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Whistleblowers => John Kiriakou => Topic started by: Riney on September 12, 2012, 18:54:20 PM

Title: The Unfair Prosecution of John Kiriakou: Daily Whistleblower News
Post by: Riney on September 12, 2012, 18:54:20 PM
The Unfair Prosecution of John Kiriakou: Daily Whistleblower News
by Hannah Johnson on September 12, 2012 (    The Whistleblogger    / 2012 )

TomDispatch: The Persecution of John Kiriakou

Summary: In this blog piece, State Department whistleblower/GAP client Peter Van Buren blasts the federal government for its prosecution of CIA torture whistleblower/GAP client John Kiriakou under the Espionage Act. Van Buren writes that Kiriakou is the only person “being held accountable for America’s torture policy. And [he] didn’t torture anyone, he just blew the whistle on it.”

Key Quote: John Kiriakou and I share common attorneys through the Government Accountability Project, and I’ve had the chance to talk with him on any number of occasions. He is soft-spoken, thoughtful, and quick to laugh at a bad joke. When the subject turns to his case, and the way the government has treated him, however, things darken. His sentences get shorter and the quick smile disappears.

One of Kiriakou’s representatives, attorney Jesselyn Radack, told me, “It is a miscarriage of justice that John Kiriakou is the only person indicted in relation to the Bush-era torture program. The historic import cannot be understated. If a crime as egregious as state-sponsored torture can go unpunished, we lose all moral standing to condemn other governments’ human rights violations. By ‘looking forward, not backward’ we have taken a giant leap into the past.”

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Title: Re: The Unfair Prosecution of John Kiriakou: Daily Whistleblower News
Post by: Riney on October 31, 2012, 15:18:48 PM
a little more on the subject...

In a CIA Torture Case, the Only Person Punished is the Whistleblower
October 25, 2012
by John Light

Two months ago, the Justice Department announced that it would not charge any of the CIA agents  who tortured detainees during the Bush administration. But they did prosecute one agent: John Kiriakou, the man who blew the whistle on the interrogation procedures. Earlier this week, Kiriakou pleaded guilty to leaking the identity of one of his colleagues. He will be sentenced to more than two years in prison.


Former CIA officer John Kiriakou leaves U.S. District Courthouse in Alexandria, Va. on Oct. 23, 2012 after pleading guilty, in a plea deal, to leaking the names of covert operatives to journalists. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

This is the first time in 27 years that the Intelligence Activities Act has successfully been used  to convict. Charges also were filed under the World War I era Espionage Act of 1917, but dropped.

In 2007 Kirakou gave an interview to ABC News in which he described waterboarding as torture, but also suggested it was necessary.

“Like a lot of Americans, I’m involved in this internal, intellectual battle with myself weighing the idea that waterboarding may be torture versus the quality of information that we often get after using the waterboarding technique,” he said, ”and I struggle with it.”

In March 2002, Kiriakou was part of the CIA team that made the first capture of a major al Qaeda figure, Abu Zubaydah. Kiriakou said waterboarding Zubaydah helped the agency get valuable information.

The AP reports that CIA Director David Petraeus applauded Kiriakou’s conviction. In an email to agency staff, he wrote:

“It marks an important victory for our agency, for our intelligence community, and for our country. Oaths do matter, and there are indeed consequences for those who believe they are above the laws that protect our fellow officers and enable American intelligence agencies to operate with the requisite degree of secrecy.”

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Title: Re: The Unfair Prosecution of John Kiriakou: Daily Whistleblower News
Post by: Riney on November 20, 2012, 00:35:03 AM
...and now it appears he is being honored

GAP National Security Whistleblowers Honored in Moving Ceremony

by Hannah Johnson on November 16, 2012 (The Whistleblogger)

Hindsight is 20/20, as the saying goes. And I'm really hoping that's the cas. Because the government's current vision is pretty clouded – at least when it comes to national security. And by clouded, I mean nearly blind.

How else do you justify that the only person associated with the Bush-era torture policies going to jail is the guy who blew the whistle on it? Or the interception and storage of millions of Americans' private communications?

At least not everyone is blinded by this all-encompassing "national security." In fact, there are those who would expose this façade. Specifically, there is CIA torture whistleblower John Kiriakou, and NSA whistleblowers J. Kirk Wiebe and Bill Binney. And there is the Joe A. Callaway for Civic Courage that recognizes the importance of what these whistleblowers are exposing.

Kiriakou, in particular, has a magnificently compelling story. He was among the first to identify torture as CIA policy and was subsequently charged under the Espionage Act. He recently pled guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (30 months in prison) in exchange for the government dropping the other charges – including the ones under the Espionage Act. As he said in the ceremony, his first priority was to see his five kids grow up, and this plea deal gave him at least that.

Accepting the award on Tuesday night (Nov. 13), he put on a brave face as tear-stained faces of the audience saluted him in a standing ovation. As GAP's Sarah Damian summed up nicely, "It was a good reminder of why we do what we do."

Binney and Wiebe's story is no less powerful, though, thankfully, it doesn't end in prison. Binney and Wiebe worked at the NSA for a combined 60+ years. When they saw the corruption and illegalities that were pervading the agency after 9/11, they resigned. Now, they speak out about the agency's domestic surveillance and the privacy rights it violates.

All three of these whistleblowers have done important work peeling back some of the layers of the national security complex. It is heartwarming to see them honored for their courageous actions.

Let's hope the government will see that. If not now, then at least in hindsight.

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