National Security2020-05-29T12:06:13-04:00

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 [email protected] 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.

Whistleblower Profiles

Foreign Policy: After Biden Win, U.S. Intelligence Community ‘Probably doing Cartwheels’

After Biden Win, U.S. Intelligence Community ‘Probably Doing Cartwheels’ This article features Government Accountability Project’s National Security Analyst Irvin McCullough and was originally published here. People working at the White House often take guests on tours of the historic building. But unlike others, during his two terms as vice president, Joe Biden made a point of taking guests down to the Situation Room, said Larry Pfeiffer, a veteran intelligence official then serving as the room’s [...]

PBS NewsHour: CEO of Voice of America’s parent agency defies subpoena despite bipartisan concerns

CEO of Voice of America’s parent agency defies subpoena despite bipartisan concerns This article features our clients Jamie Fly, Amanda Bennett, and Grant Turner and was originally published here. Michael Pack, CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, ignored a congressional subpoena over concerns he has politicized and mismanaged media outlets that helped the U.S. win the Cold War. One of those outlets is Voice of America. Nick Schifrin reports and talks to Jamie [...]

The Guardian: Trump cuts aid for pro-democracy groups in Belarus, Hong Kong and Iran

Trump cuts aid for pro-democracy groups in Belarus, Hong Kong and Iran This article features our client Grant Turner and was originally published here. The Trump administration has stopped vital technical assistance to pro-democracy groups in Belarus, Hong Kong and Iran, which had helped activists evade state surveillance and sidestep internet censorship. Trump memo on Comey firing was 'tinfoil helmet material', Mueller prosecutor says Read more The Open Technology Fund (OTF) has had to stop all its operations [...]

Government Accountability Project and Project South Send Letter to Congress on Behalf of Whistleblower Client

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 17th, 2020 Government Accountability Project and Project South Send Letter to Congress on Behalf of Whistleblower Client WASHINGTON—Today, Government Accountability Project and Project South sent a letter to Congress outlining the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General complaint from client and whistleblower, Ms. Dawn Wooten, LPN, regarding the egregious health practices at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Ocilla, Georgia. Her allegations encompass a variety of health and safety violations, [...]

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. [...]