05.19.11 - 11:42 AMby Abby Zimet
Candidate Obama championed transparency; President Obama has used the 1917 Espionage Act to preside over "the most draconian crackdown on leaks in our history," prosecuting more national security leak cases than all previous Administrations combined. The New Yorker's Jane Mayer looks at the case of Thomas Drake, a GOP National Security Agency whistleblower who faces 35 years in prison for allegedly leaking information to a reporter about NSA waste and bureaucracy. To Jack Balkin, a Yale law professor, the increase in post 9/11 leak prosecutions represents "the bipartisan normalization and legitimization of a national-surveillance state.” To Drake, the turn toward secrecy is "Orwellian."
"This was a violation of everything I knew and believed as an American. We were making the Nixon Administration look like pikers.”