In SILENCED: The War on Whistleblowers, three Americans reveal the persecution they’ve faced after they dared to question U.S. National Security policy in post 9/11 America. Everyone knows the name Edward Snowden, the fugitive and former intelligence contractor, but Academy Award nominated documentarian James Spione introduces us to three other whistleblowers of the era, speaking for the first time in one film, who discuss in dramatic and unprecedented detail the evolution of the government’s increasingly harsh response to unauthorized disclosures.
What happened to the man who exposed waterboarding? And what are the consequences of making public such illegal intelligence-gathering techniques by the U.S. government? In this revealing documentary, three prominent whistle-blowers explain how everything changed radically after 9/11. John Kiriakou (former CIA), Thomas Drake (former NSA) and Jesselyn Radack (lawyer and former ethics consultant to the American Department of Justice) talk candidly to filmmaker James Spione about their “leaks”: how they made public the illegal, even criminal practices of their own government, facing a choice between career and conscience that put their very lives at risk. Following their revelations they were fired, isolated, cast into a financial abyss or even tried and incarcerated. The stories of these whistle-blowers are told through interviews, excerpts from appearances in the media, official documents and reenacted scenes. Tense as a John le Carré thriller, this documentary by Oscar® nominee Spione (Incident in New Baghdad, 2011) shows how the worldview of this courageous trio changed forever. In the words of John Kiriakou, “I’m not sure anymore who the good guys are.”