Anat Kam: The American Version

Published: April 15th 2010
in News » World

Headquarters of the NSA in Fort Meade, Maryland
Pic: WikiMedia Commons

On the heels of the much talked about security affair in Israel, another similar case has been revealed, this time out of the United States.


Yesterday it was revealed that 52 year-old Thomas Drake, a former senior executive at the National Security Agency (NSA) is suspected of having been a source for an unidentified newspaper’s articles about the NSA. The articles were published between February 2006 and November 2007. It is believed Drake leaked classified documents to the newspaper.


Drake has been charged with five counts of willfully retaining documents related to national defense, obstruction of justice and four counts of making false statements to the FBI.


The indictment against Drake charges him of having used a non-government e-mail account to transmit the documents, both classified and unclassified. Authorities also charge that Drake lied to federal agents about what he'd done.


Although the name of the newspaper involved was not revealed, the descriptions in the indictment are very close to articles published in the Baltimore Sun. This has not been confirmed, nor has it been confirmed that the reporter was Siobhan Gorman, an intelligence correspondent for The Baltimore Sun at the time.


Drake could face a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison.


“Our national security demands that the sort of conduct alleged here — violating the government's trust by illegally retaining and disclosing classified information — be prosecuted and prosecuted vigorously,” said the Justice Department's assistant attorney general Lanny Breuer to the Associated Press.


The case is very similar in character to the case of 23 year-old Anat Kam, a former reporter for Walla who has been charged with espionage after she supposedly copied more than 2000 secret documents from Central Command while serving as a soldier for the IDF, and subsequently leaking some of the documents to Haaretz.


On Wednesday, the Israeli Supreme Court decided to worsen the condition of Kam’s house arrest. Supreme Court Justice Ayala Procaccia ruled that Kam would remain under full house arrest 24 hours a day and must be supervised by a family member at all times. She will also have to report in person to the police station closest to her home once a week.


Earlier in the week it was revealed that one of the discs that contained the classified information stolen by Kam has gone missing. It was also published that Kam told investigators that she had never undergone a security investigation by the IDF, but despite this had access to the most classified information, as well as computers, printers and copying devices. As a result, Justice Ze’ev Hammer who presided over the Kam hearings said he was “shocked to learn of these incomprehensible failures and negligent data protection (protocols)” at Central Command.


As many may recall, the Kam case was under gag order in Israel for many weeks while media outlets in the world reported on the case. American journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Judith Miller wrote an article entitled “Israel’s Censorship Scandal” in which she criticized the Israeli censorship in the Kam affair. Ironically, a similar story is now coming out of her own country.

Related articles: (national security agency, nsa, drake thomas, leaked document, anat kam)

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