Poster Series: Jesselyn Radack

Sep 29, 2013

Click here to see or download the third Indypendent Whistleblower Poster in full.


December 12, 1970


Columbia, Maryland


Brown, Yale Law School

The Indypendent’s Whistleblower Poster Series

This is the third in a series of four posters featuring whistleblowers who have taken great risks to expose the crimes and the misdeeds of our government.

July (Issue #188):
Edward Snowden

August (Issue #189):
John Kiriakou

September (Issue #190): Jesselyn Radack

November (Issue #191): Chelsea Manning


Radack was a Justice Department legal ethics attorney when the U.S. launched its “War on Terror” in 2001.

Controversial Case

In December 2001, Radack warned superiors at the Department of Justice (DOJ) that the FBI had committed an ethics violation during its interrogation of so-called “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh. Radack concluded that Lindh’s confession might have to be sealed, something the government was loath to do in its first major post-9/11 terrorism prosecution.

Initial Retaliation

Radack received a scathing job performance review in February 2002 and was told to look for employment elsewhere.

What She Leaked

In June 2002, Radack supplied copies of more than a dozen emails she wrote on the Lindh interrogation to a Newsweek reporter after the DOJ only released three of her emails to the judge in Lindh’s case. After Radack’s leak, the DOJ reached a plea bargain deal with Lindh rather than taking his case to trial.

Further Retaliation

Anonymous DOJ senior officials attacked Radack in the media as a “traitor” and a “terrorist sympathizer” while the government leaned on her new employer, a Washington D.C. law firm, to fire her. The government vendetta against Radack included helping her employer contest Radack’s unemployment benefits claim, referring ethics complaints against Radack to the two state bar associations where she is licensed and placing her on the government’s “No-Fly” list. By her count, she was subject to at least 19 extra security searches before being removed from the list.

Legal Status

The DOJ pursued a criminal investigation against Radack for 15 months before declining to file charges in September 2003. Facing the threat of disbarment, she was unable to get legal work for years.

Can’t Keep a Strong Woman Down

In 2008, Radack became Director of National Security and Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project, an organization that defends whistleblowers. Radack’s clients include NSA whistleblowers Thomas Drake and William Binney and CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou. Radack has authored a book on her experience and is a columnist at the Daily Kos.

In Her Own Words

“As someone who has been the target of a ruthless leak investigation, I believe … that government employees should be protected, not retaliated against, when they disclose conduct evidencing illegality, fraud, waste or abuse.”

ON THE WEB (Government Accountability Project) Radack


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