The Justice Department's subpoena of New York Times reporter James Risen Monday was the latest sign of how aggressive the Obama administration is being in its campaign against government whistle-blowers. The purpose of Risen's subpoena is to force him to testify that Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA agent, gave him confidential information about the CIA's efforts to sabotage Iran's nuclear program. The extent to which the administration is prosecuting leakers has troubled those who see leakers as speakers of truth to power. "In President Obama’s 26 months in office, civilian and military prosecutors have charged five people in cases involving leaking information, more than all previous presidents combined," reports the Times. Here's a list of prominent leakers with various agendas currently under pressure from the government.
Thomas Drake A former senior executive at the National Security Agency, Drake is being charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 for leaking information to a Baltimore Sun reporter. In the aftermath of 9/11, Drake believed the agency was wasting its resources on a bloated surveillance system called Trailblazer, the NSA's largest project, instead of a cheaper, more efficient system called "Thin Thread." If the Thin Thread had been deployed, Drake told 60 Minutes the government could've prevented 9/11. Now, he could spend 35 years in prison for airing his grievances to the Sun. For more on Sterling, watch this segment from 60 Minutes or check out this piece in The New Yorker.