As a former co-worker of Thomas Drake, whose work I held in highest regard, I was deeply incensed to see his name linked with those of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden ("We need more whistle-blowers," June 23).
Mr. Drake was a mature, ethical, skilled professional and a true whistle-blower. He was not a callow youth with a dangerously limited understanding or appreciation of the intelligence community, or someone whose revelations were driven by personal ignorance and hubris.
Mr. Drake saw a situation in which the National Security Agency was wasting valuable time, manpower and money designing and developing a project that, in many ways, duplicated existing systems that actually did the job better. He tried to halt it in order to stop a very real case of wasteful spending; he did not steal classified documents and sell or give them to hostile foreign governments or spurious Internet publications.
I edited and helped refine Mr. Drake's reports and presentations on many projects, both at the NSA and in the academic field before my retirement in 2000. He was an intelligence professional who made his work and his agency the highest priority.
Please make no mistake: Mr. Drake and the two young men who acted so rashly in the interest of their own egos have nothing in common. Tom Drake was a whistle-blower in the truest sense; Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are not.
Dayle Dawes, Arnold