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Waterboarding Whistleblower Indicted Under Espionage Act 338

wiredmikey writes "A former CIA officer was indicted on Thursday for allegedly disclosing classified information to journalists. The restricted disclosure included the name of a covert officer and information related to the role a CIA employee played in classified operations. The indictment charges John Kiriakou with one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act for allegedly illegally disclosing the identity of a covert officer and with three counts of violating the Espionage Act for allegedly illegally disclosing national defense information to individuals not authorized to receive it. The count charging violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, as well as each count of violating the Espionage Act, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and making false statements carries a maximum prison term of five years. Each count carries a maximum fine of $250,000."
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Waterboarding Whistleblower Indicted Under Espionage Act

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  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:04PM (#39598131)

    Until you men realize that the U.S. does not, and cannot, commit any war crimes--then you will be suitably punished. For those of you patriots who accept that all U.S. action is lawful, by virtue of it being U.S. action, then prosperity and salvation await. For all others, who would engage with the socialist press and outside agitators in conspiring to disparage this flawless nation, only purgatory and a jail cell await you.

    • by toetagger ( 642315 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:08PM (#39598171)

      I didn't know Romney had a /. account

      • No, it's clearly not Mitt Romney: If it were, you'd see a post a bit further down with an impassioned defense of human rights and the value of questioning government in a democracy.

      • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:53PM (#39598851)

        >>>I didn't know Romney had a /. account

        Which one is Romney? The current sitting president or the candidate for president? They all look alike to me.

    • by jhoegl ( 638955 )
      You are kind of covering all bases there arent yeah crazyjj.... oooohhhh *wink wink*
    • Sadly, there are many politicians and regular people in this country who would say that with a straight face, and mean it.
      • Sadly, there are many politicians and regular people in this country who would say that with a straight face, and mean it.

        The real tragedy is the amount of people who would vote for such politicians after they had said it.

    • by no-body ( 127863 )

      Yah - right! Being an US citizen is not just a plain citizenship as in most other countries, one needs to have a religious believe system fully embodied to become really part of it and get the full benefit of feeling outrageously great - most of the time...

    • Extending your comment to include Israel, as they also appear to be above and beyond international law.

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Friday April 06, 2012 @01:59PM (#39599711) Homepage Journal

      I realise that's sarcasm, but there are a whole lot of people who actually do think like that. Did the guy commit a crime? Yes, but committing that crime was a patriotic thing to do, and damned brave if you aske me. The guy should get a CMH for his bravery, or at least a silver star (I know a guy who got two silver stars and doesn't believe that he should have; "I didn't do anything anybody else woudn't have," he said.)

      The guy in TFS is a patriot and hero. The people pressing charges should be in front of a firing squad for treason -- because waterboarding IS unamerican, as is lying about it.

      We're supposed to be the good guys. Can't we even try to be?

  • Hope and change (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HBI ( 604924 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:10PM (#39598233) Journal

    Well, not for John Kiriakou, at least. It is interesting how the policies of the USG - let's confine this to defense and intelligence, shall we? - have essentially changed only in rhetorical ways since the 2008 election. Gitmo remains open. People are still being prosecuted over talking to journalists about waterboarding and rendition.
    We're still assassinating people. It would almost make you think that the politicians that were essentially calling GWB a war criminal might have been a bit less than wholly honest.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ScrewMaster ( 602015 )

      It would almost make you think that the politicians that were essentially calling GWB a war criminal might have been a bit less than wholly honest.

      Well, sure. Congress gave him the power to do what he did: they could have reined him in, but they chose to go along for the ride.

    • Sounds like you don't know how Washington works. As Steve Earle remarked on stage a few weeks ago, when you become President, it's like being Harry Potter. They tell you all sorts of secret stuff that you didn't know before and then they put all sorts of obstacles in your path just to make things interesting.
      • Re:Hope and change (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:34PM (#39598585)

        I didn't see that speech, but I always kindof assumed this was the case.

        We saw harsh 180's on a lot of things Obama promised repeatedly, in very clear language. Domestic spying was going to stop. Guantanamo was going to stop operating the way it does. The list goes on.

