*Note: All three Callaway Award winners are GAP clients.
The Joseph Callaway Award for Civic Courage will be presented tomorrow to three government whistleblowers – William Binney, J. Kirk Wiebe and John Kiriakou.
Binney and Wiebe are National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblowers who worked at the agency for decades.
A mathematician, Binney worked for the NSA for almost forty years.
Binney and analyst Wiebe, who worked at NSA in excess of 30 years, developed an information processing system called ThinThread that they believe could have detected and prevented the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
But NSA officials ignored ThinThread in favor of Trailblazer – a much more expensive program that not only ended in total failure, but cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
Kiriakou is a former CIA officer who publicly acknowledged that waterboarding constituted torture. Kiriakou became the sixth whistleblower to be indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act – more than all previous presidential administrations combined.
Last month, Kiriakou pled guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
The majority of Kiriakou’s charges were dropped – including all Espionage Act charges.
His lawyers say that Kiriakou was motivated to take the plea because of the desire to ensure that he could see his children grow up.
He will likely serve 30 months in prison.
The awards will be presented on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at the Carnegie Institution Building, 1530 P Street NW, Washington, D.C.
The Callaway Award was established to recognize individuals in any area of endeavor who, with integrity and at some personal risk, take a public stand to advance truth and justice, and who challenge unsatisfactory conditions in pursuit of the common good.
The Callaway Award is administered by the Shafeek Nader Trust for the Community Interest.