Sam Adams Award

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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] former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan who blew the whistle on UK complicity in the Uzbek government's use of torture and involvement in extraordinary rendition
  • 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
  • 2016: John Kiriakou


  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. 

External links[edit]