President Obama praised whistle-blowers during his campaign but has since presided over what one conservative political scientist calls “the most Draconian crackdown on leaks in our history—even more so than Nixon.” In The New Yorker, Jane Mayer talks to Thomas Drake, a former National Security Agency senior executive who faces 35 years in prison for leaking information to the press. “I did not tell secrets,” says Drake. “I am facing prison for having raised an alarm, period. I went to a reporter with a few key things: fraud, waste, and abuse, and the fact that there were legal alternatives to the Bush Administration’s ‘dark side.’” Drake was part of an all-Republican group of internal NSA dissidents who opposed the agency's warrantless wiretapping program. They complained to the Pentagon Inspector General, who ruled in their favor, but then the ruling was classified as secret. Frustrated, Drake began leaking to the Baltimore Sun. Some people believe Drake was targeted only after the Justice Department failed to figure out who was responsible for leaking word of the NSA’s wireless wiretapping to The New York Times.
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