NEW YORK — NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake and his attorney, a journalist covering the Bradley Manning trial, and a longtime political activist were participants in a panel discussing “The National Security State” on Sunday.
Former NSA employee Thomas Drake spoke at the Left Forum on Sunday. Drake discussed his attempts to report “high crimes and misdemeanors,” committed by intelligence agencies after 9/11, to the federal government. Drake recalled how his life changed after he became the subject of an FBI investigation in retaliation for his whistleblowing activities.
Attorney Jesselyn Radack also spoke at the Left Forum panel on whistleblowers. Radak discussed the treatment whistleblowers receive from the Government as well as her own experiences as an attorney who represented pariahs — individuals some regard as people of conscience but whom the federal government sees as enemies of the state.
firedoglake.com journalist Kevin Gosztola has been reporting on the Bradley Manning trial. On Sunday Gosztola discussed the historical importance of the Bradley Manning case, the military’s efforts to muzzle the press, and the prosecution’s notion that Manning lacked agency — Gosztola disputed the Army’s assertion that Manning acted as an “agent” of wikileaks, hence committed espionage.
With the National Security Agency being in the press this past week it is an interesting coincidence that Bradley Manning is being tried at Ft. Meade — home of the NSA. The video clips presented here shed some light on the issues surrounding those persons whom some regard as heroes and the government — in particular the Obama administration — prosecutes under the 1917 Espionage Act. Eugene Debs was prosecuted and imprisoned for violating this act. His crime consisted of speaking out against World War One.
Sunday’s panel was sponsored by the World Can’t Wait and moderated by WCW’s Debra Sweet.