“Moving Forward” With Obama’s Coverup Of Torture

One of today’s must-reads is Kevin Gosztola’s long-ish post at FDL, The Only CIA Officer Scheduled to Go to Jail Over Torture Never Tortured Anybody. He explores the prosecution and sentencing of former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who leaked the name of the chief of the Headquarters Based Rendition Group which oversaw all renditions to foreign nations for the purposes of torture, as well as Obama’s personal zeal for prosecutions of whistleblowers.

Throughout Obama’s re-election campaign, he bandied about the slogan, “Forward.” In this case, that slogan means moving forward with separating a good man from his family for thirty months.

…Scooter Libby gets to move forward and continue to enjoy the fact that he is not in jail for his involvement in leaking Valerie Plame’s name because his sentence was commuted by President George W. Bush. Dick Cheney gets to move forward with the publication of a “memoir” about his heart (the organ and not what makes us capable of discerning right from wrong). Those who authorized and engaged in torture get to continue their upward trajectory on whatever career path in government they have chosen and retire handsomely. And, if you’re Jose Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, you can keep promoting your book while ensuring the public ignores how you had a role in the destruction of tapes of torture and harsh interrogations and still support waterboarding detainees—a war crime.

Kiriakou, on the other hand, must stop his life. It is not enough that the government already ruined his life with their prosecution. The Obama administration has decided he must walk away from his home and family and go to prison.  He must serve thirty months in prison for passing along a name of an agent he did not think was undercover anymore and who a journalist passed on to a human rights advocate, who gave it to a Guantanamo defense lawyer for the purpose of helping his client challenge in court how he was treated by the CIA.

For that crime, he should miss out on at least two years of his children’s lives as they continue to grow up because, unlike the others, the Obama administration will not let him move forward. They chose to prosecute him and his prosecution is a celebrated achievement.

Related: Voting For A Torture Coverup

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Steve Hynd

Most recently I was Editor in Chief of The Agonist from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013. My blogging began at Newshoggers and I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some great writers there and around the web ever since, including at Crooks & Liars. I'm a late 40′s, Scottish ex-pat, now married to a wonderful Texan, with Honours in Philosophy from Univ. of Stirling, UK 1986. I worked most of life in business insurance industry (fire, accident, liability) including 12 years as a broker/underwriter/correspondent at Lloyd’s of London. Being from the other side of the pond, my political interests tend to focus on how US foreign policy affects the rest of the planet. Other interests include early and dark-ages British history, literature and cognitive philosophy/science.

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  • Imprisoned CIA Torture Whistleblower John Kiriakou Pens “Letter from Loretto”

    FDL, by Brian Sonenstein, May 29

    Former CIA agent John Kiriakou, who blew the whistle on the US government’s use of torture under the Bush administration, is currently serving a 30 month sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania.

    Below is a letter he recently sent his attorney Jesselyn Radack, who shared it (with John’s permission) with Firedoglake based on a pre-existing arrangement. The letter details his life in prison, including an incident in which prison officials attempted setup a confrontation between Kiriakou and a Muslim prisoner, telling Kiriakou he was the uncle of the Times Square bomber, when in reality the imam was in prison for refusing to testify in the Lackawanna Six case. Prison officials also lied to the Muslim prisoner, telling him that Kiriakou had called Washington after they met and had been ordered to kill him.

    This letter is the first part in a series inspired by dinner table discussions between Jane Hamsher, Jesselyn Radack and John Kiriakou (and others) before he went to prison. John wanted to have his letters published so that he could still communicate and share his story with the outside world.

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