The Daily Show's Awesome Re-imagining Of How Whistleblower Thomas Drake Was A Spy

from the papers-blazing dept

We've written plenty about the ridiculous government case against whistleblower Thomas Drake, who exposed waste and fraud at the NSA, only to find himself charged under the Espionage Act as a spy, because he had kept a few documents on his computer that shouldn't have been there. While the government case completely fell apart (and ended with Drake agreeing to a plea that basically admitted the government had no case), it's nice to see that the vindictive nature of the feds using the Espionage Act against whistleblowers has been getting more mainstream attention.

The latest? The Daily Show, which did a hilarious interview with Drake, complete with Jason Jones' attempt to turn his story into a spy thriller movie, only to be disappointed by the lack of anything remotely spy-like happening (and, yes, I know, non-US viewers can't see this, blame Viacom):
Unfortunately, what the story does not cover, is that the feds have continued to go after whistleblowers under the Espionage Act. The Obama administration has now done that six times, including against the CIA agent who blew the whistle on waterboarding. Prior to this administration, the Espionage Act had been used only three times. In other words, he's doubled the use of the act of all previous Presidents. For a President who campaigned on civil liberties issues, and whose first day in the office included a memo in support of whistleblowing, this is beyond depressing. It's good to see more mainstream press coverage, but they need to know it didn't end with Thomas Drake.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    jakerome (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 9:43am

    Not a nickel

    President Obama will get my vote. But he won't get a nickel from me this year, unlike 2008 when I poured in a fair bit. And it's because of this-- lack of transparency, continued obsession with secrecy, SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, TPP. Etc. I think there were about 3 times when I said to myself, "now THAT'S the guy I voted for!"

    Wouldn't surprise me to see 4 years pass without it happening again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 9:53am

    Re: Not a nickel

    Um...then why vote for him?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Not a nickel

    stop voting for the lesser evil. Gary Johnson 2012!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:00am

    The Obama administration has now done that six times... he's doubled the use of the act of all previous Presidents. For a President who campaigned on civil liberties issues, and whose first day in the office included a memo in support of whistleblowing, this is beyond depressing.

    Is it right to be worried ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Chosen Reject (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:00am

    Re: Not a nickel

    Does it matter that he won't get any money from you? It's your vote he wants. The money he gets is to garner votes, so all you've done is tell him he can save the money he gets from others, because he's already got your vote. You've just said he's got you wrapped around his finger, only this time you won't pay him for the privilege.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    Re: Not a nickel

    Those sound like very good reasons not to vote for him at all. I voted for him in 2008. Not again.

    Planning to write in Ron Wyden, because then at least I know I voted for someone who deserves the job, rather than the "less bad" candidate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Someone Special, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Not a nickel

    What can you tell me about Gary Johnson? I'd really like to vote for someone else other than Obama or Romney, but I don't even know where to start.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:06am

    Re:

    It's the Chicago way!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    el_segfaulto (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Not a nickel

    Don't let their identical DNA fool you, they differ on a number of key issues.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Not a nickel

    [insert discussion about the futility and meaninglessness of voting because you can't actually vote for anyone you'd actually want to represent you here]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    fairusefriendly (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:19am

    what day was this from ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    The eejit (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:30am

    Fucking geolocationism. /MAD

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:32am

    Re: Not a nickel

    My vote goes to Obama... cause he doesn't invoke mythical entities as reasons to his argument. He just smacks me down, and makes me take it.

    Romney would probably just nervously laugh about he's a man of god and how I should be grateful for accepting the body of Christ in a rhythmic fashion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    LDoBe (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Not a nickel

    John Jackson: I say your 3 cent titanium tax goes too far!
    Jack Johnson: And I say your 3 cent titanium tax doesn't go too far enough!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Brian Penny, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:35am

    Whistleblowing Perspectives from a Whistleblower

    Being a whistleblower is one of the most difficult paths you can walk in life. Banks have been systematically robbing homeowners via false placement of illegally and artificially inflated Force-Placed Insurance premiums since 1994. These premiums have been proven to create a negative escrow, which leads to doubled mortgage payments, blocked property tax payments, and denied loan modifications, amongst other heinous crimes.

