CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou wears conviction as 'Badge of Honor'

Discussion in 'Freedom of Expression' started by The Wrong Guy, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    After reading an article by Kevin Gosztola earlier today, I shared the following excerpts in a post in the Bradley Manning updates thread at

    To make it more accessible, here it is again in a dedicated thread.

    CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou, Sentenced to 30 Months in Jail, Wears Conviction as ‘Badge of Honor’

    By Kevin Gosztola

    A former CIA officer, who was the first member of the agency to publicly acknowledge that torture was official US policy under the administration of President George W. Bush, has been sentenced to thirty months in jail. He was convicted in October of last year of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) when he provided the name of an officer involved in the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) program to a reporter.

    Kiriakou granted Firedoglake an interview the day before his sentencing.


    Lanny Breuer, the head of the criminal division of the Justice Department, and McBride both had a role in going after Kiriakou. They currently pride themselves on the work they’ve done going after people like Kiriakou. The government has already invoked Kiriakou’s conviction in the case of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of releasing classified information to WikiLeaks. What they accomplished with his case gives them the potential to restrain the ability of future targets of government prosecution to mount a defense.

    To this, Kiriakou reacted:

    I don’t think I am overstating this when I say I feel like we’re entering a second McCarthy era where the Justice Department uses the law as a fist or as a hammer not just to try and convict people but to ruin them personally and professionally because they don’t like where they stand on different issues.

    I know Lanny Breuer. Lanny Breuer’s my former attorney from the Scooter Libby case but I think that Lanny Breuer became a zealot when he went to the Justice Department and he drank the Justice Department’s anti-whistleblower kool-aid. And I think we see the same thing with Neil McBride in the way he’s targeting WikiLeaks with a grand jury when in fact he should be targeting the bankers who have ruined our country and the crooked politicians who shirk their responsibilities to oversee the intelligence community.

    Though he is going to jail, Kiriakou stated, “I am wearing my conviction as a badge of honor.”

    I am proud that I stood up to our government. I stood up for what I believed was right conviction or no conviction. I mean they can convict anybody of anything if they put their minds to it, but I wear this as a badge of honor. I am not a criminal. I am a whistleblower. The thing that I blew the whistle on is now the law of the land. Torture is illegal and it’s officially abandoned in our country and I’m proud to have had a role in that.

    The only CIA officer to go to jail for torture is now officially an officer who never tortured anybody. As has become more clear with Obama as president, the Justice Department is willing to zealously go after leakers who did no harm to national security. They are willing to zealously pursue Internet activists like Aaron Swartz. They will keep coming back with more and more charges to scare activists into informing on others or taking a plea deal. They may even join in the prosecution of some fallen sports icon for their posterity.

    However, individuals involved in committing the felony of warrantless wiretapping or authorizing torture or senior-level bankers on Wall Street, who committed fraud and fueled the 2008 economic meltdown may move forward with their lives and never worry about going to jail. They are criminals the Justice Department lacks the courage to prosecute, or people the department does not think committed any crimes. And, as a result, those inside the department cannot be bothered to put in the kind of rabid effort they devote to prosecuting whistleblowers or activists, who in comparison to bankers or torturers have done nothing to hurt anybody.



    From Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project, who has been one of Kiriakou’s lawyers:

    Govt pulled @johnkiriakou sec clearance yesterday so he couldn't read "victim impact statement" that formed basis of much of hearing today.
    — Jesselyn Radack (@JesselynRadack) January 25, 2013

    The full article, and comments, are here:

    Kevin Gosztola is on Twitter, at
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  2. A.O.T.F Member

    Thanks TWG
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Anonymous Member

  4. Anonymous Member

    So true.
  5. Anonymous Member

    I agree.
  6. Anonymous Member

    Me too. Sick fuckin gov't.
  7. Anonymous Member

  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    By the way, here's a tip that's intended to be helpful. Here's your search again, but without the information on your previous search and what browser you use that Google tacks onto the end of it:

    Also, here's the same search on Bing:

    Here's a Bing news search as well:

    And a Google News search:

    Here in the lab, it is essential that we keep our URLs as simple and clean.

    • Like Like x 2
  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Prosecuting Whistleblowers Instead of Criminals

    Speak No Evil

    by Michael McKee / January 29th, 2013

    Long the disclaimer of those bearing bad news, the phrase “don’t shoot the messenger” may soon become a rallying cry of the American public.

    Under an ostensibly liberal, Democratic president, government prosecutors have ushered in a new era of targeting whistleblowers. Prosecuting those responsible for the wrongdoings, meanwhile, has been made no such priority. The recent sentencing of former CIA officer John Kiriakou represents the latest example in the crackdown on leaks to the media and public.

