William Binney is a former high-level National Security Agency intelligence official who, after his 2001 retirement after 30 years, blew the whistle on NSA surveillance programs. His outspoken criticism of the NSA during the George W. Bush administration made him the subject of FBI investigations that included a raid on his home in 2007. Even before Edward Snowden’s NSA whistleblowing, Binney publicly revealed that NSA had access to telecommunications companies’ domestic and international billing records, and that since 9/11 the agency has intercepted some 15 to 20 trillion communications. The Snowden disclosures confirmed many of the surveillance dangers Binney — without the benefit of documents — had been warning about under both the Bush and Obama administrations.
Eileen Chubb is one of the Bupa 7 Whistleblowers who lost their jobs after reporting widespread abuse of elderly people in a Bupa care home. The case was the first to use the UK whistleblowing law, PIDA. Chubb founded the charity Compassion In Care, to expose abuse and campaign to protect whistleblowers. More than 3,000 whistleblowers have contacted the charity. Last year BBC Panorama featured the charity's work with whistleblowers and exposing abuse. Her campaign for Edna s Law to replace PIDA and to protect the protectors is gathering major support.
Jeff Cohen is a media critic, writer and journalism professor who founded the media watch group FAIR in 1986. He is the founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media and is endowed chair/associate professor of journalism at Ithaca College. For years, he was a regular commentator on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC discussing issues of media and politics. Cohen was senior producer of MSNBC’s Phil Donahue show until its cancellation on the eve of the Iraq war. He has written investigative articles and features for numerous publications including Rolling Stone, The Nation and Mother Jones. He is the author or co-author of five books, including his latest, Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media.
Marjorie Cohn is a professor of law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, a former president of the National Lawyers Guild, and deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. She has contributed online commentary to websites such as Truthout, CommonDreams, Counterpunch and Z Net. She has also done commentary for the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR and Pacifica Radio. Cohn has authored or co-authored several books, including: Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues, Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent; Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law; and The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse.
Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, as senior policy analyst for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, became a whistleblower when the EPA ignored her complaints about a U.S. company harming the environment and human health in its vanadium mining in South Africa. Denied promotion, she sued and won a jury verdict finding EPA guilty of discrimination. Coleman-Adebayo is a founder of the No FEAR Coalition and EPA Employees Against Racism. Under her leadership No FEAR organized a grassroots campaign that won passage of the “Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act.” Coleman-Adebayo serves on the board of directors of the National Whistleblower Center and was inducted into the Project on Government Oversight’s Hall of Fame. She is an editor and columnist for the Black Agenda Report.
Thomas Drake is a former senior executive at the National Security Agency where he blew the whistle on massive multi-billion dollar fraud, waste and the widespread violations of the rights of citizens through secret mass surveillance programs after 9/11. As retaliation and reprisal, the Obama Administration indicted Drake in 2010 as the first whistleblower since Daniel Ellsberg charged with espionage, and Drake faced 35 years in prison, turning him into an Enemy of the State for his oath to defend the Constitution. In 2011, the government’s case against him collapsed and he went free in a plea deal. He is the recipient of the 2011 Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize, and a joint recipient with Jesselyn Radack of the 2011 Sam Adams Associates Integrity in Intelligence Award and the 2012 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award. He is now dedicated to the defense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Daniel Ellsberg is a former U.S. military analyst who served in Vietnam, worked at the RAND Corporation, and then risked decades in prison to release the top-secret Pentagon Papers to The New York Times and other newspapers in 1971 — thereby adding impetus to the movement to end the Vietnam War. Although Ellsberg faced espionage and other felony charges, the case against him was dismissed because of egregious misconduct by the Nixon administration. Ellsberg has been a strong supporter of modern-day NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and convicted Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning. In 2006, Ellsberg received the Right Livelihood Award (the “alternative Nobel Prize”), and in 2012 became a co-founder of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
George Friday is the national field organizer for the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and grew up in rural NC in the 1960s. She holds degrees in political science, economics, and African American studies from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where she graduated in 1982. George works with grassroots community and national organizations providing leadership development and skills training ranging from strategic planning and organizing to fundraising, marketing, and community building. Her work particularly focuses on communication, oppression, change, and the role of privilege in transforming power dynamics, fostering broad, deep economic and social justice change. She brings more than three decades of experience to her position as national field organizer for the Bill of Rights Defense Committee.
Kevin Gosztola is a journalist for Firedoglake.com and co-host of the weekly podcast radio show, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He regularly covers whistleblowing, secrecy and WikiLeaks, along with other various issues created by the global security state of America. He extensively covered the court martial of Chelsea Manning and co-authored Truth and Consequences: The US v. Private Manning with The Nation's Greg Mitchell.
Matthew Hoh, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, previously directed the Afghanistan Study Group, a collection of foreign and public policy experts and professionals advocating for a change in U.S. policy in Afghanistan. Prior to that, Hoh served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq and on U.S. Embassy teams in both Afghanistan and Iraq. During his service in Afghanistan, five months into his year-long contract in 2009, he resigned and became the highest-ranking U.S. official to publicly renounce U.S. policy in Afghanistan. Hoh was awarded The Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling in 2010.
Sam Husseini is the longtime director of media and communications for the Institute for Public Accuracy, based in the National Press Building in Washington, D.C. He was previously the media director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Husseini is a longtime associate of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR). He has written on foreign policy, media, popular culture and related topics for Newsday, The Washington Post, The Nation and other publications. He founded The Washington Stakeout and VotePact.org.