    Read chapter 2 of my firsthand account as a bank whistleblower exposing the largest bank fraud in history here: http://thoughtforyourpenny.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-boy-who-cried-force-placed.html.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Not a nickel

    Why vote for the lesser evil?!?

    http://gremlin.net/images/wasted/cthulhu2012.jpg

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    LDoBe (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Not a nickel

    Also: "All humans are vermin in the eyes of MORBO!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not a nickel

    none of the above.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:43am

    can someone describe what the video was like? thanks Viacom :D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:46am

    Of course, you fail to mention that using the Espionage Act is a far more transparent method than just making people disappear. This way you can, at least, criticize.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:47am

    it goes to show the lengths some people with delusions of grandeur will go to to achieve their aims, even if they are only maintained for a relatively short period of time

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    how dare all of you!! he is the best president we have had! all of you are just haters and racists. he stands up for our rights and gets us the money the lower class deserves. The rich have enough. Obama will win again and make the streets safe by taking guns out of rednecks hands. He will see that we all have good affordable health insurance. He will raise the taxes on the rich so the rest of us dont have to live under there shoes. all of you just need to wake up and see what he is doing for you instead of voting for people with no chance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not a nickel

    Vote Morbo's good friend Richard Nixon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:57am

    Re:

    Stop thinking you can change things for the better and vote for who I tell you to vote for because it's marginally not as worse as the other guy!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re:

    Also you're racists!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:58am

    Re:

    And?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Re: Not a nickel

    If Biden gets dropped from the ticket I'd consider voting for him. No way in hell am I giving anyone running with that man a vote though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    your exactly the kind of people we dont need in this country. obama will move us forward to new greatness. if you want to keep to your stupid ideas and thoughts then go ahead but rest of the country will move on to love and peace. I cant wait till obama sicks my boy holder to gets a hold of that zimmerman... Obama will make this a better country. you'll see and come around to the light next year

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    KJ (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 11:10am

    Geolocation

    (and, yes, I know, non-US viewers can't see this, blame Viacom)

    Strangely enough, the video works perfectly from Norway, as have previous Daily Show-videos.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Pjerky (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not a nickel

    You mean Richard Nixon's head. No "body" can hold presidential office more than twice these days. So we just sever their heads and give them new bodies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Pjerky (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Not a nickel

    Lets just hope that Romney doesn't pick another Sarah Palin for his running mate. Otherwise your damned any way you slice it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Pjerky (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re:

    Kill them publicly?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 11:19am

    Re:

    I saw not a single racist comment. I hope, for your own sake, that you were being sarcastic. A more ignorant rant I have not seen on TD.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Pjerky (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 11:22am

    Re:

    Um, delusions of grandeur much? Listen, Obama has a lot of well meaning, good, useful ideas. He is just too much of a coward to actually enact them and push them through a pigheaded congress.

    And when he is not having good ideas he is doing crap like all the other politicians (and what is mentioned in the article above).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    A more ignorant rant I have not seen on TD.I stand corrected. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 11:25am

    Freedom of Information Act

    I think Mr. Drake, as a whistle blower, is covered under The Freedom Of Information Act.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Not a nickel

    stop voting for the lesser evil. Gary Johnson 2012!


    Better yet, vote for the person you know will give you what you want. Vote Anonymous Coward!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    David B., Aug 9th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not a nickel

    Who?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

    Re:

    trololol? trololol

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not a nickel

    Same here, I want to vote for someone who will actually be a good President outside of the system, I don't trust hand-picked choices they are usually rigged in favor of someone wanting influence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not a nickel

    Uh. That might've been self-contradictory. I mean hand-picked by whoever decides these people should be the ones to vote for, the system, whatever. You know what I mean.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re:

    +1. This.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    your exactly the kind of people we dont need in this country.


    I love this statement. I've done some trolling in my day, but using the standard "If you don't like it, get out" that the hardcore far right use in order to promote a leftist....genius! Buddy, where can I sign up to take your classes?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not a nickel

    too many shills and trolls use the AC handle too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Off... course...., Aug 9th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    the far left do the opposite... "If you dont like it shut up and work you're not allowed to leave."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

    Tuesday, August 7th.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re:

    Oops...I watched it on Aug 7th, it is from Aug 6th.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Bennett (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Geolocation

    I could not agree more. Time to plug in the VPN, and pretend to be in the continental USA.....

