Cartoon followup

Thomas Drake, the NSA whistleblower whose case partially inspired this cartoon (and about which you can read much more in this New Yorker profile) will not be facing jail time.

According to the New York Times:

Judge Richard D. Bennett of the Federal District Court praised the former National Security Agency official, Thomas A. Drake, for his exemplary record of public service before giving him a mild scolding for improperly providing information on alleged agency mismanagement to The Baltimore Sun.

But Judge Bennett reserved his strongest condemnation for the Justice Department, saying the two and a half years that elapsed between the search of Mr. Drake’s home and his indictment in 2010 was far too long.

The visibly angry judge said that Mr. Drake had been through “four years of hell” and that the dragging out of the investigation — and then the dropping of the major charges on the eve of trial — was “unconscionable.”

The Justice Department tried to crush Thomas Drake, for the crime of exposing government waste, and despite the lack of jail time, they did a pretty good job of ruining his life. The light sentence is good news, in the way that surviving an auto accident is better than dying in one — but you can bet the next well-intentioned potential whistleblower is going to think twice before putting his or her ass on the line.