'Is This the Country We Want to Keep?': Whistleblower Threatened with 35 Years in Prison, Warns of Developing Tyranny
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So I leave you with this as I channel Frederick Douglass. On August 3, 1857, Frederick Douglass delivered a West India Emancipation speech. At Canandaigua, New York, on the 23rd anniversary of the event, he said, quote (please listen very carefully): "The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters." Let me translate into today's language. Power and those in control concede nothing, I repeat, concede nothing without a demand. They never have and they never will. Every one of us, every one of us in this room and beyond this room, each and every one of us must keep demanding, must keep fighting, must keep thundering, must keep plowing, must keep on keeping things struggling, must speak out, and must speak up until justice is served, because where there is no justice there can be no peace.
What country do we want to truly keep? Consider what actions you will take when you leave this evening. After all, it is our country. So take the necessary action to conserve the very best of who we are and can be for this generation, as well as future generations to come.
Thomas Andrews Drake (born 1957) is a former senior official of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), decorated United States Air Force and United States Navy veteran, computer software expert, linguist, management and leadership specialist, and whistleblower. In 2010 the government alleged that he 'mishandled' documents, one of the few such Espionage Act cases in U.S. history. His defenders claim that he was instead being persecuted for challenging the Trailblazer Project.