The Fifth Estate: The Whistleblowers
What does it mean to be a whistleblower in the 21st century?
When Edward Snowden released thousands of classified documents in June last year, information he acquired while working as an NSA contractor, he could not have foreseen it would be the biggest intelligence leak since the Pentagon Papers, affecting governments all over the world.
While he remains busy in an undisclosed location somewhere in Russia, one of his lawyers, Jesselyn Radack, and former NSA crypto-linguist, Thomas Drake, visited Australia to discuss the issues which surround the Snowden case. What does it tell us about freedom, the individual and the state? And what do we need to understand about privacy, free speech and security in our times?
Join host Sally Warhaft with Thomas Drake, whose own story inspired Edward Snowden to act on his conscience, and Jesselyn Radack, Director of National Security and Human Rights with the Government Accountability Project (GAP), for this special edition of the Fifth Estate in partnership with Blueprint for Free Speech and the Centre for Advancing Journalism.
Thomas Drake is a former senior executive and technical director for software engineering at the National Security Agency, where he blew the whistle on massive multi-billion dollar fraud, waste and abuse, the failure of 9/11, as well as the widespread violations of the rights of citizens through secret mass surveillance programs after 9/11.
Jesselyn Radack is a lawyer for both Edward Snowden and Thomas Drake. She was previously an ethics advisor to the US Department of Justice where she became a whistleblower after discovering that the FBI had violated ethical standards and then the Department of Justice had tried to cover it up. She is the Director of National Security & Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project, the most prominent whistleblowing support NGO in the US.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.