NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake Agrees To Plea Bargain Deal

from the totally-understandable dept

In our earlier post about the case against Thomas Drake, I sort of suspected he would eventually take the plea bargain deal, which is why I warned that people shouldn't be upset if he did. And he's now done exactly that, but the details seem reasonable. He rejected two separate plea bargain offers, even ones that likely would have meant no jailtime, if it meant agreeing to things he didn't think were accurate. In the end, the agreement he took involves pleading guilty to unauthorized use of a computer, which could carry a one-year sentence, but prosecutors have agreed that they won't oppose it if he seeks a non-jail sentence.

As I said in the earlier post, as much as it would have been nice to see him fight all the way to the end and totally clear his name, this seems perfectly reasonable. In this way, the key parts of the case -- involving a really awful attempt by the federal government to abuse the Espionage Act to punish a clear whistleblower -- gets totally dumped. And, when you're faced with the potential of 35-years in prison, at some point reality sets in and it's almost crazy not to take a plea bargain that gets you no jail time. Just the fact that he turned down the two earlier plea deals is pretty amazing. In the end, the only way to look at this is that Drake stood up to the government and won. The feds won't get the precedent they wanted for using the Espionage Act against a whistleblower, and plenty of people learned about the ridiculous vindictive prosecution by the federal government.

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  1. icon
    Chargone (profile), 10 Jun 2011 @ 7:57am

    Re:

    representative democracy, even the incredably dubious sort present in the USA, takes Decades to break properly... and is almost impossible to fix.

    (compare to dictatorship, where problems can show up in a day and be fixed as quickly. faster, depending on what's causing them. maybe a week if you have to assasinate someone first...)

    it's not in any way actually about the wants or needs of the people. it's about stability and preventing revolt.

    add to that the shear Mass of an Imperial-size state entity's bureaucracy (which the USA clearly has) ...

    once something goes wrong it's basically impossible to fix properly, let alone fight the outcome. i suspect to really fix the current system you'd need a full scale revolution, and That's not getting you anywhere against a government with a modern army and tech unless the military decides to be neutral and stay out of it (and with all the different military-bits that aren't actually the national army that the USA has going on, not to mention the 'private security companies' (read 'mercenaries) That's never going to happen properly)

    and then there's the fun if the Military fragments. i wouldn't trust high ranking US individuals with control of nuclear weapons in a civil war... forget selling the things, they'd probably Use them.

    ok, pet rant all done with:

    basically the US system an't likely to get fixed without a massive popular uprising... and is unlikely to Stay fixed if the US remains a single entity.

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