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Thomas Drake to Government: “Bring It”

Apparently, the government is scrambling in the Thomas Drake case.

According to Ellen Nakashima, they offered him two plea bargains yesterday, both involving no jail time. He rejected both.

Drake has repeatedly told friends that he will never “plea bargain with the truth.”

Drake turned down a deal to plead guilty to unauthorized retention of classified documents. It was a deal similar to the one accepted in 2005 plea by former national security adviser Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger after he removed and shredded classified material relating to the Clinton administration’s record on terrorism from the National Archives.

“Why should you plead to something you didn’t do?” said Bill Binney, a friend and former colleague who, with Drake, tried to raise concerns about what they saw NSA corruption and constitutional violations. “That’s the whole point. People of character don’t do that.”

Let me just take this moment to remind everyone what a train wreck William Welch–the prosecutor who screwed up the Ted Stevens prosecution, among others–has been for DOJ. On the eve of prosecution, the evidence he has to prove someone illegally kept classified information are three documents thrown in the trash can, two other documents that are currently unclassified, and a bunch of people in government speaking openly about the information that appeared in the three trashed documents.

I guess it wasn’t such a good idea to put such a relentless, but incompetent, prosecutor in charge of your leak cases, huh Holder?

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Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.