    So, the “good news” is, someone has finally gone to jail in connection to the U.S.’s policy of torture in the War on Terror. The bad news? It’s someone who helped bring the abhorrent practice to national attention, not any of the people who conducted or green-lighted that torture. As journalist Kevin Gosztola observed, “The only CIA officer to go to jail for torture is now officially an officer who never tortured anybody.” It’s probably not worth holding your breath (emphatically not a pun) waiting to see any of the waterboarding perpetrators brought to justice. Because when we’re dealing with war crimes, the law has come down hardest on those individuals bringing them to light.

    Continued at
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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Last meal as Obama shoots messenger

    By Paul McGeough


    Morality tale... John Kiriakou faces a 30-month jail term.


    On Thursday at the Hay-Adams, the guest of honour is John Kiriakou, an ex-CIA agent who this weekend says goodbye to his wife and kids and life as he knows it, because next Thursday he reports to a Pennsylvania prison, for a 30-month sentence, because he talked about American torture and named two of his former colleagues to reporters.

    The conviction, a plea-deal after the weight of $600,000-plus in legal fees crushed Kiriakou's will to fight, makes him the first serving or former agent in CIA history to be convicted of disclosing classified information to a reporter - which is a travesty, given the reliance by successive administrations on the selective leaking of information.

    The charge Kiriakou went down on was for leaking those names, but he tells the crowd of about 100: ''I've believed from the first day that this was never about leaking, but because I talked about torture. If it was just about leaking, the jails of the US would be filled with CIA agents and White House officials.''

    The irony is that Obama decided not to go after the authors of a torture program that he put on hold on day two of his presidency. But the man who exposed the existence of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques has been hounded and now is off to the slammer.


    'I'll wear this conviction as a badge of honour. I told my wife, if they think this will shut me up, then they don't know me.''

    More at
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  11. Mutante Member

    Good man.
  12. Anonymous Member

    in a horribly bad system
    The rulers exempt themselves from the rules they demand we obey.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    WikiLeaks @wikileaks · 15m
    CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou Was Marked Dangerous After BOP Categorized His Crime as ‘Espionage-Related’

    CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, who has been serving a prison sentence in a federal correctional facility in Loretto, Pennsylvania for over a year, has written a letter describing how he was given a special designation marking him dangerous. This led to him not being sent to a minimum security camp, and he reveals he was put in a low-security facility because the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) inappropriately categorized his offense as one related to “espionage.”
    • Like Like x 1
  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    Senate Torture Report Condemns C.I.A. Interrogation Program | New York Times

    A scathing report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday found that the Central Intelligence Agency routinely misled the White House and Congress about the information it obtained from the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects, and that its methods were more brutal than the C.I.A. acknowledged either to Bush administration officials or to the public.

    The long-delayed report, which took five years to produce and is based on more than six million internal agency documents, is a sweeping indictment of the C.I.A.'s operation and oversight of a program carried out by agency officials and contractors in secret prisons around the world in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It also provides a macabre accounting of some of the grisliest techniques that the C.I.A. used to torture and imprison terrorism suspects.

    Detainees were deprived of sleep for as long as a week, and were sometimes told that they would be killed while in American custody. With the approval of the C.I.A.'s medical staff, some C.I.A. prisoners were subjected to medically unnecessary “rectal feeding” or “rectal hydration” — a technique that the C.I.A.'s chief of interrogations described as a way to exert “total control over the detainee.” C.I.A. medical staff members described the waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the chief planner of the Sept. 11 attacks, as a “series of near drownings.”

    The report also suggests that more prisoners were subjected to waterboarding than the three the C.I.A. has acknowledged in the past. The committee obtained a photograph of a waterboard surrounded by buckets of water at the prison in Afghanistan commonly known as the Salt Pit — a facility where the C.I.A. had claimed that waterboarding was never used. One clandestine officer described the prison as a “dungeon,” and another said that some prisoners there “literally looked like a dog that had been kenneled.”

    Continued here:

    Instead of prosecuting torturers, Obama prosecuted the guy who revealed the program | Vox

    The details in the Senate report on Central Intelligence Agency torture, released today, are shocking. But don't expect anyone to be held responsible. The only person the Obama administration has prosecuted in connection with the torture program is a man who revealed its existence to the media.

    Much of the information in the report is new to the public, but a lot of it would have been uncovered during a detailed torture investigation Attorney General Eric Holder conducted during President Obama's first term. After carefully examining the evidence, Holder decided not to prosecute anyone for the CIA's torture. "The department has declined prosecution because the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt," Holder said when he dropped investigations into two torture-related deaths in 2012.

    Continued here:
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  15. The Wrong Guy Member

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