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His name is Thomas TaMM and he worked for the Justice dept.  He comes from a family of FBI agents.
In 2004 he was assigned to the Justice Dept to work on Foreign surveillance and stumbled onto something that led him to the New York Times and the breaking of the story on Domestic spying.

Micheal Isikoff has an excellent and long article about the man who blew the whistle to the New York Times about the super secret and illegal domestic spying program by Bush.

In the spring of 2004, Tamm had just finished a yearlong stint at a Justice Department unit handling wiretaps of suspected terrorists and spies—a unit so sensitive that employees are required to put their hands through a biometric scanner to check their fingerprints upon entering. While there, Tamm stumbled upon the existence of a highly classified National Security Agency program that seemed to be eavesdropping on U.S. citizens. The unit had special rules that appeared to be hiding the NSA activities from a panel of federal judges who are required to approve such surveillance. When Tamm started asking questions, his supervisors told him to drop the subject. He says one volunteered that "the program" (as it was commonly called within the office) was "probably illegal."

Tamm found he could not sleep from the knowledge and illegality of what he knew so, one day, during lunchtime, he dropped a dime to the New York Times.

Since the time that he blew the whistle and the Times published the story, Tamm's life has been full of harrassment by the very FBI his family worked for:

But Tamm—who was not the Times's only source, but played the key role in tipping off the paper—has not fared so well. The FBI has pursued him relentlessly for the past two and a half years. Agents have raided his house, hauled away personal possessions and grilled his wife, a teenage daughter and a grown son. More recently, they've been questioning Tamm's friends and associates about nearly every aspect of his life. Tamm has resisted pressure to plead to a felony for divulging classified information. But he is living under a pall, never sure if or when federal agents might arrest him.

Tamm is a man with a conscience.  He was motivated in part by other Bush programs like torture and aggressive pushing for death penalty cases among them.
He no longer, of course, works for Justice and is trying to make ends meet by doing some legal work.  He's $30,000 in debt and suffers from depression now.

Still, Tamm is haunted by the consequences of what he did—and what could yet happen to him. He is no longer employed at Justice and has been struggling to make a living practicing law. He does occasional work for a local public defender's office, handles a few wills and estates—and is more than $30,000 in debt. (To cover legal costs, he recently set up a defense fund.) He says he has suffered from depression.

From what I've heard about Whistle Blowers, many find their lives turned around and mostly for the worse.  Espcially government workers during this era of Bush.  We won't know just how bad things were inside that White House over the last 8 years but, we can guess.  Whatever comes out after he leaves, it will be a treasure trove of ugliness (too bad Bush did not have a running tape recorder in the oval office, ala Nixon).
Mr. Tamm is a man of rare courage to go against this and do the right thing in a time when too few have done so.  I feel really bad that he's had to suffer for doing the right thing.

I hope the Newsweek article gets some airtime amid the scandal obsessions of the media.  And I hope you take time to read this article.
I only put very, very little about it here because it is so long.  

Originally posted to renior on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 06:31 PM PST.

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