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NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake Interview Part 2

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After attending a pre-lecture reception, then a one hour lecture, then doing dinner with Thomas Drake, that lasted almost five hours, I got together three days later with Thomas and did what turned out to be an almost 2.5 hour interview. This is the second part of the interview.


From wikipedia: Thomas Drake is a former senior executive of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), a decorated United States Air Force and United States Navy veteran, and a whistleblower

In 2010 the government alleged that Drake "mishandled" documents, one of the few such Espionage Act cases in U.S. history. Drake's defenders claim that he was instead being persecuted for challenging the Trailblazer Project On June 9, 2011, all 10 original charges against him were dropped. Drake rejected several deals because he refused to "plea bargain with the truth". He eventually pled to one misdemeanor count for exceeding authorized use of a computer;

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.

Rough Interview Notes; Mostly my questions

Rob: Has Snowden revealed operations to our adversaries?

Tom: No. ". but"  

Given the unique power of the state, it is not enough for leaders to say: Trust us. We won't abuse the data we collect. For history has too many examples when that trust has been breached. Our system of government is built on the premise that our liberty cannot depend on the good intentions of those in power. It depends on the law to constrain those in power.

Tom: As a former constitutional lecturer, he obviously knows better. he gave a tell on Jon Stewart Daily Show several months ago when he spoke about a legal framework for those who succeed him. The only legal framework is the constitution. He's turning his own oath on it's head. This is sophistry. This is mass manipulation of thought processes. 

I have approved a new presidential directive for our signals intelligence activities both at home and abroad. This guidance will strengthen executive branch oversight of our intelligence activities. It will ensure that we take into account our security requirements, but also our alliances, our trade and investment relationships, including the concerns of American companies, and our commitment to privacy and basic liberties.

Rob: I'm guessing there's a lot in there between the lines. Then what about the TPP-- the TPP is an extraordinary. I just use reverse psychology. When they say they're not, they are. 

Tom: The devil's in the details. 

Are they letting the companies they are contracting with  use the access to data for business. 

the program does not involve the NSA examining the phone records of ordinary Americans.

Can you talk about Bengazi

It wasn't a reaction to a video. 

The CIA has always used overseas embassies and consulates as cover. They're desperate to protect ". this is the Iran contra weapons equivalent. 

What you are saying that CIA was using the embassy as cover to run guns to Syria. 

There are reporters who know the truth and the outlets of record are not allowing the truth to come out. 

If they knew, why did they let them kill the people?

Now you're getting into the pathology-- you want to protect the operation, you don't want to blow the cover. 

What about what Darrell Issa has been investigating. Why hasn't this come out in his congressional hearings. 

Tom: It's so explosive. There was fundamental failure here and it was all preventable. You have to get back to the pathology. 

Rob: Was Hillary at fault here or was it intelligence agencies?

Both. It is true that the head is the last to know. 

911 Smoking gun evidence of what NSA knew about 911"

can you talk about was in the evidence? 

Saxby Chambliss- launched congressional investigation of 911. 

I was tasked to provide formal statement, behind closed doors

I ran across smoking gun NSA on several fronts that had not been shared that they could have done something with it. 

And after 911, they actually did kill most of the members of Al Qaeda.

Reply to Truthers about buildings

there are some emergency decrees that have not come out yet. 

I know what a conspiracy is. I've seen the documented evidence by the more reputable-- the Richard Gages-- I continue to remain unconvinced. There is no evidence. 

Building came down because it was severely damaged from the towers dropping" how much damage that created for Building seven. 

I keep an open mind. 

There was no controlled demolition of the twin towers. 

When they hold power, information is the currency. 

The irony is, of course, here, by withholding information".. 

And you also mentioned that Bin Laden was a construction engineer and reviewed the blueprints. 

911 was an excuse. What are you talking about?

Rahm Emanuel said-- "Never let a good crisis go to waste. 

Cheney was a master of how to manipulate events to gain more power. 

You were saying that our intelligence organizations engage in false flag operations. 

Gulf of Tonkin

What about other false operations. Can you tell me more about that?

False flag operations used to get funding. 

USS Liberty and NSA. Johnson could have defended it

USS Pueblo

You spoke about how NSA has compromised the integrity of commercial IT worldwide.

It is unconscionable to make it easier to surveil it. 

Is data collection of ALLLLLL the data a form of hoarding?

Pentagon-- why did they confiscate all the film

Tom: Metadata has become a false flag. 

Rob: What do you mean by that?

Tom: They want the focus on the metadata. Then they get to remain silent on the content of the phone calls. 

Tom: I was a voice processing specialist. They do mass processing" by machine. 

It's not just phones" 

Rob: Bill Binney says that this data is shared with law enforcement in the US and that's a major abuse. 

Parallel construction-- 

It's a pre-crime database. 

You talked about how  Israel is 3rd rail. Did Israel or Mossad have any influence within NSA

Constitution is a direct and compelling threat to the national security state. 

The mantra: "We just want to make Americans feel safe again."

Internal study-- retrospective analysis of NSA's role in 911 of what they knew and didn't share" They knew that they had failed but they were unwilling to acknowledge it. 

NSA's response, which I ran full head into it, was, you know what, we failed because we didn't have enough data-- though we had enough data. 

And now, 12 years later we have all these bulk collection programs and not just NSA, you have CIA doing vast collection of financial data. What about the FBI-- the FBI is getting to hide behind the shadows of the CIA and NSA"

The NSA has deployed huge numbers of hacker teams" absent warrant orders.

"Let's just hack our way into these systems"" which is happening."

They've interviewed Stasi officers who have said they would drool at the technology"

Stasi said: "It's utterly naive that when you collect all this data, to believe that they don't use it for other purposes." 

If you were the president how would change things?

USA Today Op-ed. and memo

Our own government has become a clear and compelling danger to the constitution. 

You want to wrap with anything?

Scene in the Wrath of Khan, where Spock is dying. James Kirk asks why?

The need of the many outweigh the needs of the one. 

Snowden is safest in Russia.

Tom: Snowden saw what happened to me and others. 

Even Bush said, it was a policy difference, why criminalize it. It took Obama to use the espionage to prosecute people who spoke truth to power. 

Rob: it seems that the people who dropped all your charges abused the system. Where is the accountability for them?

Tom: It actually undermines our national security. They've actually weakened our national security.  

Rob: When you say "too big to fail" mentality you mean they have to get bigger to prevent failure. 

Tom: But the pathology is they get more paranoid. 

You actually erode the fabric of our government structure. 

You said that more whistleblowers are coming forward.


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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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It amazes me that someone of Mr. Drake's first han... by Dan Koch on Thursday, Jan 23, 2014 at 5:27:21 PM
I must addendum my earlier comment here. Somehow I... by Dan Koch on Friday, Jan 24, 2014 at 10:21:56 AM
Hmm. That skipped right past me, maybe because he... by Rob Kall on Friday, Jan 24, 2014 at 10:44:38 AM
News of Larry S. and WTC7 has been out and about ... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jan 24, 2014 at 11:38:59 AM
In Reply The term "truther" is a derogatory term... by Dan Koch on Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 9:33:55 PM