Award Ceremony to be held this Monday, November 21
(Washington, DC) – The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is proud to announce that its own National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack, and GAP client and National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Thomas Drake, are recipients of this year’s prestigious Sam Adams Award, presented annually by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII). The honor is presented to intelligence professionals who have taken stands for ethics and integrity.
The award will be presented to Radack and Drake at a free event this coming Monday, November 21, at 8:10 p.m. at the Ward Circle Building, Room 2, at American University. Speakers at the ceremony include FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley (a previous winner of the award), retired Col. Larry Wilkerson (another winner), American University Nuclear Studies Institute professor Peter Kuznick, and veteran CIA analyst and activist Ray McGovern.
Stated Radack, “I’m honored to receive this award from retired CIA officials who understand that the rule of law is the best path to security.”
Added Drake, “I’m honored to share this award with a whistleblower whose hard-learned lessons ten years ago and enormous legal talent shepherded me through a similar retaliatory criminal prosecution.”
Radack is a former ethics adviser at the Department of Justice (DOJ) who disclosed that the FBI committed ethical violations in its interrogation of “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh, such as interrogating Lindh without an attorney present. She also exposed that the DOJ attempted to suppress that information, and that former Attorney General John Ashcroft made misleading public statements about the case. The Lindh case was the first major terrorism prosecution after 9/11. Since her ordeal, Radack has been a champion of whistleblowers, recently serving as counsel to Drake on whistleblower issues during the government’s failed attempt to prosecute him under the Espionage Act.
Drake’s whistleblowing case made national headlines this past summer, and the prosecution of him by the DOJ continues to receive widespread coverage. Drake, along with former NSA colleagues William Binney, Ed Loomis, and Kirk Wiebe, and former House Intelligence Committee staffer tasked with oversight of NSA, Diane Roark, attempted to expose massive NSA mismanagement and the agency’s use of a data collection program that was more expensive, ineffective, and invasive of American citizens’ privacy rights than a readily-available legal alternative. For his actions, Drake’s house was raided, and he was subsequently charged under the Espionage Act, facing 35 years in prison. The case against him collapsed in June, when he pled guilty to a minor misdemeanor. The DOJ dropped all 10 felony counts against him, and the judge excoriated DOJ lawyers for their conduct.
Radack and Drake are perfect selections for this award, which is presented by a group of retired CIA officers and other associates of former CIA intelligence analyst Sam Adams. In 1967, Adams discovered that there were over 500,000 North Vietnamese and Vietcong armed guerrilla fighters – twice the number that the U.S. command acknowledged. The Army feared that if Adams’ information became public, the war effort would suffer. Adams pressed higher-ups for honesty and accountability, but chose to utilize only inside channels. Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, in his first reported leak, provided Adams’ data to The New York Times in March 1968. Later, at the trial of Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo, Adams detailed his belief that political pressure influenced the military to depict the North Vietnamese and Vietcong in 1967 as weaker than they actually were. Adams died of a heart attack in 1988.
The event is sponsored by SAAII and American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute.
Contact: Dylan Blaylock, Communications Director
Phone: 202.457.0034, ext. 137
Government Accountability Project
The Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.