The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
and the Government Accountability Project
To Protect or to Prosecute?
National Security Whistleblowers
Barton Gellman, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of the bestselling book
Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency
Thomas Drake, former National Security Agency official and whistleblower
Elizabeth Goitein, Co-Director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program and co-author of Reducing Overclassification Through Accountability
Jesselyn Radack, National Security and Human Rights Director, Government Accountability Project, and author of Traitor: The Whistleblower and the “American Taliban”
March 20, 2012, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
New York University School of Law
Furman Hall, Lester Pollack Colloquium Room
245 Sullivan Street
New York, NY
Whistleblowers play a vital role in our democracy by uncovering fraud, waste, and abuse in government. They are particularly important in the national security field, where classification and other tools intended to protect sensitive information can be misused to cover up government wrongdoing. But by the same token, the disclosure of national security information can carry significant risks — including potential risk to national security and certain risk to the whistleblower. In recent years, the executive branch has brought an unprecedented number of criminal prosecutions against government employees and contractors for allegedly leaking information to the media.
Please join the Brennan Center for Justice and the Government Accountability Project for a discussion of the legal, practical, and ethical issues raised by national security whistleblowing. The discussion will feature two prominent national security whistleblowers: Thomas Drake, a former National Security Agency official who exposed the agency’s funding of a data collection program that was expensive, ineffective, and invasive of Americans’ privacy rights; and Jesselyn Radack, a former Justice Department official who raised alarms about ethical violations in the FBI’s interrogation of the “American Taliban,” John Walker Lindh. Radack also served as Drake’s counsel when the Justice Department charged him under the Espionage Act. Drake faced decades in prison until the dramatic — and widely reported— collapse of the case in June 2011.
This event is part of the Government Accountability Project’s “American Whistleblower Tour,” a public education campaign featuring stops at colleges and universities around the country throughout 2011-2012.
This event is open to the public, but seating is limited.
Please RSVP to Kyle Alagood at kyle.alagood or 646-292-8346.