From: RootsAction Team <email@example.com>Date: January 28, 2013 11:57:37 AM EST
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On June 18, 2009, President Obama declared that no one in the CIA would be prosecuted for torture. But now a CIA officer is finally going to prison in connection with torture. However, this CIA officer didn’t torture anyone — he blew the whistle on torture.
In 2007, John Kiriakou was the first former CIA officer to publicly acknowledge that the CIA was waterboarding people. The retribution for that act of whistleblowing began immediately.
The CIA began filing crime reports with the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Kiriakou. The IRS audited him in 2007 and has done so every year since. His wife was forced out of her job at the CIA. In 2010 an FBI agent pretending to be a foreign spy tried to entrap Kiriakou, who reported the incidents to the FBI. The same FBI follows him everywhere, including into his children’s school.
The DOJ tried unsuccessfully to prosecute Kiriakou under the Espionage Act as a supposed enemy of the state. He became unemployable and racked up a million dollars in lawyers’ bills.
Now Kiriakou is finally going to prison for 30 months for the act of telling an author the name of someone to interview, even though the name was already known and Kiriakou’s prosecution has made it better known.
It is worth noting that classified information is routinely leaked to reporters, authors, and film producers, with no charges filed when the information meets with the approval of — or was leaked with the authorization of — the White House.
In the well-known prosecution of Scooter Libby during the George W. Bush administration, Libby was not charged with leaking a CIA agent’s name, but with lying and obstructing justice. His sentence was commuted. The leaking of the name in that case had itself been retribution for an act of whistleblowing.
Kiriakou’s sentence of 30 months was based on a secret report that supposedly explained how he harmed national security, a report he was not permitted to see. The government also made new accusations against him during the sentencing hearing, accusations of crimes with which he was not charged.
Kiriakou is leaving his wife and five children behind, but the big loss is all of ours. Journalists say that national security sources have dried up. Such sources leaked the NSA spying stories, the torture stories, the black sites, the abuses at Abu Ghraib, and numerous atrocities during the course of the current wars. When people become afraid to talk, we lose the ability to know what our government is doing.
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— The RootsAction.org team
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