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Former CIA Analyst Sues Defense Department To Vindicate NSA Whistleblowers ( 22

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Intercept: In 2010, Thomas Drake, a former senior employee at the National Security Agency, was charged with espionage for speaking to a reporter from the Baltimore Sun about a bloated, dysfunctional intelligence program he believed would violate Americans' privacy. The case against him eventually fell apart, and he pled guilty to a single misdemeanor, but his career in the NSA was over. Though Drake was largely vindicated, the central question he raised about technology and privacy has never been resolved. Almost seven years have passed now, but Pat Eddington, a former CIA analyst, is still trying to prove that Drake was right. While working for Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., Eddington had the unique opportunity to comb through still-classified documents that outline the history of two competing NSA programs known as ThinThread and Trailblazer. He's seen an unredacted version of the Pentagon inspector general's 2004 audit of the NSA's failures during that time, and has filed Freedom of Information Act requests. In January, Eddington decided to take those efforts a step further by suing the Department of Defense to obtain the material, he tells The Intercept. "Those documents completely vindicate" those who advocated for ThinThread at personal risk, says Eddington.
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Former CIA Analyst Sues Defense Department To Vindicate NSA Whistleblowers

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Given that he saw them using his clearance, I worry about the ramifications of what he might get from FOIA requests and what the outcome for him might be as a result.

    Still, it's a damn shame that our last President was so loved while he expanded programs like this garbage, with the media eating it up and ignoring it along the way.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 10, 2017 @06:26PM (#53842831)

    When you pledge to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that includes government officials.

    If it weren't for Whisleblowers, we would have no defense against a government that would secretly and willingly violate the rights of the governed. Whistleblowers put themselves at risk for the very concepts of freedom and liberty.

    • Yes, we absolutely need whistleblowers.
      BUT, note the difference on what is happening with this case, vs what happened with manning and Snowden. In manning's case, s?he was not interested in whistle blowing, but in harming America. Brad was mad at the army and this was his way of hurting them.

      Then we have snowden. He started out right on the money by giving up information about how NSA had failed to protect Americans privacy, while still doing their job. GREAT. That is a whistleblower.
      But then he went
  • They are just lying to you that you don't.

    Stand up.

  • Trump effect? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Saturday February 11, 2017 @12:53PM (#53846123) Homepage Journal

    I find myself wondering whether pushing this during the Trump administration is a bad idea... or whether it's a great idea. On the one hand, we have an executive branch headed by a loose cannon who doesn't think the rules apply to him, and if he should decide that he wants to squash Eddington like a bug he may well be willing to take actions that no previous president (excepting Andrew Jackson, perhaps) would contemplate. If I were Eddington, that would make me think hard before poking my head up to get pounded.

    On the other hand Trump's willingness to overreact and to do so with incomplete planning (as evidenced by the botch he made of the immigration order), has put the judiciary in a skeptical state of mind when it comes to anything this administration says. I suspect that judges are a lot less likely to take this administration's word for it when it cries "but National Security!", than they were with Obama, or Bush. And there's also the possibility that Trump may decide that letting this suit go forward will make the previous guys look bad, and that's good enough for him. In contrast, Obama clearly would have fought it, and fought it competently and with the aid of a more sympathetic judiciary.

    Or maybe Eddington's timing is completely coincidental. Perhaps he's been working up to this suit for years and finally got the pieces put together and decided to file. But I doubt it. The coincidence is too perfect.

    In a lot of ways, I think Trumpism may well be one of the best things to happen to this country, not because I think he'll do so much good, but because he'll provoke us to rethink how much power we have vested in the office of the president. Hopefully Eddington can also exploit this opportunity to crack the wall of secrecy and pattern of whistleblower intimidation that has been established in recent decades.

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.