        Then he got in office, pulled an about-face on all of it, and signed an EO allowing snatch & grab detention of US citizens without a warrant or trial, if someone, somewhere, thinks that citizen might be somehow connected with terrorism-like activities.

        He learned something when he took office. Something scary. Because otherwise he just burned a ton of political capital (with every intention of running for a second turn) for no reason. That doesn't make sense for a capable, career politician.

        • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

          He learned something when he took office. Something scary. Because otherwise he just burned a ton of political capital (with every intention of running for a second turn) for no reason. That doesn't make sense for a capable, career politician.

          No doubt, but that doesn't mean that these policies are necessarily in the interests of American citizens in general. It merely means that Obama had some kind of incentive to pass them.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Yeah. Sadly, I've noticed this too. People I've followed prior to election who had clear consistent policies suddenly change the day they take office.

          I'm not talking about the normal broken promises. It's clear something happens. It's like Men In Black, where suddenly they're show the aliens and can't tell anyone. Instantly those three letter agencies are doing a great job and don't need changing.

          I've seen it with Senators a couple of times. Once from someone so maverick it shocked me into recogniti
        • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

          It is one of two things.

          1 - Obama lied through his teeth about all of it.
          2 - a shadow government in control that when he got there they held guns to his family's head and laid it all out on how things will work, and if he plays along he get's to have two terms as president.

          Add to that the fact that every president after they leave office has a team of security with them 24 7 for the rest of their life, and of their family's life..... Things start looking plausable on the kooky conspiracy side.

        • > He learned something when he took office.
          > Something scary

          What scary thing could he possibly have learned?

          That there were dangerous terrorists loose? That they've obtained the Red Substance or the All-Spark or the Ark of the Covenant?

          • by chill ( 34294 )

            That our intelligence agencies have caught, red-handed, people with working nuclear weapons on U.S. soil just before they were about to set them off.

            That would be a big one for me.

            Yes, Mr President, if we didn't have this program we wouldn't have Tampa right now. We actually stopped a terrorist who had smuggled a 10 megaton fission weapon in on a cargo freighter to the Port of Tampa []. Did you know there are 8 million people living in a 100 mile radius of Tampa? We jammed the cell phone he was using to try an

          • by Myria ( 562655 )

            > He learned something when he took office.
            > Something scary

            What scary thing could he possibly have learned?

            That there were dangerous terrorists loose? That they've obtained the Red Substance or the All-Spark or the Ark of the Covenant?

            That the world is running out of oil, and that a big fight is coming up over what's left. So the U.S.'s actions in the Middle East have an overtone of positioning for the coming war.

            I find this conspiracy theory unlikely, but sadly, plausible.

        • by jythie ( 914043 )
          Yeah, he learned how horse trading worked and that if he tried to actually do any of those things it would be a political disaster. He made promises that he didn't realize he couldn't keep.. or at minimal people who believed him didn't realize he couldn't keep. He was either dishonest in his promises, or idealistic in what being POTUS would be like.... either is plausible.
        • He learned something when he took office. Something scary.

          Likely that the office of the President is nothing but a glorified marionette. My question is, did they at least give him the courtesy of knowing who's pulling the strings?

        • He learned something when he took office. Something scary. Because otherwise he just burned a ton of political capital (with every intention of running for a second turn) for no reason. That doesn't make sense for a capable, career politician.

          This reminds me of the folks who supported going into Iraq to begin with: "The President has secret knowledge that you don't have! THAT'S why he's so gung ho over going to war! We have to support him!!"

          The fact is, absolute power corrupts absolutely. We see it with every president, but it manifests in different ways.

      • by Boronx ( 228853 )

        You can't rely upon a president to curtail presidential powers. Even if such a thing did happen, it couldn't possibly be permanent. We need a Congress that' s willing to do it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by houstonbofh ( 602064 )
      I am still amazed that people think they see a difference between the parties...
      • Re:Hope and change (Score:5, Informative)

        by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:55PM (#39598891) Homepage Journal

        There are lots of differences between the parties—just no significant ones. All of the differences are with respect to issues that neither party can significantly affect without getting smacked down by the courts—abortion, for example—or differences that in theory make a difference but in practice do not—techniques for redistribution of wealth, for example. (Tax and spend versus borrow and spend both have the same net effect, but one causes inflation that reduces your paycheck's buying power, while the other causes your paycheck to look smaller numerically, thus reducing buying power without inflation.)