Robert McChesney is among the most widely read and honored communication scholars in the world today. He is Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Communication Department, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In 2002 he co-founded Free Press, a national media reform organization, and served as its president until 2008; he remains on its board of directors. McChesney has written or edited 27 books. His most recent are Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex Is Destroying America (with John Nichols) and Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Away from Democracy. His 2002 book Rich Media, Poor Democracy was awarded the ICA Fellows Book Award. He received (with John Nichols) the Newspaper Guild’s 2010 Herbert Block Freedom Award.
Jesselyn Radack is the director of National Security & Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project (GAP), the nation’s leading whistleblower organization. Her program focuses specifically on secrecy, surveillance, torture, and discrimination. She has been at the forefront of defending against the government’s unprecedented “war on whistleblowers,” which has also implicated journalists. Among her clients, she represents seven national security and intelligence community employees who have been investigated, charged or prosecuted under the Espionage Act for allegedly mishandling classified information, including Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake, and John Kiriakou. She also represents clients bringing whistleblower retaliation complaints in federal court and various administrative bodies. Previously, she served on the DC Bar Legal Ethics Committee and worked at the Justice Department for seven years, first as a trial attorney and later as a legal ethics advisor. Radack is author of TRAITOR: The Whistleblower & the “American Taliban”. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Guardian, The Nation, Salon, and numerous academic law reviews. Radack received the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence Award in 2011. She was named one of Foreign Policy magazine’s “Leading Global Thinkers of 2013,” and is a 2014 Woodrow Wilson Fellow.
Coleen Rowley, an attorney and former FBI special agent and division counsel whose May 2002 memo to the FBI Director exposed some of the agency’s pre-9/11 failures, was one of three whistleblowers named as Time magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002. In February 2003, Rowley again wrote to the FBI Director questioning him and other Bush administration officials about the reliability of supposed evidence being used to justify the impending U.S invasion of Iraq. Under sharp criticism for her comments, Rowley stepped down from her legal position to go back to being an FBI Special Agent. She retired from the FBI in 2004 after 24 years with the agency.
Justin Schlosberg is a Lecturer in Journalism and Media at Birkbeck College, University of London, and an Edmund J. Safra Network Fellow at Harvard University. His research has critically examined the failures of mainstream journalism in covering national security controversies such as corruption in the British arms trade, the death of intelligence analyst Dr David Kelly, the mass leak of US diplomatic cables in 2010, and the revelations of former NSA contractor Ed Snowden in 2013. Many of these are documented in his first book, Power beyond Scrutiny, described by veteran author and journalist Phil Knightley as “absorbing and revelatory.”
Tim Shorrock is a Washington-based investigative journalist who is the author of Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Outsourced Intelligence. Over the past 35 years, his work has appeared in many publications in the United States and abroad, including The Nation, Salon, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, The Progressive, Foreign Policy in Focus and Asia Times. He appears frequently on the radio as a commentator on intelligence, contracting, foreign policy, East Asia and North and South Korea. He has been interviewed on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” “Democracy Now!” and many other outlets.
Norman Solomon is the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and the author of a dozen books on media and public policy, including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. He is a former associate of the Center for Investigative Reporting. Solomon wrote the syndicated weekly “Media Beat” column for 17 years. His op-ed articles about news media and politics have appeared in most of the major newspapers in the United States. He is co-founder of RootsAction.org.
Maura Stephens is an independent journalist, activist, and associate director of the Park Center for Independent Media. After a long career in mainstream journalism, since 1996 she has worked in non-corporate-controlled media, writing on such topics as the invasion and occupation of Iraq, torture, corporate malfeasance, extreme energy extraction, and democracy. She cofounded two international human rights organizations and the grassroots Coalition to Protect New York, Frackbusters NY, and others. She is finishing a book on fracking and related industrial harms that includes an activists’ handbook.
David Swanson is Campaign Coordinator for RootsAction.org. His books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and hosts Talk Nation Radio. Swanson helped plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in 2011. Swanson holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as communications coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a journalist, activist, and lawyer who writes a twice weekly column for The Guardian on privacy, free speech, and national security. He has contributed to The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, Harvard Law and Policy Review, PBS MediaShift, and Politico.
Marcy Wheeler is an investigative journalist who writes the "Right to Know" column for ExposeFacts.org. She is best known for providing in-depth analysis of legal documents related to "war on terrorism" programs and civil liberties. Wheeler blogs at emptywheel.net and publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon and the Progressive. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit: How the Bush Administration Used the Media to Sell the Iraq War and Out a Spy. Wheeler won the 2009 Hillman Award for blog journalism.
J. Kirk Wiebe is a retired National Security Agency whistleblower who worked at the agency for over 32 years. During his tenure there, he received the Director CIA’s Meritorious Unit Award and the NSA’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award – that Agency’s second highest distinction – for work against foreign strategic weapons systems. Wiebe’s colleague William Binney developed the ThinThread information processing system that, arguably, could have detected and prevented the 9/11 terrorist attacks. NSA officials, though, ignored the program in favor of Trailblazer, a program that ended in total failure in 2005 with costs of billions of dollars. Wiebe, together with colleagues William Binney, Diane Roark (former HPSCI senior staffer), and Ed Loomis (former NSA computer systems analyst) blew the whistle on NSA mismanagement and waste of billions of dollars on Trailblazer in a complaint to the Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG), but to no avail. Post 9/11, the NSA used ThinThread to illegally spy on U.S. citizens’ communications. Unable to stay at NSA any longer in good conscience, Wiebe, along with colleagues Binney and Loomis retired in October 2001. Since retiring, Wiebe has made several key public disclosures regarding NSA’s massive surveillance program subverting the U.S. Constitution.