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Former CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou is inches away from pleading away years of his life to jail while the former chief of the CIA headquarters-based RDI (Rendition, Detention, Interrogation) group is sitting pretty enjoying his retirement in Virginia.

As described by Dana Priest, this is how the innocuous-sounding "RDI Program" works:

Members of the Rendition Group follow a simple but standard procedure: Dressed head to toe in black, including masks, they blindfold and cut the clothes off their new captives, then administer an enema and sleeping drugs. They outfit detainees in a diaper and jumpsuit for what can be a day-long trip . . . [to] "black sites,"
in countries that torture.

What sort of monster would be responsible for ensuring the execution of the worldwide RDI program, be on the plane shuttling between black sites, and even torture? According to Cryptocomb,

The CIA officer listed as "Officer A" in the John Kiriakou complaint has been revealed to be Thomas Donahue Fletcher.  Born in 1953. Fletcher is currently a resident of Vienna, VA.
The government does not deny "[t]he association of Covert Officer A with the RDI Program," Kiriakou Indictm't P 11. The government just claims it was "classified," though supposedly it's improper to classify a person or program to hide illegality.

Yesterday, Kevin Gosztola of FDL published an explosive piece on how

the CIA is counting on the Justice Department to, at a minimum, convict Kiriakou on the charge of allegedly leaking an agent's identity to not only send a message to other agents but also to continue to protect on of their own.

But did John "out" a CIA agent, whom I would argue was not properly under cover because 1) supposedly the government can't put people undercover shield their war crimes, 2) Mr. Fletcher was only under "nominal cover" (not the deeper "integrated cover" or "non-official cover"), and 3) his name was known (prior to Kiriakou's alleged "outing" in late 2008) by a huge swaths of the human rights community, one of whom is willing to testify to this at Kiriakou's trial.

The Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) criminalizes, under certain circumstances, the intentional unauthorized disclosure of an agent's identity. It has been dormant most of its life because of its narrow, demanding elements.   Interestingly, Patrick Fitzgerald decided not to pursue Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Richard Armitage, or Karl Rove under the IIPA because he doubted that he could prove there was requisite knowledge that anyone involved in the leak knew Plame was indeed "covert" (she was in NOC status, far deeper cover than Mr. Fletcher) and demonstrate that the leakers knew that the government was taking "affirmative measures" to conceal her identity.

According to Gosztola's article,

Individuals in the human rights community have known that...[Officer A] ensured detainees were "properly rendered and tortured," according to the source, who alleges they have know he took part in "sadistic acts of horrendous conduct against the detainees."
What causes me the most dyspepsia of the soul is that
The identity of "Covert Officer A," which Kiriakou is alleged to have revealed, was a prime torturer in the agency.  He allegedly abused and saw to it that detainees were abused. On the other hand, Kiriakou's "crime" is that he went on television and told the country waterboarding was indeed torture at a moment when the Bush administration did not want that to bhe part of the public discussion.
Another one for the history books: John Kiriakou will become the only CIA agent connected with torture to go to jail, and he's the one who refused to commit it and condemned it publicly.  Meanwhile, the people who ordered the torture, the lawyers who justified it, the torturers themselves, and the people who destroyed the videotapes of it are all. . . free and unaccountable.
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Comment Preferences

  •  No justice, no peace. (18+ / 0-)

    Thanks for your efforts to keep these issues front and center.

    I'm seeking to organize DKos members in SE Michigan--roughly, from the Ohio line at Lake Erie NE to Port Huron, W to Flint and back S from there. If you'd like to join our new group, Motor City Kossacks (working title), please Kosmail me.

    by peregrine kate on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 06:12:29 AM PDT

  •  It is a travesty of justice (17+ / 0-)

    that Obama's whistleblower prosecutions are the glaring exception to the "look forward not back" meme that has served to protect torturers, officials who ordered torture, and the lawyers who approved it from even professional consequences, much less criminal prosecution.

