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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/16/16

Exposing Government Wrongdoing

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The only people criminally investigated, charged, indicted, convicted and sentenced with regard to the U.S.-sponsored post 9/11 mass surveillance and torture regimes are myself and John Kiriakou -- because we held up a mirror and spoke truth to power. Neither one of us participated in, supported or approved torture or mass surveillance.

And yet taking off the veil of government secrecy surrounding torture and mass surveillance has more often than not turned truth tellers and whistleblowers into turncoats and traitors by the very government engaged in criminal conduct, and then that same government burns those who would dare disclose their conduct on the stake of national security.

These actions by the government against those disclosing government wrongdoing are very troubling for the future of our own democracy, when exposing government criminality and those engaged in torture and mass surveillance is regarded by that same government as a criminal act.

We paid a very high price for our truth telling -- ringing up large legal bills, incurring massive costs and expenses plus huge loss of income and our pensions for supporting and defending the very freedoms and liberties that are inalienable rights for all.

Truth tellers and whistleblowers make up critical early warning systems in society that help expose unaccountable power and secrecy that now attack the very heart of democracy under the guise of national security and keeping us safe from ourselves.

We are encouraged by people informing and educating themselves to the very clear and present dangers to democracy.

Please donate generously to support us, so we can rescue and restore our rights and freedoms increasingly held hostage by the government.

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From 2001 through 2008, Mr. Drake was a senior executive at the National Security Agency (NSA) and served in various technical management and leadership capacities. While there he became a material witness and whistleblower for two 9/11 congressional investigations and a Department of Defense Inspector General audit of a failed multi-billion dollar flagship program called TRAILBLAZER as well as an operationally ready, highly innovative, revolutionary and breakthrough multi-million dollar intelligence data collection, processing and analysis system called THINTHREAD -- that was specifically designed to handle the massive data volumes and information flows of the Digital Age, with built-in 4th Amendment and privacy protection safeguards for U.S. Persons, but rejected by NSA.  His recently concluded legal ordeal involving a targeted, multi-year, many millions of dollars federal government investigation and prosecution of him, ended when the Department of Justice dropped all of the felony charges in the indictment against him (including the Espionage Act) in a plea agreement to a minor misdemeanor. His case lies at the nexus of overreaching national security, the 1st and 4th Amendments, wrongdoing and illegalties cloaked in secrecy, overclassification, a unitary executive branch state secrets privilege hiding 'off the books' domestic warrantless wiretapping, electronic surveillance, eavesdropping and data mining, freedom of thought and association, as well as the alarming erosion of our civil liberties and the enshrined rights in the Constitution. Mr. Drake was the recipient of the 2011 Ridenhour Truth-Telling Prize and currently works as an Expert at an Apple Retail Store in the greater D.C. area.
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