Feds should return computers to NSA whistleblower

November 21, 2011

It was shocking to see that the National Security Agency is still persecuting Thomas Drake, the whistleblower who exposed a wasteful computer system and then was prosecuted ("NSA whistle-blowers want seized computers returned," Nov. 18). He and his colleagues tried to do the right thing for the taxpayers. As often happens to whistleblowers, Mr. Drake was fired, lost his pensions, and was consumed financially by a bogus legal case. This was a warning to those considering blowing the whistle. If you dare, be prepared for the consequences.

The NSA got its pound of flesh from Mr. Drake, why can't the personal computers be returned? I can only imagine that the publicity brought about the exposure of "waste and mismanagement" still infuriates the powers-to-be. Regardless, return the personal computers.

As a protester of the NSA's surveillance network and the eavesdropping on U.S. citizens, I have supported Thomas Drake since his case became news. And I was in court for his sentencing: "After the government backed down on all of the felony charges this summer, a federal judge criticized prosecutors for dragging Drake and his family through 'four years of hell.'"

Also we have protested the prominent role played by the NSA in manufacturing evidence to support the disproved notion that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. It is criminal that the agency played a role in the disastrous invasion of Iraq, which caused at least 600,000 deaths, 2 million refugees and untold devastation and destruction. With such a track record, the Puzzle Palace should avoid more negative publicity. Let's hope the NSA can be shamed into releasing the hostage computers.

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore

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