“Torturers Get Their Scalp”

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

CIA’s Torturers Get Their Scalp

by Marcy Wheeler, emptywheel

With the news that John Kiriakou will head to prison for 30 months, it’s worth remembering how he got sent there.

It started when CIA officers claimed that when Gitmo defense attorneys provided photos of their clients torturers to them-having independently discovered their identity-the torturers were put at risk. DOJ didn’t believe it was a security risk; CIA disagreed and went to John Brennan. And after Patrick Fitzgerald was brought in to mediate between DOJ and CIA, the prosecution of John Kiriakou resulted. [..]

What happened with Kiriakou’s sentencing today is many things. But it started as-and is still fundamentally a result of-an effort on the part of CIA to ensure that none of its torturers ever be held accountable for their acts, to ensure that the subjects of their torture never gain any legal foothold to hold them accountable.

The CIA has succeeded in making an object lesson of a man who betrayed their omerta.

Ex-CIA Agent, Whistleblower John Kiriakou Sentenced to Prison While Torturers He Exposed Walk Free

Former CIA agent John Kiriakou speaks out just days after he was sentenced to 30 months in prison, becoming the first CIA official to face jail time for any reason relating to the U.S. torture program. Under a plea deal, Kiriakou admitted to a single count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act by revealing the identity of a covert officer to a freelance reporter, who did not publish it. Supporters say Kiriakou is being unfairly targeted for having been the first CIA official to publicly confirm and detail the Bush administration’s use of waterboarding. Kiriakou joins us to discuss his story from Washington, D.C., along with his attorney, Jesselyn Radack, director of National Security & Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project. “This … was not a case about leaking; this was a case about torture. And I believe I’m going to prison because I blew the whistle on torture,” Kiriakou says. “My oath was to the Constitution. … And to me, torture is unconstitutional.”

Transcript can be read here.

Whistleblower John Kiriakou: For Embracing Torture, John Brennan a “Terrible Choice to Lead the CIA”

Days after he was sentenced to 30 months in prison, John Kiriakou – the first CIA official to be jailed for any reason relating to the torture program – denounces President Obama’s appointment of John Brennan to head the CIA. “I’ve known John Brennan since 1990,” Kiriakou says. “I worked directly for John Brennan twice. I think that he is a terrible choice to lead the CIA. I think that it’s time for the CIA to move beyond the ugliness of the post-September 11th regime, and we need someone who is going to respect the Constitution and to not be bogged down by a legacy of torture.”

Transcript can be read here.


  1. TMC
  2. terryhallinan

    I wondered what I would do if I heard the screaming of the tortured.  

    A major had asked what all the noise was next door.  One of the Vietnamese told the major a man was being “beaten with electricity.”

    Nice of the French to leave their interrogation equipment behind.

    The equipment was moved to the other side of the compound.  I heard nothing.

    Praise the Lord.  I was saved from proving I was a coward.

    Best,  Terry

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