Here is a bit from Wired magazine on one NSA whistleblower:
Days before he was set to go on trial on charges that he illegally retained classified documents, NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake has agreed to plead guilty to a lesser misdemeanor count of exceeding authorized access to a computer.Here's the real alarm signal. I've added the emphases:
Drake had been charged under the Espionage Act after he allegedly provided information about waste and mismanagement at the NSA to a Baltimore Sun reporter in 2006 and 2007.
The former NSA linguist, who was set to go to trial next Monday, rejected two pleas offered by the government on Wednesday before finally agreeing to a third proposal, according to the Washington Post. He turned down an offer to plead guilty to the charge that he retained classified documents without authorization.
Drake, who left the NSA in 2008 and has been reduced to working at an Apple Store outside Washington, D.C. while he awaited trial, was facing a possible sentence of 35 years if convicted of the charges he was facing. He has long maintained that he never provided the Sun with classified information and also disputed that any documents investigators found at his home contained classified material.
The government’s decision to prosecute Drake and the resulting media attention has already led to more public disclosures about the NSA’s illegal surveillance program than the government likely wanted.Go read the original article to get all the gory details about corruption and crime within government and how they are using "the Law" to suppress anybody who tries to point this out.
Drake’s revelations to the Baltimore Sun exposed the government’s waste and mismanagement of the programs.
Last year the government had dropped a criminal investigation of another whistle blower who helped expose the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program to the New York Times in 2004.