  •  Oligarchs cover up their crimes (20+ / 0-)

    the last paragraph is an excellent summary of what is going on

    Another one for the history books: John Kiriakou will become the only CIA agent connected with torture to go to jail, and he's the one who refused to commit it and condemned it publicly.  Meanwhile, the people who ordered the torture, the lawyers who justified it, the torturers themselves, and the people who destroyed the videotapes of it are all. . . free and unaccountable.
    been thinking lately about the criticism of the German people who didn't speak up when they slid into a totalitarian state

    the same things are going on right now and are not realized by the mass of people

    look around to see what happened in Germany - it is all around us

    if you want to understand the political science, but even deeper the political philosophy of what is going on, roll up your sleeves and read Sheldon Wolin.

    His book in the 60's on philosophy's link to history was required reading for decades in Ph. D. programs of political science.

    Now over 90 years of age, his latest book, first published in 2008, describes what is going on now in the USA. There has been in Chris Hedges language, a corporate coup d'etat.

    Wolin calls what we have "managed democracy."

    The specter in the title is now going on.

    The title of the book is "Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism." Author Sheldon Wolin says that being a citizen is harder than being the president. The book was published in 2008 and released in paperback in 2010.

  •  Ridiculous (12+ / 0-)

    I don't think there's a strong enough word to convey the unfairness and absurdity inherent in this prosecution.

  •  Shaking my head. (15+ / 0-)

    This is a prime example of whistleblower retaliation. Truth-tellers in America who make the administration look bad are punished instead of the people committing horrific acts. John Kiriakou should be awarded for his bravery (wait, he already has...), not be sent to jail for speaking truth!

  •  The law (14+ / 0-)
       * United States Code
              o TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
                    + PART I - CRIMES
                          # CHAPTER 113C - TORTURE

    U.S. Code as of: 01/19/04
    Section 2340A. Torture

          (a) Offense. - Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.
          (b) Jurisdiction. - There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if -
            (1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or
            (2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.

              (c) Conspiracy. - A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.

    Thomas Donahue Fletcher should be charged with Conspiracy if nothing else, along with Wu and Bybee et al.

    White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

    by BOHICA on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 06:58:46 AM PDT

  •  And you wonder why we're celebrating (8+ / 0-)

    the Obama victory in the debate last night when this is an administration that not only jails whistleblowers but then actually ticks names off a hit list for extermination!

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 07:02:38 AM PDT

    •  Well, just go right ahead and celebrate Romney. (0+ / 0-)
      •  Becoming a fascist state makes the whole (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder, NonnyO, gerrilea, aliasalias

        exercise irrelevant

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 07:50:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  PLUUEASE... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO, aliasalias

        We have a one party system that does whatever it wants once in power, the rule of law, the constitution & the bill of rights are only suggestions that they should follow.

        READ this and maybe you'll understand.

        Why wasn't Green Party Presidential Candidate, Jill Stein allowed into the debates? Why was she arrested again?

        The charade of the two party system is very clear to those of us actually paying attention.

        Answer this, why would any of us celebrate either of them? They are not royalty or lords, they are not movie stars or gods, they are PUBLIC SERVANTS.

        Wait, now that I think about it, they aren't even "public servants" they are corporate lapdogs, that barter our rights, rule of law and constitution to the highest donors.

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 07:55:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "all. . . free and unaccountable. " (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, NonnyO, gerrilea, aliasalias

    I'd say that is it in a nutshell. Bushco et al being let free to reap financial gains among other types has been my biggest disappointment of the current administration.

    "the government's role should be to uplift, enlighten, educate and ennoble the citizen, not oppress them with taxation and intrusive laws," Gatewood Galbraith, Historic Marijuana Advocate, aka "The Last Free Man In America," RIP 1-3-12

    by SmileySam on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 07:49:42 AM PDT

    •   regarding torture Bush said he'd "do it again" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea

      and what's to stop any President from doing anything he or she wants, legal or not (Kill list), humane or not, because there is no punishment. There may be laws against it but laws are for the little people and a President can get his own lawyers to make it look legal.
      In fact writing a memo to give it a sheen of legality will not only not cause a person to go to prison it may get them a lifetime appointment to the Federal Bench (Bybee), or a safe spot at a prestigious school (Yoo).

