Thomas Drake’s Complaints about NSA Upheld

June 28th, 2011

Washington Post Staff Writer R. Jeffrey Smith reported Wednesday, June 22, 2011 on the case of Thomas Drake, an NSA official who leaked information about inefficiency, and privacy concerns, related to domestic intelligence gathering.

The Defense Department’s internal watchdog upheld the complaints of a National Security Agency official early in the George W. Bush administration who said the agency was misspending millions of dollars on a technically flawed system for sifting through digital communications, according to conclusions released for the first time Wednesday.

NSA official Thomas A. Drake, whom the government unsuccessfully tried to prosecute for violations of the Espionage Act, and others at the agency prompted the highly classified study by making a call to the Pentagon inspector general’s fraud, waste and abuse hotline.

While the November 2004 report evidently did not support any allegations of criminal wrongdoing by top NSA officials, its conclusions make clear that the so-called Trailblazer program had problems and that a rival system Drake favored stood a reasonable chance of success.

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