In a federal court room in Greenbelt, Maryland , and in a case even more egregious than the one involving Drake, federal judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced former NSA "Iraqi shop" signals intelligence analyst Ken Ford Jr., to six years in prison and no fine as a result of his politically-motivated conviction for allegedly removing two boxes of classified materials from NSA during broad daylight without detection. In fact, the documents were planted in Ford's Waldorf, Maryland home in retaliation for his signals intelligence analysis report casting doubt on the White House contention that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. That report, which contained Ford's name as the preparer, eventually ended up on the desk of Vice President Dick Cheney. As a result, Ford became a target of the neo-con cell operating from within Cheney's office and the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), the same cabal that compromised Valerie Plame Wilson's covert identity and mission.
The team of Assistant U.S. Attorney David Salem ; federal public defenders John Chamble, Andrea Callaman, and Susan Bauer; and even the private lawyer eventually retained by Ford, conspired to ensure that Messitte was successfully "judge shopped" as the trial attorney, that at least one dubious pro-NSA jury member was selected for the trial jury, and that Ford would receive anything but a fair trial. Unlike Drake, Ford served in a lower-level analyst position. However, Ford, an African-American who previously served as a uniformed U.S. Secret Service officer at the White House, was on a fast-track for an executive position at NSA.
"60 Minutes" never covered the Ford case, even though it was as, if not more, outrageous as the case brought against Drake. The Washington Post, rather than assign one of its national security correspondents to the case, handed it to a Metro desk reporter, who parroted in his articles what was given to him by the prosecution team.
Prosecutors never cited any classified document that was said to be in Ford's possession at the time of his arrest. Prosecutors relied on the testimony of a confidential informant named Tonya Tucker, who had several other aliases and a long criminal record, who said she saw a document labeled "classified" in Ford's home. Of course, "classified" is not a national security label or designator for any documents. Salem also charged that Ford was planning on meeting a foreign agent at Dulles International Airport to transmit documents. However, Salem could not identify the foreign country involved, a flight number, a rendezvous point, or any details of what amounted to a "pre-crime" allegation. In fact, Salem made up the entire Dulles story as a way to ensure a guilty verdict, especially considering that the jury was never shown any of the alleged classified documents that were said to be in Ford's possession. In the Drake case, the jury was shown copies of "retroactively" classified documents, which were originally unclassified.
The federal public defenders office in Washington is clearly nervous about the double standard applied to Ford and Drake. Moreover, the supervisor of Ford's tainted public defenders in 2004 was Wyda, the same public defender who successfully argued Drake's case.
Former Justice Department prosecutor Thomas Tamm, under a long investigation for revealing the nature of NSA's warrantless wiretapping program to The New York Times, eventually saw his investigation by the FBI suspended. However, WMR has learned that the STELLAR WIND program was routinely violated by NSA employees. Hayden, who came up with the program and sold it to then-CIA director George Tenet and Vice President Cheney, essentially canceled the provisions of U.S. Signals Intelligence Directive 18 (USSID) 18, which governed the application of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) at NSA. NSA was prohibited from eavesdropping on "U.S. persons" without a court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). Under Hayden's tenure, some NSA analysts were conducting e-mail surveillance of their current and former girl friends, prompting Hayden to cover his tracks by implementing a procedure that saw database security officers, including those with oversight over the PINWALE e-mail interception database, conducting after-the-fact audit trail analysis for internal abuse of the new NSA powers.