Thomas Andrews Drake is a former senior executive of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and a decorated United States Air Force and United States Navy veteran. He has experience with computer software, linguistics, management, and leadership. He is also a whistleblower. In 2010 the government alleged that he ‘mishandled’ documents, one of the few such Espionage Act cases in U.S. history. His defenders claim that he was instead being persecuted for challenging the Trailblazer Project. He is the 2011 recipient of the Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling and co-recipient of the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) award. On June 9, 2011, all 10 original charges against him were dropped.
On Friday the first of February I saw the noon showing of BOGED (TRAITOR): AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE at the Georgetown University Gonda Theater. I want to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to all behind this play as well as the cast members who brought it to life on the stage. I cannot begin to share adequately in words what your play meant to me, given my own history.
I found the play profoundly and emotionally quite moving, because it eerily parallels what is happening in the United States today for those who dare speak truth to power.
Thank you so much for your phenomenally gripping play and bringing it to the stage for audiences to experience.
BOGED is a most timely, compelling, and very cautionary tale for the post-9/11national security state landscape in the United States.
I came under intense physical and electronic surveillance when the government chose to target me in 2006 as part of a multi-year, multi-million dollar criminal national security ‘leak’ investigation involving 5 full-time prosecutors and 25 full-time agents.
In November 2007 a dozen FBI agents armed with search warrants (and armed as well) raided my residence and also my office where I taught as a professor of behavioral science down at the National Defense University.
As a whistleblower on high crimes and misdemeanors, as well as illegality, fraud, abuse and government wrongdoing at the National Security Agency, I became an Enemy of the State in the eyes of the US government and suffered grievously for speaking truth to power.
At one point I was threatened with spending the rest of my life in prison during an interrogation session with the Chief Prosecutor at the time on my case from the Department of Justice at a secret FBI facility in April 2008.
Two years later I was indicted in April 2010 and charged with 10 felony counts (including 5 under the Espionage Act) facing 35 years in prison.
Fortunately the government’s case against me collapsed under the weight of truth on the eve of public trial in June 2011.
Here is my acceptance speech in April 2011 as the recipient of the 2011 Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize (with an introduction from Jesselyn Radack, who was my voice and pen when I could not speak or write in public, as my tireless defender in the court of public opinion and incomparable advocate behind the scenes, doing everything she could to keep me free).
Here is the seminal Jane Mayer article from The New Yorker published in May 2011.
Here is my 60 Minutes interview with Scott Pelley back in May 2011 (with web extras that include Jesselyn Radack talking about the Espionage Act and rebroadcast in August of 2011 with an update from the original May 2011 broadcast after the government’s case collapsed against me).
Here is my speech as the co-winner of the Sam Adams Associates Integrity in Intelligence Award with Jesselyn Radack in November 2011.
Here is my Democracy Now! appearance back in March of 2012 with Jesselyn Radack from the Government Accountability Project.
Here is the SaveTomDrake Facebook page that now serves as an archive history of my case with many links.
And Jesselyn Radack published her book in early 2012 called Traitor: The Whistleblower and the “American Taliban” and the final chapter is dedicated to my case.
Thank you once again for such a profoundly moving play.