Posted Jun 11, 2010 06:41 pm CDT
Thomas Drake saw himself as a patriot, a National Security Agency worker who cared about the millions of dollars it was squandering on the wrong surveillance technology.
Initially, he complained to anyone and everyone in the chain of command. But when his internal complaints went nowhere he reached out to a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, recounts the New York Times.
Today, the 53-year-old computer tech expert is working at an Apple store and pondering his defense on the federal obstruction of justice and mishandling of classified information charges on which he was indicted in April.
In less than two years in office, the Obama administration has already pursued more leak prosecutions than any other presidential administration in United States history, the newspaper says. It has not pursued the Baltimore Sun reporter to whom Drake allegedly leaked information about the expensive technology on which Drake contended that the NSA was wasting money; typically, the government doesn’t target members of the media who receive leaked information.
Although no sensitive national security information was handed over to the reporter, Drake could be sentenced to a lengthy prison term if he is convicted on the 10 felony charges he faces, the Times reports.
“For Tom Drake, a man who loves his country and has devoted most of his life to serving it, this is particularly painful,” says his attorney, James Wyda, who serves as Maryland’s federal public defender. “We feel that the government is wrong on both the facts alleged and the principles at stake in such a prosecution.”
Christian Science Monitor: “Soldier arrested in WikiLeaks classified Iraq video case”