Blog

Unprecedented News Conference: Wife of Imprisoned CIA Whistleblower to Speak Out

Media Advisory

Unprecedented News Conference: Wife of Imprisoned CIA Whistleblower to Speak Out

October 15 at 9:30 a.m. – National Press Club, Washington

What:  News Conference with Holly Sterling, wife of imprisoned CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, plus whistleblowers from government agencies

When:  Thursday, October 15 at 9:30 a.m.

Where:  National Press Club (Zenger Room), 13th Floor, National Press Building, Washington, D.C.

Cosponsors: ExposeFacts, Reporters Without Borders, RootsAction.org

____________________________________

Jeffrey Sterling was convicted under the Espionage Act as a source for New York Times reporter James Risen’s book State of War. He began serving his three-and-a-half year prison sentence in June. His wife’s news conference will be the first time the spouse of a CIA whistleblower has made such an appearance.

National Press Club President John Hughes will give opening remarks.

Additional speakers include:
*  Thomas Drake
*  Delphine Halgand
*  Ray McGovern
*  Jesselyn Radack

Background on News Conference Speakers:

Thomas Drake is a former senior executive at the National Security Agency where he blew the whistle on massive multi-billion dollar fraud, waste and the widespread violations of the rights of citizens through secret mass surveillance programs after 9/11. As retaliation and reprisal, the Obama Administration indicted Drake in 2010 as the first whistleblower since Daniel Ellsberg was charged with espionage, and Drake faced 35 years in prison, turning him into an Enemy of the State for his oath to defend the Constitution. In 2011, the government’s case against him collapsed and he went free in a plea deal. He is the recipient of the 2011 Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize, and a joint recipient with Jesselyn Radack of the 2011 Sam Adams Associates Integrity in Intelligence Award and the 2012 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award. He is now dedicated to the defense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Delphine Halgand has been working as the Director of the US office for Reporters Without Borders since December 2011. She runs activities for the organization in the country and advocates for journalists, bloggers and media rights worldwide. Acting as RSF’s spokesperson in the US, Halgand regularly appears on American (CNN, Fox News, PBS, Democracy Now…) and foreign media (BBC World TV, Al Jazeera, NTN24…) and lectures at conferences in US universities (Harvard, UCLA, Yale, Columbia…) on press freedom violation issues. She previously served as Press attaché in charge of outreach at the French Embassy to the US. Since graduating from Sciences Po Paris with an M.A. in Journalism, Halgand has worked as an economics correspondent for various French media (Le Monde, Les Echos, L’Express…), focusing mainly on international politics and macroeconomic issues.

Ray McGovern, a retired CIA analyst turned political activist and speaker, chaired the National Intelligence Estimates in the 1980s. He prepared the daily briefs for presidents from John F. Kennedy to George H.W. Bush. For his CIA service he received the Intelligence Commendation Medal, which he returned in 2006 in protest of the CIA’s involvement in torture. In 2003, he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, an organization committed to analyzing and criticizing the use of intelligence. McGovern was one of four American whistleblowers who met with Edward Snowden in Russia in 2013 to present Snowden with an award for integrity in intelligence for providing NSA documents to the press.

Jesselyn Radack 
heads the Whistleblower and Source Protection Program (WHISPeR) at ExposeFacts. As National Security and Human Rights Director of WHISPeR, her work focuses on the issues of secrecy, surveillance, torture and drone attacks, where she has been at the forefront of challenging the government’s unprecedented “war on whistleblowers,” which has become a war on online activists, journalists and information. Among her clients are seven national security and intelligence community employees who have been investigated, charged, or prosecuted under the Espionage Act for allegedly mishandling classified information, including Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake, and John Kiriakou. She also represents clients bringing whistleblower retaliation complains in federal court and other administrative bodies. Previously, she served for seven years as National Security and Human Rights Director at the Government Accountability Project, the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization, on the DC Bar Legal Ethics Committee and worked at the Justice Department for seven years, first as a trial attorney and later as a legal ethics advisor.

Cosponsoring the news conference are ExposeFacts, Reporters Without Borders and RootsAction.org.

ExposeFacts is a project of the Institute for Public Accuracy.