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Liberty Forum 2014 has ended
Liberty Forum is an annual conference celebrating Liberty, the Free State Project and New Hampshire.
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Thomas Drake

Thomas Drake currently works full-time as an Expert at a Washington, DC
area Apple Store. Previously he was a senior executive at the National
Security Agency where he witnessed massive waste, contract fraud and
government wrongdoing as well as widespread violations of the 4th
Amendment rights of U.S. citizens. 

While at NSA, he became a material witness and whistleblower for two
9/11 congressional investigations and with a Department of Defense
Inspector General audit of a failed multi-billion dollar boondoggle
flagship program called Trailblazer and an alternative program called
Thinthread. However, Thinthread was a revolutionary and breakthrough
system already developed for several million dollars, involving the very
best of American innovation and ingenuity, while also protecting 4th
Amendment rights and providing superior intelligence in the Digital Age,
but rejected by NSA with an incalculable loss of intelligence and
privacy. Instead, NSA engaged in illegal and unconstitutional electronic
surveillance and data mining conducted on a vast scale within the US,
combined with huge losses in intelligence capability and capacity, that
fundamentally weakened national security and eroded our precious
liberties.

As part of a multi-million dollar, multi-year federal criminal national
security "leak" investigation, the Justice Department subsequently
targeted, prosecuted and indicted Mr. Drake for espionage as a
whistleblower -- and lost. The extraordinary charges against him were
symptomatic of the rising power of the national security state since
9/11 and its direct assaults on freedom of speech (including speaking
truth to power), thought, innovation, and privacy. His case was
highlighted by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker and by Scott Pelley on 60
Minutes. 

He was a visiting professor of strategic leadership and information
strategies at the National Defense University with the Industrial
College of the Armed Forces. Previous to NSA, he was a principal in a
couple of dot coms.

He has 12 years of industry experience in change leadership, senior
management, organizational leadership and development, quality
assurance, software and systems engineering (having analyzed over 150
million lines of code), learning strategies, acquisition and program
management, operations and technology life-cycle integration as a
contractor and consultant with both government and commercial clients
including Fortune 500 and Fortune 50 companies. He was at Booz | Allen |
Hamilton as a management, strategy and technology consultant and
software quality engineer from 1991-1998.

He also served in the military for some 14 years as an active duty US
Air Force aircrew member performing cryptologic linguist duties on the
RC-135 airborne reconnaissance platform and as a Mission Crew Supervisor
on the EC-130H electronic warfare mission. He also served in the US Navy
as a reserve commissioned all-source intelligence officer assigned to
the National Military Joint Intelligence Center at the Pentagon and had
a short stint as an imagery analyst at the CIA. 

He now writes, speaks and teaches on whistleblowing, the 1st Amendment,
civil liberties, secrecy, surveillance and abusive government power. He
is the recipient of the 2011 Ridenhour Truth-Telling Prize. Mr. Drake
also jointly received the 2011 Sam Adams Associates Integrity in
Intelligence Award and the 2012 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award
with Jesselyn Radack from the Government Accountability Project. A
graduate of the University of Maryland, the University of Arizona, and
Walden University, he lives in Maryland defending life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness, as well as our precious Constitutional freedoms.