Let's go through this trove of secrets. Three of the documents that could land Mr Drake in jail were copies of material he had submitted to the inspector-general in a complaint about a surveillance programme described by others as a "wasteful failure". The programme in question was abandoned in 2006 after eating up $1.2 billion. (Ms Mayer helpfully notes that the inspector general's website tells complainants to keep copies of their documents.) One of the other documents under scrutiny is a schedule of meetings marked "unclassified/for official use only". Prosecutors say the paper should've been secret and that Mr Drake should've known it should've been secret. The final document was declassified three months after Mr Drake's indictment.And that's it. At worst, he mishandled some documents, but even that's in question. It seems abundantly clear that the prosecution of Drake is because he annoyed his bosses at the NSA and embarrassed them by getting press coverage for the fact that they became enamored with the spin from some defense contractors, leading them to waste taxpayer money. And for that he gets charged with espionage, even as President Obama continues to insist that he values whistleblowers within the government. The Thomas Drake affair is shaping up to be yet another example of an executive branch out of control when it comes to abusing the power of its position. This is a problem that all Americans should be worried about, as both major parties seem more than happy to abuse power while in office.
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