Sam Adams Award

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Not to be confused with the Sammies, an award given by the Sam Adams Alliance.
Sam Adams Award logo.png

The Sam Adams Award is given annually to an intelligence professional who has taken a stand for integrity and ethics. The Award is given by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence[1] , a group of retired CIA officers. It is named after Samuel A. Adams, a CIA whistleblower during the Vietnam War, and takes the physical form of a "corner-brightener candlestick".[2]

Ray McGovern established the Sam Adams Associates "to reward intelligence officials who demonstrated a commitment to truth and integrity, no matter the consequences."[3]

The 2012, 2013 and 2014 Awards were presented at the Oxford Union.[3][4]

Edward Snowden receiving the Sam Adams Award in October 2013


  • 2002: Coleen Rowley[5][6]
  • 2003: Katharine Gun, former British intelligence (GCHQ) translator; leaked top-secret information showing illegal US activities during the push for war in Iraq[7]
  • 2004: Sibel Edmonds, former FBI translator; fired after accusing FBI officials of ignoring intelligence pointing to al-Qaeda attacks against the US[8]
  • 2005: Craig Murray[5]
  • 2006: Samuel Provance, former US Army military intelligence sergeant; spoke out about abuses at the Abu Ghraib Prison[9]
  • 2007: Andrew Wilkie, retired Australian intelligence official; claimed intelligence was being exaggerated to justify Australian support for the US invasion of Iraq[8]
  • 2008: Frank Grevil, Danish whistleblower; leaked classified information showing no clear evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq[10]
  • 2009: Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell and Iraq War critic.[5]
  • 2010: Julian Assange, editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks[11][12]
  • 2011: Thomas Andrews Drake, former senior executive of the US NSA; Jesselyn Radack, former ethics adviser to the US Department of Justice[13]
  • 2012: Thomas Fingar, former chairman of the National Intelligence Council[2]
  • 2013: Edward Snowden, leaked NSA material showing mass surveillance by the agency, sparking heated debate[14][15][16]
  • 2014: Chelsea Manning,[17][18] a United States Army soldier who was convicted in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses
  • 2015: William Binney, a former highly placed intelligence official with the United States National Security Agency turned whistleblower


  1. ^ "Sam Adams Award website". Sam Adams Associates. 
  2. ^ a b Ray McGovern, Sam Adams Award
  3. ^ a b Carlo, Silkie. "Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden Criticize the "Decline" of US Democracy". Motherboard. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Ray McGovern, 14 January 2013, Post-Iraq-War US Intel Chief Praised
  5. ^ a b c Coleen Rowley, 19 October 2009, Huffington Post, Colonel Larry Wilkerson to Receive 2009 Sam Adams Truthtelling Award
  6. ^ Ray McGovern,, 10 October 2013, Snowden Accepts Whistleblower Award
  7. ^ Ray McGovern, 31 January 2013,, When Truth Tried to Stop War
  8. ^ a b Snowden honored by group of former intelligence officials | Oriental Review
  9. ^ Scott Horton, Harper's Magazine, 21 September 2007, Sam Adams Award to Sam Provance
  10. ^ "Frank Grevil får whistleblower-pris". DR. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2009. 
  11. ^ the Oxford Union - Sam Adams Awards incl videolink with Julian Assange
  12. ^ Ray McGovern, 8 December 2010,, What's Behind the War on WikiLeaks
  13. ^ Ray McGovern, 16 November 2011, Whistleblowers Honored on Nov. 21
  14. ^ 'US unchained itself from constitution': Whistleblowers on RT after secret Snowden meeting — RT News
  15. ^ Former National Security Whistleblowers Meet in Moscow and Award Sam Adams Prize to Snowden - Government Accountability Project
  16. ^ Associated Press, Haaretz, 10 October 2013, Former U.S. officials give NSA whistleblower Snowden award in Russia
  17. ^ Nicks, Denver. "Snowden Congratulates Chelsea Manning". TIME. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "Chelsea Manning awarded 2014 Sam Adams Prize for Integrity in Intelligence". Russia Today. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 

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