Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Whistblower Being Wronged For Doing Right!
Thomas Drake became a symbol of the dangers whistleblowers
face when they help journalists and Congress investigate
wrongdoing at intelligence agencies. He claims he was subjected to
a decade of retaliation by the National Security Agency that
culminated in his being charged with espionage.
But when the Pentagon Inspector General’s Office opened an
inquiry into the former senior NSA official’s allegations of
retaliation in 2012, it looked at only two of the 10 years detailed in
his account, according to a recently released Pentagon summary of
the probe, before finding no evidence of retaliation. That finding
ended Drake’s four-year effort to return to government service.
Whistleblower advocates say Drake’s experience, spelled out in a
document McClatchy obtained this month through the Freedom of I
information Act, underscores the problem that intelligence and
defense workers face in bringing malfeasance to the surface. The
agencies that are supposed to crack down on retaliation are not up
to the task, especially when the alleged wrongdoing involves
classified information, they charge.
“This report epitomizes the utter lack of protection for national
security whistleblowers,” said Jesselyn Radack, Drake’s attorney.
“This is a pathetic, anemic excuse for an investigation.”
Although investigators appear to have rejected Drake’s claims
almost a year ago, the Pentagon Inspector General’s Office did not
publicly disclose its findings and hadn’t shared them even with
Drake’s attorneys. McClatchy gave the attorneys a copy of the
The news of the rejection comes as McClatchy has learned that the
same officials who are supposed to be helping whistleblowers such
as Drake claim that they themselves have been forced to blow the
whistle on their own office.
Multiple former and current officials from the Pentagon Inspector
General’s Office have alleged to the Office of Special Counsel, the
independent government agency that investigates whistleblower
claims, that they’ve been retaliated against for objecting to how
cases are handled. Drake’s case is one of several singled out for
“It illustrates the bleak landscape faced by whistleblowers and IG investigators,” said one of the several people who described the accusations but asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the matter. “The numerous allegations of reprisal and misconduct directed against senior IG officials call into question the efficacy of the whistleblower mission. If true, one can make the case that the office of inspector general has failed.”