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Member since: Fri Feb 27, 2004, 09:28 PM
Number of posts: 103,880

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Fare ye well, old Ely Branch

Posted by struggle4progress | Thu Jan 2, 2014, 02:19 PM (0 replies)

Shut Up In The Mines at Coal Creek

Posted by struggle4progress | Thu Jan 2, 2014, 02:16 PM (0 replies)

Is John Kiriakou really a whistle-blower?

The most recent Project Censored continues to promote the idea of Obama’s War on Whistleblowers

The predictable result is a new chorus of the now-familiar media claims that President Obama has invoked the Espionage Act of 1917 more than every other president combined. But such media claims are easily seen to be grossly incorrect and ahistorical, as will be evident to anyone who attempts even the most cursory review of the actual history, which has sometimes involved hundreds of prosecutions of the mildest speech as criminal activity

So it is important to examine what Project Censored actually says, rather than relying on inaccurate soundbite summaries. Among the claims made by Project Censored is the assertion: The Obama justice department has also used the Intelligence Identities Protection Act to obtain a conviction against Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) whistleblower John Kiriakou for exposing the waterboarding of prisoners, ironically making Kiriakou the first CIA official to be sentenced to prison in connection with the torture program. Unfortunately, this somewhat-more-accurate assertion about Kiriakou is still highly misleading

Former CIA-employee Kiriakou first became a major news story due to a long interview with ABCs Brian Ross in December 2007 (transcripts here and here). Unfortunately, Kiriakou seems not to have been entirely accurate and honest in these interviews: for example, in discussing the capture of Abu Zubaydah, Kiriakou told Ross I tore up a sheet and
tied him to the bed
, although in fact Kiriakou seems to have been thousands of miles away in Langley at the time of the capture

The Kiriakou interview attracted attention at the time because Kiriakou admitted Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded -- and claimed the treatment had been extraordinarily effective:

... he told ABC and other news organizations that Abu Zubaydah had stopped resisting after just 30 or 35 seconds of the suffocating procedure and told interrogators all he knew. That was grossly inaccurate –- the prisoner was waterboarded some 83 times, it turned out ...

... Some critics say that the now-discredited information shared by Mr. Kiriakou and other sources heightened the public perception of waterboarding as an effective interrogation technique. "I think it was sanitized by the way it was described" in press accounts, said John Sifton, a former lawyer for Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group ... Mr. Kiriakou told MSNBC that he was willing to talk in part because he thought the CIA had "gotten a bum rap on waterboarding."

Is John Kiriakou a Whistleblower?
By Peter Hart

So, although Kiriakou was one of the early insiders to discuss waterboarding with the press, his first splash in the news on the topic was not "whistle-blowing" but was rather a DEFENSE of water-boarding, coming at a time when the Bush administration was under continuing attack for its poor treatment of detainees

The mythology portraying Kiriakou as an anti-torture whistle-blower, rather than as the water-boarding apologist he actually was, seems to have been a PR-strategy of his defense team: ... he's just been sentenced to 30 months in prison for blowing the cover on a fellow CIA agent. Having copped a plea in the case, he nonetheless portrays himself as a "whistleblower" on CIA torture. The judge didn't buy it. "This is not a case of a whistleblower," US District Judge Leonie Brinkema told Kiriakou at his sentencing hearing ...
Posted by struggle4progress | Wed Jan 1, 2014, 11:10 AM (9 replies)
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