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. Drakeâ€™s home and his indictment in 2010 was far too long.
The visibly angry judge said that Mr. Drake had been through â€œfour years of hellâ€ and that the dragging out of the investigation â€” and then the dropping of the major charges on the eve of trial â€” was â€œunconscionable.â€
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.