National Security2021-08-12T13:06:27-04:00

National Security

Government Accountability Project’s National Security team works with whistleblowers to expose and confront illegal and unconstitutional actions at the highest levels of government. In addition to exposing cases of excessive government secrecy, torture and assassination, and government surveillance, the National Security team ensures democratic principles are not sacrificed in the name of security.

Through legislative advocacy and independent investigations, the National Security team has championed the rights of whistleblowers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security, military, and State Department. Notable national security clients have included Edward Snowden, Babak Pasar, and the “Trailblazer” whistleblowers including William Binney, Thomas Drake, Kirk Wiebe, and Ed Loomis.


The National Security team worked to create the modern-day whistleblowing system for members of the Intelligence Community and military. Our strong relationships with the key players in the intelligence whistleblowing world allow us to navigate the patchwork of protections, and reform them wherever necessary. We consistently work with policymakers to improve the systems through which we represent our clients.

Intelligence Community

In recent years, we helped demonstrate the need for broad whistleblowing reform and secured statutory whistleblowing protections for hundreds of thousands of Intelligence Community contractors, who were not covered by existing laws. We demanded the Intelligence Community reform the method by which they handle security clearance revocations to stop them from being used for retaliation. We accomplish these policy goals through any means necessary: we secure holds on presidential appointees, brief policymakers on problems and solutions, and conduct independent investigations.

Military Whistleblower Protection Act

We helped write the Military Whistleblower Protection Act, delivered protections for millions of defense contractors, and are working within the system to make it easier for whistleblowers to report by using reasonable standards for burdens of proof that are used across the rest of the federal government.

We consistently work with key congressional members and staff in areas affecting the whistleblowing system, clients, and ongoing investigations. Interested partners should reach out to our national security analyst, Irvin McCullough, at for more information.


Staff members of our National Security team conduct independent investigations into Intelligence Community and military impropriety. Either in the course of a campaign, at a client’s request, or after receiving an anonymous tip, our experts leverage their journalism experience to find the facts and seek corrective action. Unlike other journalists, our work doesn’t end with publication. We share these stories with our congressional connections to facilitate Congressional or institutional investigations and seek justice.

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Whistleblower Profiles

ThinThread Whistleblowers

ThinThread Whistleblowers Thomas Drake, William Binney, and J. Kirk Wiebe Former United States National Security Agency (NSA) workers William Binney, Thomas Drake, Ed Loomis, and J. Kirk Wiebe believed ThinThread, an in-house electronic surveillance data collection system, which was both cost-effective and protective of American citizens’ privacy rights, was wrongly rejected in favor of Trailblazer, a conceptually similar program created by NSA contractors for billions of dollars. Loomis, Wiebe, and Binney led the [...]

Babak Pasdar

Babak Pasdar n 2008, while overhauling security for major telecommunications company Verizon, computer security expert, Babak Pasdar, discovered a gap in the company’s security protocol. The transmission line, which was referred to as the “Quantico Circuit,” surreptitiously re-routed and captured all customer mobile phone communications, meaning the company had unrestricted access to customers’ information. Pasdar’s findings were one of the pioneering disclosures that exposed the full extent of illegal domestic spying on Americans. [...]

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden Edward Snowden, a former employee of federal contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, disclosed information regarding the National Security Agency’s blanket surveillance of United States citizens. He exposed a secretive data-mining program that collects the phone records, email exchanges, and internet histories of hundreds of millions of people around the globe. In June 2013, Snowden fled the U.S., passing through Hong Kong on his way to Moscow, where he still resides under the [...]