Thomas Drake is a former senior executive with the National Security Agency, a United States Air Force and Navy veteran, CIA intelligence analyst, computer software expert and whistleblower. While at NSA, he blew the whistle on multi-billion dollar programmatic fraud, waste and abuse; the critical loss and coverup of 9/11 intelligence; government wrongdoing; and a dragnet electronic mass surveillance and data mining program conducted on a vast scale by the NSA (with the approval of the White House) after 9/11. Mr. Drake argued that this program violated and subverted the Constitution as well as individual sovereignty and privacy, while weakening national security and fundamentally eroding our civil liberties. In April 2010 he was charged by the US Department of Justice with a 10 felony count Espionage Act indictment facing 35 years in prison and declared an enemy of the state. All 10 original charges were dropped in July 2011 after Mr. Drake pled to a single misdemeanor count of exceeding the authorized use of a government computer with no fine or prison time. He is the 2011 recipient of the Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize, and with Jesselyn Radack the co-recipient of the 2011 Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence Award and the 2012 Hugh M. Hefner 1st Amendment Award.
By Jon Gold
The main reason for this was because the 9/11 Commission barely looked at them, and the information they did come across tried to tie Iran to Al-Qaeda and 9/11. "[For executive director Philip] Zelikow and other staff on the commission, it was just more interesting—sexier—to concentrate on the CIA."
In late 2003, the NSA will allow the 9/11 Commission access to its archives on Al-Qaeda. "[P]erversely, the more eager [NSA director] General Hayden was to cooperate, the less interested [9/11 Commission executive director Philip] Zelikow and others at the commission seemed to be in what was buried in the NSA files."
Towards the end of the 9/11 Commission, "Zelikow would later admit he too was worried that important classified information had never been reviewed at the NSA and elsewhere in the government before the 9/11 commission shut its doors, that critical evidence about bin Laden’s terrorist network sat buried in government files, unread to this day. By July 2004, it was just too late to keep digging."
Interesting, since he seems to be the main reason the 9/11 Commission stayed away from the NSA.