IN HIS OWN WORDS: Jesse Ventura explains the importance of Thomas Drake.
My new show "Off The Grid" has been on the internet now for a month, and I have to tell you, I'm thrilled to see so much support and positive feedback for the stories I've covered and the people I've interviewed.
Though each interview has been exciting and each one has moments I truly enjoy, I must say that tomorrow's episode of "Off The Grid" is one you don't want to miss.
Tomorrow, I interview Thomas Drake. And if you've never heard of him, then mainstream media has succeeded yet again in denying you access to the truth.
Thomas Drake worked for the CIA and then for the NSA. He took his oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution seriously. So seriously in fact that when he found out about several NSA projects that were unconstitutional, he brought the matter to his supervisors, only to be marginalized and alienated from those projects.
Those who criticize Edward Snowden for leaving the country don't know what happened to Thomas Drake.
Drake tried to fix the problem from within by telling his supervisors, bringing the matter to Congress, and then leaking information that was not classified to the press:
He felt 9/11 could have been avoided if the NSA had deployed ThinThread - a data collection program that could provide pivotal intelligence for government agencies charged with identifying terrorism threats and networks. Even better, the program had privacy protections for Americans built into the system. ThinThread was ready to deploy prior to 9/11, but the NSA rejected it for another program – Trailblazer. This program was vastly more expensive than ThinThread, completely undeveloped, and lacked critical protections needed to safeguard Americans' privacy.
So what happened to Thomas Drake? In 2007, The FBI blamed him for another leak - this one classified - that proved the NSA was illegally wiretapping citizens, so they raided his home, took everything his family owned as "evidence," and then the courts took two and a half years to indict him under the Espionage Act.
Luckily, Drake had lawyers on his side who were able to keep him from life in prison. He was charged with one year of probation and community service. He gave a warning that "the next target of such a witch-hunt will not be as fortunate" and Edward Snowden took the hint.
If you're interested in learning more about Thomas Drake, here's a good place to start:
Gov. Jesse Ventura
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