Whistleblower documentary Silenced sheds light on government secrets and the legal war being waged to protect them. From 9/11 on there has been a STASI-state of intelligence in the US, and we discuss it, along with the film with retired NSA executive Thomas Andrew Drake, former DOJ Ethics Advisor Jesselyn Raddack, and Silenced director James Spione-including uncensored footage from the film, direct from the 2014 Tribeca Film Fest.
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BYOD is hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice. Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi shares her insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.
SILENCED- Dir. James Spione, Subjects Jesselyn Radack and Thomas Drake
Only 11 Americans have ever been charged under the Espionage Act of 1917; eight of them since President Obama took office. Academy Award®-nominated documentarian James Spione returns to TFF with the incredible personal journeys of two members of that octet, Thomas Drake and John Kiriakou, along with accountability advocate, Jesselyn Radack, who helped bring their cases to light. With resonance in the post-Snowden era, Silenced catalogs the lengths to which the government has gone to keep its most damning secrets quiet, in an impassioned and thought-provoking defense of whistleblowers everywhere. Executive produced by Susan Sarandon.
Academy Award® nominee James Spione is an independent filmmaker based in New York City. His most recent work, the powerful Oscar-nominated war film Incident in New Baghdad, premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won Best Documentary Short. The film went on to screen at many other festivals, winning top honors in its category at Rhode Island, Boulder, and Tallgrass, and winning Best Picture at the 2012 Fargo Film Festival. In February 2012, Incident in New Baghdad was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject. The film premiered on the Documentary Channel in May 2012.
Mr. Spione’s first documentary feature, American Farm, detailed the demise of his family’s fifth-generation homestead in central New York State. The film played theatrically from New England to the Midwest, and was subsequently released on DVD by Passion River Films.
In conjunction with the Barrier Island Center and Museum, Spione next created the poignant portrait film Our Island Home, about the last surviving denizens of a vanished settlement off the coast of Virginia.
Jesselyn Radack (born December 12, 1970) is a former ethics adviser to the United States Department of Justice who came to prominence as a whistleblower after she disclosed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) committed what she believed to be an ethics violation in their interrogation of John Walker Lindh (the “American Taliban” captured during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan) without an attorney present, and alleged that the Department of Justice attempted to suppress that information. The Lindh case was the first major terrorism prosecution after 9/11. Her experience is chronicled in her memoir,TRAITOR: The Whistleblower and the “American Taliban”.
Radack is a national security and human rights attorney, known for her defense of whistleblowers, journalists, and hacktivists. She has spoken in defense of some of the most vilified people in the United States, including National Security Agency whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Thomas Drake, each of whom was charged under the Espionage Act after exposing wrongdoing. Both Snowden and Drake are her clients.
Thomas Andrews Drake (born 1957) is a former senior executive of the U.S. National Security Agency(NSA), a decorated United States Air Force and United States Navy veteran, and a whistleblower. In 2010 the government alleged that Drake “mishandled” documents, one of the few such Espionage Act cases in U.S. history. Drake’s defenders claim that he was instead being persecuted for challenging the Trailblazer Project. He is the 2011 recipient of the Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling and co-recipient of the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) award.
00:01 SILENCED and welcoming Thomas Andrew Drake, Jesselyn Raddack + James Spione to BYOD.
01:30 Whistleblowers, information, control and Chelsea Manning.
03:31 How Thomas worked in the wake of 9/11, and the government establishing secret surveillance.
07:29 SILENCED, Clip.
09:10 The sweeping capability of surveillance, and STASI inspiration.
11:42 Government & Omertá.
16:35 Mainstream media and government connections.
18:46 Combating apathy to change government.
22:25 SILENCED, Clip.