Thomas Drake was a senior official at the National Security Agency before he got ensnared in a whistle-blower case that became a flashpoint in debates about the freedom of information and national security. Drake eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, but the case came with a high price: he gave up his job and now works at an Apple Store in suburban Maryland. Drake joins Kojo in the studio to chat about his experience, the Obama administration's approach to whistle-blowers and the balance between security and freedom.
Video From Inside The Studio
NSA whistle-blower Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack, national security director at the Government Accountability Project, talk about how the government's high-tech capabilities deter those who want to share intelligence. Radack said whistle-blowers now have to "basically use drug dealer tactics," such as aliases and disposable telephones. "It's really unfortunate that people have to behave like we're in the Dark Ages, especially with all this amazing technology," Radack said. Drake added that it's easy to forget similar events throughout history. "We've been here before. But this administration and the administration prior, with the combination of what's been happening since 9/11, makes the Nixon era look like pikers," Drake said.
Since Prohibition, Montgomery County has held the purse strings on liquor sales, meaning the county sells every drink from beer to bourbon to local bars and restaurants. But local business owners are pushing back from this system, claiming it lacks efficiency and leaves customers waiting. County officials say they are holding out for alternatives that protect those within the industry. We discuss both sides of the issue today.
Kojo chats with Exelon's chief strategy officer about the company's vision for electric service in the Washington region, and its argument for why its acquisition of Pepco is in the best interest of customers.
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