The One Person Who Went to Prison Over Torture

We have known for years that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Tenet and other high-ranking Bush administration officials ordered and covered up torture and not one of them has been held accountable despite our having signed a treaty requiring us to prosecute. But one man has actually been sent to prison over this — for blowing the whistle on the torture.

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou is the only CIA employee connected to its interrogation program to go to prison. But he was prosecuted for providing information to reporters, not for anything connected to waterboarding or other actions that today’s Senate Intelligence Committee report calls “torture.”

Kiriakou was the first person with direct knowledge of the CIA interrogation program to publicly reveal its existence, in an interview with ABC News in 2007. He is now serving a nearly-three-year prison sentence for violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, but he says that’s only what the government wants people to believe.

“In truth, this is my punishment for blowing the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program and for telling the public that torture was official U.S. government policy,” Kiriakou said in a letter last May from a prison in Loretto, Penn. “But that’s a different story.”

Remember how Obama kept telling us that we shouldn’t prosecute anyone for torture because we have to look forward, not back? Funny how that only applied to those who carried out torture, not those who revealed the crimes that took place.

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  • Marcus Ranum

    Obama kept telling us

    Yeah, fuck hope.

  • illdoittomorrow

    The most transparent administration ever strikes again.

  • Modusoperandi

    Obama is a whistleblower’s best friend. Who else would go so very far to hunt them down, root them out, and protect them by putting them behind bars where they can’t be harmed from the harm they’re doing to America’s interests and reputation?

  • left0ver1under

    illdoittomorrow (#2) –

    The most transparent administration ever strikes again.

    If you means transparent in its disdain for honesty and consistency, then yes, it is.

  • Alverant

    Yep, reporting a crime is worse than committing the crime.

  • janiceintoronto

    Is anyone who is worth a shit going to be running for president soon?

    I kind of doubt it.

  • bmiller

    Only because the ELECTORATE may not be worth a shit.

    RIP George.