There is no sign of an end to the erosion of Constitutional liberties that began under George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks and continues under Barack Obama, a group of seven national security whistleblowers said Monday.
“The government chose in great secrecy to unchain itself,” said Thomas Drake, who was working at the National Security Agency in 2001 and said he saw lawlessness spread under the name of “exigent conditions” during the Bush presidency.
Then, as part of Obama’s war on whistleblowers, prosecutors charged Drake under the Espionage Act – a law intended to brutally punish spies – for talking to a reporter. After a four-year long ordeal that the federal judge in his case called “unconscionable,” all 10 felony charges against Drake were dropped in return for his guilty plea to a single misdemeanor.
Now, Drake said, he is throwing his weight behind H.R. 1466, the Surveillance State Repeal Act.
The bill would completely repeal the 2001 PATRIOT Act (which the NSA cites as the legal basis for its bulk phone metadata collection), repeal the FISA Amendments Act (which ostensibly legitimizes Internet spying) and otherwise protect people’s privacy.