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About the Primary Sources Podcast

The Primary Sources Podcast explores the challenges faced by whistleblowers, journalists, and other truthtellers who expose abuses committed in the name of “national security.” The podcast focuses on the free speech issues whistleblowers face, including potential prosecutions under overbroad laws, such as the 100 year old Espionage Act. We’ll also have an opportunity to discuss the government abuses and violations of civil liberties that the whistleblowers have exposed.

Primary Sources is an essential tool in our advocacy to strengthen protections for whistleblowers. These courageous individuals bring the truth to the American people about what our government is doing behind our backs. Their truth telling often comes at great personal cost: lost careers, prison, and huge legal fees. The DOJ has ruthlessly cracked down on whistleblowers, even when they are exposing illegal government actions. Over the course of the past fifteen years, for example, more whistleblowers have been prosecuted under the draconian Espionage Act than ever before.

Podcast episodes feature host Chip Gibbons interviewing famed truth-tellers such as Dan Ellsberg, James Goodale, Thomas Drake, John Kiraikou, Jeffrey Sterling, Lisa Ling, and Jesselyn Raddack – among others.

Primary Sources also includes the perspectives of other truth tellers. This includes soldiers who returning home tried to alert the public to the realities of war or journalists who have faced not only government pressure, but informal censorship for their reporting on national security stories.

Primary Sources is produced by Defending Rights & Dissent, a civil liberties non-profit organization that also produced the critically-acclaimed Still Spying Podcast, a limited-series podcast telling the long history of FBI spying on political movements in America. For more information about Defending Rights & Dissent, visit