Only eleven Americans have ever been charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 for revealing secret government information to the public, eight of them under the Obama administration. In an era where the government goes to great lengths to keep information on national security and foreign policy classified, are transparency and accountability suffering? Under the risk of harsh and punitive consequences, how far would you go to tell the truth?
That’s the question posed in Academy Award-nominated James Spione’s newest film, Silenced, which follows Thomas Drake, Jesselyn Radack and John Kiriakou, three high-profile national security whistleblowers who, compelled by conscience, fight to reveal some of the darkest corners of American policy in the war on terror: waterboarding, warrantless wiretapping and government waste. How can a democracy that champions human rights globally simultaneously attempt to squash criticism within its own ranks? What are the implications for the First Amendment when dissent can be prosecuted?
Join New America NYC for a screening of Silenced, immediately followed by a conversation with the director and two of the featured subjects of the film on what it means to be a whistleblower in post-9/11 America and what impact it has for the goals of transparency and democracy.
Former senior executive, U.S. National Security Agency (NSA)
Director, National Security & Human Rights, Government Accountability Project Former ethics adviser, U.S. Department of Justice
Director, Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism Professor, School of Journalism, Columbia University