    • Re:Hope and change (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:26PM (#39598449)

      Someone is a war criminal.

      Bush? maybe. Cheney? definitely.

      But yes, Obama isn't much better.

      I don't have anyone I can vote for any more.

      Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens, Reform. All are putrid vulgar fools. There isn't a single party that offers rational solutions to any of the problems we face and respects the principals that were supposed to make America a shining beacon of liberty. No matter what happens, this country is doomed.

      • by Grog6 ( 85859 )

        I'd love to argue with you, but as you're right, that's hard to do.

        Hey, hopefully an asteroid strike will make this all seem silly.

      • by Boronx ( 228853 )

        Bush, definitely. It's a war crime to invade another country. He also violated Congress's authorization of force since it required him to find Iraq an imminent threat or had ties to Sept 11 '01 attacks, neither of which Bush had evidence for, though he falsely submitted a statement that he did.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Bush, definitely. It's a war crime to invade another country.

          Only in your imagination. That's first of all. Second of all, the US has LEGAL authority to enter Iraq from the first Gulf War. But I guess something like facts simply are not important to you at all. I guess you're too busy eat the garbage fed to you, by whatever garbage media outlet you use, to realize Iraq was in violation of the cease fire from the first Gulf War. The US had legal right to re-enter Iraq at will. And all that's ignoring that the UN sided with the US, making it legal even if the US didn't

      • Isn't much better? How about is worse []?

        The Espionage Act was used only three times before President Barack Obama took office.

        Obama, who serves the interests of the surveillance and security state with even more fervor than did George W. Bush, has used the Espionage Act to charge suspected leakers six times since he took office.

        Does that sound like an improvement?

    • A lot has changed other than just rhetoric. A lot has gotten a lot better. For one, few if any whole new categories of abuse are being opened, even if not enough old ones are being closed.

      But as we see here, in the military/intel realm, practically nothing has changed. And with the passage of time it's gotten worse: institutionalized, unchallenged, accepted, upgraded.

      In general executive privilege, whether the US Chief Executive (president or their whole branch), or a military commander, or even a troop com

      • Not only did he destroy hope (and change), but he expanded on many of the policies started after 9/11 by the Bush Administration. Drone attacks have skyrocketed (and Obama has the dubious honor of blowing up an American citizen with a drone attack... good resume fodder I guess), the PATRIOT Act was renewed (and Obama even called for its renewal, even though he campaigned against it and executive branch power grabs...)

        So, what we've learned, (or if you watch FOX or MSNBC, haven't learned) is that it doesn't

    • Re:Hope and change (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rrohbeck ( 944847 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:34PM (#39598605)

      Come on, most people agree that Obama is a much better Republican President than GWB.
      Actually the best since Clinton.

      • You obviously don't talk to people near where I live. To most of them, GWB should have had a third term, and Obama is dragging this country to hell.

    • >>>We're still assassinating people

      Bush assasinated americans? I know he's an ass, but I don't recall that one.

  • Whatever happened to this? []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:14PM (#39598289)

    Exposing crimes against humanity and they charge him with treason?
    I for one applaud his decision, it was and will forever be, the correct choice.
    I also hope that we as Americans will stand up for him and against his persecutors.

    • by Nadaka ( 224565 )

      And who will we side with?

      Is there any valid alternative?

      Gary Johnson of the libertarian party supports slavery VIA private for profit prison labor plus retarded economic beliefs.

      Republicans have a far worse track record on civil liberties than the democrats, plus retarded economic beliefs.

      Seriously, give me one person who respects civil liberties, has integrity, and is neither a theocrat or Ayn Rand free market worshiping retard.

      And before you accuse me of being a communist, they suck too.

