Sunday, January 29, 2012

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou Indicted for Blowing the Whistle on Torture.

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou was indicted on four counts for allegedly leaking classified information to journalists and lying to the CIA's Publications Review Board. Two of those counts fall under the Espionage Act of 1917, by characterizing disclosures about America’s wrongdoing as “aiding the enemy”.

Kiriakou is one of the counterterrorism officials who led the team that captured Abu Zubaydah in March 2002 in Pakistan. In 2007, Kiriakou told ABC news that Zubaydah had been water-boarded (83 times).

This is the 6th time, under the Obama administration, that someone has been charged with Espionage for leaking to a journalist. As Charlie Savage wrote, Obama has brought “more such cases than all previous presidents combined.”

At the same time, the legal immunity enjoyed by corporate/government continues as the Jose Padilla lawsuit brought against Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush officials was dismissed.  Padilla was imprisoned for almost three years without charges, and systematically tortured.

“Today is a sad day for the rule of law and for those who believe that the courts should protect American citizens from torture by their own government. By dismissing this lawsuit, the appeals court handed the government a blank check to commit any abuse in the name of national security, even the brutal torture of a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil. This impunity is not only anathema to a democracy governed by laws, but contrary to history’s lesson that in times of fear our values are a strength, not a hindrance.”
Retaliation against whistleblowers seems to be first priority for the US government. They are not so much concerned about keeping secrets which are deleterious to national security as they are with keeping secrets in order to prevent the embarrassment of being caught committing war crimes.


From: emptywheel :
Consider the damage Kiriakou is alleged to have done:

Some lawyers with Top Secret clearance submitted a sealed filing naming a covert officer involved in the torture of 9/11 defendants. The lawyers pointedly did not photograph this officer in an effort to shield his identity. And his name was never made public.
Using information gained from Kiriakou and around 23 other sources (including former CIA Executive Director Buzzy Krongard), Scott Shane wrote an article detailing Deuce Martinez’ role in the interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others. And while Martinez’ association with the torture program was classified, his identity was not. Furthermore, by the time of the article, Martinez was working for Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell’s contracting firm, making it a pretty safe bet that he was involved in interrogation, even interrogations involving torture.
Subsequent to this article based on information from Kiriakou and 23 other people, the 9/11 detainees saw pictures of Martinez; assuming Shane’s article is accurate, they had already interacted with Martinez personally.
In that article, Shane included details about the “magic box” technology used to locate Abu Zubaydah. Information on that “magic box” technology and similar ones has been publicly available for decades, meaning the only secret here is that CIA uses it (!) and called it something as stupid as “magic box.”

That’s it. That’s the reported outcome of John Kiriakou’s leaks. And for that he faces prison time of up to 20 years.

Meanwhile, tomorrow the above clip will be shown on 60 Minutes, showing Panetta confirming that the Pakistani doctor who conducted fake vaccinations in Abbottabad, Pakistan in order to get a glimpse into Osama bin Laden’s compound was, in fact, working for the CIA.
On the Dark Side in Al Doura - A Soldier in the Shadows:


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