Thomas Drake swore an oath to defend the US Constitution on multiple occasions. His fidelity to that oath put him on a collision course with his employer, the National Security Agency. Drake assisted in an inspector general complaint concerning a costly intelligence boondoggle and aided Congressional investigations into intelligence failures in the lead-up to 9/11.
And as the national security state expanded post 9/11, Drake’s oath forbade him to remain silent when the government undertook surveillance that violated the rights of Americans. Drake’s good deeds put a target on his back. As a result, he became the signature Espionage Act case in an emerging War on Whistleblowers.