In the 21st century “speaking truth to power is a criminal act”. That is Thomas A. Drake‘s general understanding of what whistleblowers must expect when denouncing government unconstitutional power grab.
Mr. Drake has joined former federal attorney Thomas Tamm, William Binney, Edward Snowden, and several former public and private employees who despite having all odds against them, decided to make public information that directly proved how the United States government, in combination with its allies, violated every single universal and constitutional right at home and abroad.
The violation of such rights are not only limited to the American people, but to other world citizens whose governments collaborate with America‘s war on all individuals. In the brave new world we live today, the world is a battlefield in which the government sees everyone as guilty until proven innocent.
People who denounce government abuses of power are immediately identified as traitors, suspects of terrorism and accused of preposterous made up crimes such as aiding terrorism or violating espionage laws.
What few people who either read about or investigate government abuses of power have not been able to discern is that in the case of Mr. Drake, Mr. Tamm and Mr. Binney, despite serious cases of intimidation, the government has failed bring any charges against them.
The three men whose charges were dropped by the United States government, managed to denounce stealthy police state practices without being accused of anything. Everything they did while making public the secret practices of the growing surveillance state was done under the law.
More importantly, the revelations we have learned about have done something that is much more relevant than anyone imagines: It has made us all aware that the governments we live under are actively seeking and implementing new practices to indiscriminately tread on innocent people which they justify with the same old excuse that has been used for a long time: Terrorism.
Anyone would think that after being exposed to public humiliation, the governments that seek to keep whistleblowers from coming forward with more information, would stop doing so. However, it has been quite the opposite. The US government in particular, but also its allies, have been as clear as they can about their desire to prosecute anyone who dares provide the public with information about their secret violations.
There seem to be two ideas in the minds of people who work in government and who intend to use the power they hold to violate the law: One, that it is OK to do so as long as they don’t get caught, and two, that even if they get caught, it is possible to justify their violations under the pretense of national security. Of course, both of these ideas are shattered by the simple understanding of two facts: Firstly, that violating universal and constitutional rights is not justified under any circumstance, and secondly, that, even if the purpose of the violations was to serve an alleged ‘greater purpose’, it does not mean that people who committed them are less guilty because of their intent.
“It was on 9/11 that I was exposed to the Pandora’s Box of illegality and government wrongdoing of very significant scale,” said Drake during a television interview. “Essentially what happened was that the NSA was going blind, was going deaf,” explained Drake when asked to talk about the multi-billion dollar program [Trailblazer] used by the organization to deal with the large volumes of information and data it had to deal with in the present digital age.
Another program developed by the NSA was called ThinTread. It involved wiretapping and sophisticated analysis of data. The start of this program preceded 9/11. It began back in the 1990’s. According to media reports, “the program would have used a technique of encrypting sensitive privacy information in order to comply with legal concerns, and would have automatically identified potential threats. The sources of the data for this program would have included “massive phone and e-mail data,” but the extent of this information is not clear. Only once a threat was discovered, would the data be decrypted for analysis by agents.”
All of these information and more is presented in a recently produced documentary film called War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State. The film produced by Robert Greenwald explores that past and the present of the relation between the media and whistleblowers and how governments react when threatened by the truth.
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