John Kiriakou is a former CIA analyst and case officer, former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and former counter-terrorism consultant for ABC News, blogger for Huffington Post, and author.
He is notable as the first official within the U.S. government to confirm the use of waterboarding of al-Qaeda prisoners as an interrogation technique, which he described as torture
The Kiriakou Conundrum: To Plea Or Not To Plea
Posted on October 20, 2012
Why is the story of John Kiriakou raised on this fine Saturday? Because as Charlie Savage described, Kiriakou has tread the “Path From Terrorist Hunter to Defendant”. Today it is a path far removed from the constant political trolling of the Benghazi incident, and constant sturm and drang of the electoral polling horserace. It is a critical path of precedent in the history of American jurisprudence, and is playing out with nary a recognition or discussion. A tree is falling in the forrest and the sound is not being heard.
What I hear is the current offer is plead to IIPA and two plus years prison. This for a man who has already been broken, and whose family has been crucified (Kiriakou’s wife also worked for the Agency, but has been terminated and had her security clearance revoked). Blood out of turnips is now what the “most transparent administration in history” demands.
It is a malicious and unnecessary demand. The man, his family, and existence are destroyed already. What the government really wants is definable precedent on the IIPA because, well, there is not squat for such historically, and the “most transparent administration in history” wants yet another, larger, bludgeon with which to beat the baby harp seals of whistleblowing. And so they act.
The once and previous criticisms of John Kiriakou, and others trying to expose a nation off its founding tracks, may be valid in an intellectual discussion on the fulcrum of classified information protection; but beyond malignant in a sanctioned governmental prosecution such as has been propounded against a civilian servant like John Kiriakou who sought, with specificity, to address wrongs within his direct knowledge. This is precisely where, thanks to the oppressive secrecy ethos of the Obama Administration, we are today.
Eric Holder, attorney general under President Barack Obama, has prosecuted more government officials for alleged leaks under the World War I-era Espionage Act than all his predecessors combined, including law-and-order Republicans John Mitchell, Edwin Meese and John Ashcroft.
“There’s a problem with prosecutions that don’t distinguish between bad people — people who spy for other governments, people who sell secrets for money — and people who are accused of having conversations and discussions,” said Abbe Lowell, attorney for Stephen J. Kim, an intelligence analyst charged under the Act."
Far, perhaps, from the “hope and change” the country prayed and voted for in repudiating (via Barack Obama) the festering abscess of the Bush/Cheney regime, we exist here in the reality of an exacerbated continuation of that which was sought to be excised in 2008. Kiriakou, the human, lies in the whipsaw balance. Does John Kiriakou plead out? Or does he hold out?
http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/10/20/th … t-to-plea/
These actions will act as a deterrent to any law abiding, honorable, oath abiding government employees. Reveal the truth to the people and you WILL be punished. A dangerous precedent and another step on the path of a dictatorial and fascist United States government!
How dare any members of government reveal horrendous actions by their tyrant overlords!
I was shocked, but whatever. Let us prosecute those that would tell us the truth!
Well, I read it, and I have to say I'm a bit baffled. What exactly is your government's problem with Mr Kiriakou? Was it that he told the real truth about the waterboarding in his memoirs (i.e. that it didn't just happen once but 80-something times?)
John Kiriakou, a long-time former C.I.A. official and case officer. Incredibly, John has been accused by the Department of Justice of crimes under the 1917 Espionage Act, a charge historically reserved for persons who betrayed their country to foreign governments for money.
Why? The prosecutors have not claimed that John talked to any foreign government, passed any government documents or accepted funds from anyone hostile to the United States. Instead, according to the facts asserted in the indictment, he committed the "crime" of responding honestly to a query from the New York Times related to the agency's interrogation program under the Bush Administration, which included waterboarding.
We know the government wants to send a signal to the lawyers representing prisoners at Guantanamo that the U.S. is intent on protecting its secrets from disclosure in cases relating to torture, and wants to chill further disclosures by anyone. But this is a case that should never have been brought anywhere - let alone in a country that values free speech and the protections of the First Amendment.
Journalists covering national security issues understand the stakes here, and what this case represents. A recent New York Times column described how the White House press secretary opened a briefing by honoring Marie Colvin and Anthony Shadid for having sacrificed their lives "in order to bring truth" while reporting in Syria. Referring to John Kiriakou, the White House correspondent for ABC News asked in response how the administration could square supporting journalism in distant lands while "aggressively trying to stop aggressive journalism in the United States by using the Espionage Act to take whistle-blowers to court?"
While no one involved in the waterboarding of terror suspects has ever faced criminal charges, John now stands in the crosshairs of the Department of Justice for the "crime" of having talked honestly to journalists about what happened and who did it.
If convicted, John could be sentenced to as much as 30 years in prison. The irony is extraordinary. For more than 14 years, John worked in the field and at home, under conditions of great peril and stress and at great personal sacrifice, dedicating himself to protecting America and Americans from harm at home and abroad.
The Justice Department's actions have created huge pressures on John and his family. John and Heather have five children - the youngest less than a year old - and face the challenge of raising them while simultaneously fighting the people at the CIA, FBI and Justice Department who are determined to send John to prison.
EmpressFelicity, Thank you for your interest. The issue is Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, and the precedent being set that if a government employee knows of wrongdoing, and speaks the truth to the people, they will be prosecuted, severely.
edit: lawyers, knowing their clients are being tortured, perhaps even the confession being used to incarcerate the individual could have been obtained under torturous interrogation techniques, the lawyer could have concrete evidence of this, but HE BETTER NOT TELL!!
A journalist could show us footage of a foreign government torturing and killing their people, but they better not turn their cameras towards the United States!
IMO, it is all too reminiscent of every other dictatorial regime that has ever existed!
I am going to say it and say it loudly:
THE KING IS NOT WEARING ANY DAMN CLOTHES!
Punish me if they must.
To an average ordinary human being, the intimidation of a witness is a serious crime in itself!
Thanks RB, that second article you posted was much clearer. Yes, it is chilling isn't it?
I suppose it's stuff like this which makes you realise that so-called opposing political parties have far more in common than not.
ETA: I'm sure if you'd posted a thread about the Romney versus Obama debates, it would have over 30 replies by now. People do cling hard to their partisanship, don't they?
It is where the freedom of speech goes, down the drain. You don't need to be part of the government to be hunted because of revelations. It's been a time now that the US is not a state of rights. "Our" government is an entity of its own, that works, obviously, against us otherwise why to keep secret operations that WE finance though our taxes? Why are they secret? Because of their inhumane nature?
Judge sides with prosecutors on key legal issue in CIA leak case; 'intent to harm' irrelevant
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Prosecutors have won a key legal ruling in their case against a former CIA officer accused of leaking the names of covert operatives to journalists.
Prosecutors will not have to prove that John Kiriakou (keer-ee-AH'-koo) actually intended to harm the United States
by allegedly leaking the covert officers' identities. Instead,
they will only have to show that Kiriakou had "reason to believe" that the information could be used to injure the U.S.
U.S. District Judge Leonie (LAY'-uh-nee) Brinkema in Alexandria issued the ruling Tuesday.
http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/ … k-Charges/
There is now no requirement to present any evidence to procure a prosecution. The state needs only believe that wrongdoing was intended! You can be punished for violations you MAY commit. The end of any semblance of a just Court system, the entrance of the tyrannical American dictatorship. "You are guilty because the leader said you were!"
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