blow Spy Cover Story?

    6. Attorney General Eric Holder has a close encounter with Thomas Drake

    7. A judge is pressing forward with plans to keep certain unclassified information about the NSA secret from jurors in the case of Thomas Drake

    8. Reached 4 signatures
    9. The Cost ($$$) of Doing the Right Thing

      In my many recent Daily Kos diaries on the retaliatory prosecution of NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, many have suggested that Drake
      "will have his day in court, and he should let the jury decide at trial if he committed a crime."
      These often...

    10. The federal prosecutor who is charging GAP client and NSA whistleblower Tom Drake under the Espionage Act has just issued a subpoena against The New York Times reporter James Risen, to "testify against a former C.I.A. officer who is accused of leaking national-security secrets to him."

    11. Reached 3 signatures
    12. Travesty Of Thomas Drake Being Charged With Espionage Making Mainstream News

    13. Reached 2 signatures
    14. Hoodwinked: The DOJ lied to us about NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake

    15. Reached 2 signatures
    16. Watch the segment on Thomas Drake from 60 Minutes on Sunday 22 May:

    17. Reached 1 signatures
    18. Why Thomas Drake is Not an Enemy of the State

      Jesselyn Radack is a  former Department of Justice whistleblower. She is currently the homeland security director of the Government Accountability Project, the nation’s leading whistleblower organization.
      Former National Security Agency (NSA)...

    19. Far from being an enemy of the state, Mr Drake appears to be a whistleblower who rubbed some people the wrong way.

    20. Reached 1 signatures
    21. Jesselyn Radack on Democracy Now:

    22. Reached 750 signatures
    23. Audio: Thomas Drake Faces Espionage Charges:

    24. Reached 500 signatures
    25. Is Thomas Drake an enemy of the state?

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Laura Borst HOUSTON, TX
      • over 3 years ago

      Tom Drake performed a public service by revealing unconstitutional activity at the NSA, which often conducted warrantless surveillance against U.S. citizens that were often not even suspected of any crimes. Drake deserves to receive a medal, not prosecution.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Andy Wanning NEW YORK, NY
      • over 3 years ago

      The overzealous prosecution of whistleblowers under the Obama Administration is "hope-breaking" and outrageous. These are principled people who are trying to uphold their oath to the Constitution.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Michael E. Mizell DENTON, TX
      • over 3 years ago

      People like Tom Drake, who display integrity and conscience, should be receiving the government's thanks and praise rather than being prosecuted.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Rufus Wanning ORLAND, ME, ME
      • over 3 years ago

      You have the ability to end the hypocritical prosecution of Tom Drake. Please do so.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Rick Cass NORTH PORT, FL
      • over 3 years ago

      Secrecy in court proceedings is a major blow to law and justice, and must be opposed at every turn. prosecuting people for espionage in the absence of the delivery of data to a foreign or domestic enemy degrades the law and robs the citizens of the information necessary to their forming factually based opinions about their government.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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