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"I think he felt it was bizarre to essentially make a false statement to get out of a charge of having made a false statement to the government," she said, referring to charges he had lied to the FBI.

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The government had originally charged Drake under the espionage statute with illegally keeping five classified documents in his home, as well as lying to FBI agents and obstruction of justice by destroying documents. If convicted on all counts, he could have been sentenced to 35 years in federal prison.

The government claimed in its indictment that he had secretly passed information from the documents to an unnamed reporter for a national newspaper.

The lesser charge carries a penalty of up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. But the Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower advocacy group, said it expects the prosecution to recommend Drake spend Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Leather Wallet

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama called for a more open government and lauded federal workers who reported wrongdoing. But with the disclosure of hundreds of thousands of sensitive military and diplomatic documents by the anti secrecy website WikiLeaks last year, Obama appeared determined to halt the exposure of national security secrets.

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"This is a just result," they wrote. "Tom Drake never should have been charged under the Espionage Act. Tom never intended to harm his country. And he didn't. We Balenciaga Pompon Bag Replica

Thomas Drake's plea deal pleased civil liberties advocates but is a setback for the Obama administration's effort to crack down on leakers. The administration is pursuing charges against four other accused government leakers under the Act, regarded by critics as vague and overbroad.

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Drake and others were also critical of the NSA's post Sept. 11 warrantless wiretaps.

Court documents identified the reporter as Siobhan Gorman, who published a series of articles detailing management malpractice and dubious legal activities by the NSA in The Baltimore Sun in 2006 and 2007.

screen information flooding into the agency's computers from around the world.

Drake and a small group of internal critics regarded Trailblazer as a billion dollar boondoggle that benefited defence contractors, and lost a struggle to get the NSA to adopt an internally designed system called ThinThread at a fraction of the cost. to the Sept. 11 attacks plot.

National Security Agency official pleads to misdemeanour charge in classified leak case

no time in prison nor pay a fine. District Judge Richard Bennett pronounced Drake guilty on the lesser charge, he stood with a slight stoop, his fists unconsciously clenching and unclenching. District Judge Richard Bennett on July 15. His defence counsel, Debbie Boardman and Jim Wyda, declined to speak publicly about the case but issued a statement.

The NSA employs an army of linguists, cryptologists and computer experts to snoop on electronic communications across the globe from its headquarters at Fort Meade, south of Baltimore. "And it's arguably the most influential."

While Bamford did not want to discuss the Drake prosecution in detail, he called it "a very important case" because it set the precedent for four similar Espionage Act trials to follow.

BALTIMORE A federal judge in Baltimore dismissed Espionage Act charges against a former official with the National Security Agency accused of leaking classified documents, accepting his guilty plea to a single misdemeanour.

Jessalyn Mens Prada Bag Radack of the Government Accountability Project, who aided Drake's defence team, said it was her understanding that an Obama administration official had asked prosecutors to seek a deal last week. But she said Drake balked at pleading to leaking classified information, even under a reduced charge.

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The indictment does not name the reporter who received the leaks, but court papers showed it was Siobhan Gorman, then of the Baltimore Sun. Both The Sun and Gorman declined to discuss the case.

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are grateful that Tom and his family can start to put this frightening chapter behind them."

The government never disclosed the contents of the highly classified documents they accused Drake of leaking. But they are thought to be related to the NSA's internal debate over TrailBlazer, an ill fated project launched in 2002 to use contractors to overhaul the agency's vast computer systems that capture and Balenciaga Your Bag

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He said he was due to testify as an expert witness in the trial. He said that as far as he knew, Drake was the first NSA official ever accused of leaking material to the press.

Obama's administration has pursued cases against five government leakers under espionage statutes, more than any of his recent predecessors. But he has come under heavy criticism for the crackdown from groups that advocate for civil liberties, whistleblowers and transparency.

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