Thomas Drake is a former senior executive at the National Security Agency, where he blew the whistle on massive multibillion-dollar fraud, waste and abuse; the widespread violations of the rights of citizens through secret mass surveillance programs after 9/11; and also 9/11 intelligence failures. As retaliation and reprisal, the Obama administration very publicly indicted Drake in 2010 as their signature case (and first whistleblower since Daniel Ellsberg), charged under the draconian U.S. Espionage Act. Drake faced 35 years in prison, as the government turned him into an Enemy of the State for his oath to support and defend the Constitution. In 2011, the government’s case against him collapsed and he went free in a plea deal.
Drake is the recipient of the 2011 Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize, the 2011 Sam Adams Associates Integrity in Intelligence Award and the 2012 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award. He is featured in the “Silenced” documentary as well as the PBS Frontline special “The United States of Secrets”. In 2017, Drake received his PhD in public policy and administration with a specialization in public management and leadership. His dissertation “Eyewitness to History in Devolution of Democracy and Constitutional Rights Following 9/11” focused on the centrality of the post-9/11 security driven world and the price paid by those who speak truth to and about power with the erosion of our precious human rights and freedoms. He is now dedicated to the defense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.