The People Speak, July 2, 2013
WILLIAM BINNEY is a former highly placed intelligence official with the United States National Security Agency (NSA) turned whistleblower who resigned on October 31, 2001, after more than 30 years with the agency. He was a high-profile critic of his former employers during the George W. Bush administration, and was the subject of FBI investigations, including a raid on his home in 2007.
THOMAS DRAKE is a former senior executive of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), a decorated United States Air Force and United States Navy veteran, and a whistleblower. In 2010 the government alleged that Drake ‘mishandled’ documents, one of the few such Espionage Act cases in U.S. history. Drake’s defenders claim that he was instead being persecuted for challenging the Trailblazer Project. He is the 2011 recipient of the Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling and co-recipient of the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) award.
Both Drake and Binney speak about their own roles in what they call the 'Gang of 5' (Drake, Binney, Edward Loomis, J Kirk Wiebe and Diane Roark). Loomis and Wiebe's work became part of a Thinthread program with built in privacy protections to protect the privacy of US citizens, which was rejected in favor of the Trailblazer program which was intended to track data on the internet via emails and cellphones and lacked these security measures, went over budget and was riddled with numerous other problems.
In 2005, President George W. Bush ordered the FBI to find whoever had disclosed information about the NSA electronic surveillance program and its disclosure in the New York Times. Eventually, this investigation led to the people who had filed the 2002 DoD IG request, even though they had nothing to do with the New York Times disclosure. In 2007, the houses of Roark, Binney, and Wiebe were raided by armed FBI agents. None of these people were ever charged with any crime. Four months later, Drake was raided in November 2007 and his computers and documents were confiscated.
In 2010 Drake was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges of obstructing justice, providing false information, and violating the Espionage Acto of 1917, part of President Barack Obama's crackdown on whistleblowers and leakers. The government tried to get Roark to testify to a conspiracy, and made similar requests to Drake, offering him a plea bargain. They both refused. In June 2011, the ten original charges against Drake were dropped, instead he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.
The People Speak has evolved over the years with many great guests who have been interviewed by some very fine hosts.
We are a 55 minute show airing every other Sunday between 5-6pm Pacific/8-9pm Eastern. The show features a guest interview from any number of realms of interest (entertainment, science, philosophy, healing, spirituality, activism, politics, literature, etc.).
The guests share their stories, lives, strategies, books, philosophy, films, music, or whatever it is they use as a vehicle for making a difference for the better.
The radio show name, The People Speak, is based on the idea of allowing our audience - the People - a chance to interact with the guests during the hour, and we take phone or text questions from them during the interview.
Past guests include such notables as Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the late Howard Zinn, Nobel Laureates Mairead Maguire, Shirin Ebadi, Kathryn Najimy, Oliver Stone, Jesse Ventura, Richard Belzer, Cynthia McKinney, Cindy Sheehan, Scott Horton, Joan Jett, Willie Nelson, George Galloway, Roseanne Barr, Ed Asner, Chevy Chase, as well as various reps from Amnesty International, UN World Food Programme, and many others.