    • He did what he should do and now he's going to pay the price, which I'm sure that he guessed might be the end result.

      More respect to him then, for doing it anyway.

  • by Dan667 ( 564390 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:16PM (#39598317)
    make what is illegal legal and legally prosecute anyone that exposes it.
    • If it was legal why would they need to punish someone who exposed it? Since it was not legal, why is there anything to be exposed?

      Don't worry, this is made up slander and is nothing a good waterboarding won't fix.

      Did I say waterboarding? I mean, um... shit

      • Did I say waterboarding? I mean, um... shit

        I think the phrase you're looking for is "political re-education."

  • What can I do? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:20PM (#39598383) Homepage Journal

    This, to me, might well be the final straw. What can I do to reverse this? I'm not apathetic, I'm willing to work to change this, but thanks to the majority of the voting public, I feel the simplest solutions will not work. What can I do to stop this?

  • John Kiriakou refused to be trained in torture tactics and he was the first CIA officer to call waterboarding "torture" Waterboard him.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Kiriakou would have been wise to report the torture to his superiors and document it. Then, perhaps, he would have been protected by the Whistleblower laws of the U.S. Perhaps he did. I don't know. IANAL

      This idictment appears to be "persecution", rather "prosecution" by a State entity that is turning facist. This is what would be expected by various oligarchys across the world. President Obama should use his power of pardon to clear Kiriakou and reward his actions as a true patriot. Maybe we should s

  • This, not Wikileaks, is a great example of that. In fact, if Wikileaks supporters are smart they will support throwing this man under the bus because he specifically named people who terrorist groups would have motive to find and murder.

    I'm not a big fan of Manning and believe he deserves time in Leavenworth. However, Manning doesn't have a thing on this guy in terms of putting people at risk. I'd rather see Manning walk with an honorable discharge and VA benefits than see this man not do at least 10 years.

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      Still no charges for the agents who actually committed acts of torture. Waterboarding is just as wrong whether it's committed by us, or whether it's done to us []. In either case, the torturer deserves the same fate.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @12:51PM (#39598835) Homepage
    an administration that recognizes waterboarding is not in fact torture or one that secretly admits it is a form of turture.

    if in fact waterboarding is not torture, then no espionage has been commited as waterboarding by its definition under the bush administration is a widely accepted enhanced interrogation technique that can be reasonably expected in any interrogation scenario in the world, as outlined by the geneva convention.

    if however waterboarding is torture, then we have ourselves a case of espionage in that a secret employment of torture was authorized under the bush administration despite our acceptance of the geneva convention and adherence to a protocol that would in turn ensure our soldiers and foreign citizens will not be subjected to such harsh treatment.
  • by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @01:01PM (#39598977)

    If he had not disclosed names which does put people at risk, I would have no problem with what he did. That one thing makes a huge difference, and for that reason it's difficult to defend him.

    Exposing the activity alone should have been enough to open an investigation. Let the courts find the names relevant. He could have waited until a Grand Jury was opened, and exposed all the names he thought important to the courts.

    I'm not trying to imply that the right people would have been prosecuted under those circumstances. Just that since he put people at risk by giving names to media the whole things gets a big question mark.

  • by Phoenix666 ( 184391 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @01:09PM (#39599063)

    That's what this guy should get.

    Exposing crimes against humanity is every human's duty. Systematic torture is a war crime and covering it up makes you equally culpable. That's what the whole deal was with the Nuremburg Trials, remember?

    The Nazis claimed they were just following orders, but that didn't spare them from the gallows. Every member of the American government who helped perpetrate this atrocity or who looked away should be locked up or face capital punishment according to their proximity and complicity.

    It does look like at this point that the greater part of the American government was complicit, including almost all of Congress, the entirety of the Executive Branch, and the Judiciary, so we'd have to expunge nearly all of Washington DC with extreme prejudice.

    And you know what? I'm really OK with that.

  • ... finally shut down all the corruption of the so called intelligence industry?

  • Hey guys... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    ...remember when you guys wanted Dick Cheney prosecuted for violating this same law for having Valerie Plame outed? Yeah, so do I.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351