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Ex-NSA Official Indicted in Baltimore for Leaking Classified Information to a Reporter

Thomas Andrews Drake's career in national security went well enough that he became what the press often refers to as a "senior intelligence official." He worked for the National Security Agency (NSA) from 2001 until 2008, and while still working at the NSA, was the national security chair of the National Defense University's Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C. Thanks to his conduct as a reporter's source, though, and to his response to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents investigating that conduct, Drake's career has been capped with a criminal indictment.

Yesterday, in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, a grand jury indicted Drake for violating federal laws against keeping top-secret national defense information, obstructing justice, and lying.

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The 14-page indictment provides vague details about Drake's alleged treachery, which took place between 2005 and 2007. It says it all started in November 2005, when "Person A" asked Drake to speak to "Reporter A." Thanks to Drake's help as a source, in 2006 and 2007 Reporter A "published a series of newspaper articles" about the NSA and "signals intelligence," the term of art for the agency's main purpose: electronic eavesdropping.

Drake, the indictment states, "had a self-described 'close, emotional friendship' and 'different and special' relationship with Person A that included the unauthorized disclosure of unclassified and classified information to Person A while Person A worked as a congressional staffer and after Person A's retirement in May 2002."

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The prosecutors listed at the end of the indictment are William M. Welch II, senior litigation counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal Division, and John P. Pearson, trial attorney for DOJ's Public Integrity Section. The docket in the case indicates that Drake has not yet had a court appearance or retained an attorney.

UPDATE:

The

suggests that former

Baltimore Sun

reporter Siobhan Gorman may have been the journalist to whom Drake was leaking information. The

and

are reporting on the story as well.

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