    More than a little funny that a site that's generally opposed to geographically prejudiced distribution models is forwarding a video that is not supposed to be available outside of the USA. Uh oh, more people might watch the show...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    Coyote (profile), Aug 9th, 2012 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not a nickel

    We're damned anyways, as Romney would be a horrid president. Anyway you slice it, everyone on the ticket is terrible. I'd rather vote in Batman, and I probably will.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 4:18pm

    For anyone who can't see video because of geographic restrictions; Just go to any major torrent site and look for the episode from 8/6/12. I'd post a link, but it would probably get deleted.

    Piracy to the rescue once again!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 6:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not a nickel

    I heard that none of the above would order the FBI, CIA, and various other investigative units to stop. NOTA would ask the career professionals in these agencies (and people not too far removed form the security of the President him/herself) to drop their investigations into individuals who are spilling the dirty laundry and then some (and who doesn't have dirty laundry?) of these agencies who for the past decade have gone through a significant shake because of the two high and symbolic towers that were destroyed in "a" heart of this nation while hitting the pentagon and what else? Further NOTA would do this even if the majority of Americans do not want to encourage insiders from exposing US government strategic information to potential enemies abroad and anyone with Internet access.

    Let's ask, how could Obama have been faced with so much mutiny from its investigative units? Well, the last 10 years has something to do with it, I think. These investigations were largely not fresh and what the US has gone through is a main part of the reason all of this mutiny has been taking place. There was internal backlash to difficult situations in these agencies dealing with feared enemies (you didn't just almost have your house destroyed by an attacker flying a bomb with your name on it, but pretend for a moment). Many Americans even support the torture to some degree and certainly want an ordered mechanism for dealing with deviants and do not support a politician pushing around these people whose careers have been to protect the nation. Sure, this idealism is not shared by everyone, but I think there would be significant pushback to interference with ongoing investigations and decisions by these people inside our security network trying to defend their protocols and decisions of the past decade.

    After public uproar of some degree, Manning was moved to a reasonable holding environment from his harsh cell. The case against Drake was weakened when Obama took over and the rest fell apart, as it should have and probably would have regardless. That is easier to do, of course, to lose a case in a public forum, than it is to be bold like NOTA and rebuke the decision-process in these agencies and order indictments to disappear. DOA really was probably unavoidable, yes.

    NOTA would make a tremendously bold President if perhaps not representative of the majority of the people in avoiding prosecution in a quasi-public forum while rebuking behind the scenes key US security agencies (and heavens knows opening the door to how many more whistleblowers about this suppression being committed by a mere politician). Unfortunately, NOTA has been confirmed to be too old for the office and cannot be elected.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 9:52pm

    Re:

    You're the idiot who thinks that voting in SOPA would have been a good thing and we would somehow have freedom to criticise SOPA then, aren't you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 1:44am

    Re:

    Not sure why, but it actually work fine here in france O_o

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    haik (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re:

    Indeed it does - so do both the Daily Show and the Colbert Report websites (after being inaccessible for a few weeks)...Mysteries

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    jakerome (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Re: Not a nickel

    Because I agree with Obama on about 80% of the key issues, such as tax policy, health care reform. He doesn't seem inclined to start new wars and has actually wound down one war (even if he wound one up at the same time). Because amongst all the candidates on the ballot, I believe he will be the best president. Because I'm not a one issue voter.

    I won't begrudge anyone for voting Garry Johnson, but nor will I humor their smugness & pride as they congratulate themselves for bucking the 2 party system while putting down citizens that support major party candidates.

    The system needs to be blown up, but it's more effectively done on the state & perhaps congressional level. Were there a middle-of-the-road candidate that put forth a great campaign and advocated for sensible reforms that matched my own instincts, I may well vote for that person. As would millions of others. Alas, that White Knight has been around the corner for a few hundred years, and will be for a few hundred more.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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