      The message is clear ,any person that blows the whistle on illegal/immoral actions by persons of this govt. will face the harshest penalties possible but the criminals will walk free and live comfortably. They can even do book tours like Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Bush, and CIA agent Jose Rodriguez who is proud of the fact that he destroyed the torture tapes, aka evidence.
      What a Country.

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 10:34:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ah, but here's the rub - (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joanneleon, gerrilea, NonnyO, aliasalias
    supposedly it's improper to classify a person or program to hide illegality
    Nothing that the CIA or any agent thereof does is illegal because they are above the law, especially if they are willing to testify that they thought they were obeying orders - a defense that works in the US under clause 17 of the Rules of US Exceptionalism Rev. 6-2010.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 07:52:00 AM PDT

    •  Can you provide a link? (4+ / 0-)

      I know you're correct; I just want to read the full info myself and mark the site.

      The Nuremberg Defense: This was tried already, and condemned during the Nuremberg Trials.  "I was only obeying orders" is not a justification for committing war crimes.

      This was why Lt. Ehren Watada refused to serve in Iraq: it was an unjustified war of aggression, and he didn't want to participate in war crimes.  [Link is to the Wiki page about him, but about halfway down the Wiki page on the Nuremberg Defense link there is a long paragraph about him and why he refused to go to Iraq.  He volunteered to go anywhere else, and he doesn't have any conscientious objections to a defensible war, but wars of aggression are against the Geneva Conventions, among other things.]

      The Bushistas can try all they want (with Obama doing the SAME things they did with additional presidential powers claimed and stuffed in John Nichols' little metaphorical cherry wood box), and I remember when Dumbya & Dickie (and our bought-and-paid-for Congre$$ Critter$) gave them carte blanche to excuse war crimes..., but it's still unconstitutional (via law and treaties), illegal, immoral, unethical, and dishonorable.

      Obama gave us fair warning in '07 that - if elected - he wouldn't be prosecuting the Bushistas, nor would he even favor investigations into possible war crimes.  To be fair, the majority of the other candidates had also put out the same statements; they also didn't favor impeachment or investigating all the wrongdoing of the Bushistas.  It was only Kucinich and Gravel who had any sense of ethics about them, but they were either ignored or ridiculed in the press, so we rarely ever heard anything about them.

      People right here on DKos went deathly silent post election day, and quieter still post inauguration day (he hadn't been in office even a week when drone bombing began in Pakistan, and I remember being horrified by that).  Retaining the Bushista military commanders was a huge mistake.  Failure to repeal the Patriot Act, MCA '06 (and then the further insult, adding MCA '09) and FISA fiasco '08 (plus failure to do a countermanding executive order disbanding the 'office of faith-based initiatives') are all on the current administration and both houses of current Reps and Senators who have been in office since Jan. '09.

      And, STILL, no one wants to hold the lying war criminals (past or present) accountable.

      Qui tacet consentit....

      Indeed.

      I applaud Jesselyn Radack for keeping on top of these events where whistleblowers are being treated like criminals when they are, in fact, only reporting the wrongdoing that's already been done (or still being done).  The lack of ethical behavior on the part of the majority of politicians and the judiciary in DC (from the top on down) has me dumbfounded and keeps astonishing me, even though I should be used to it by now because it's what STILL keeps me ashamed of being an American since nothing's changed from the Bushista years.  We're supposed to be better than this.  Obviously, we're not.  Tipped, Rec'd, and Hotlisted.

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 09:59:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  People have been absolved of crimes, or (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea, NonnyO, aliasalias

        given negligible sentences if they pleaded "only following orders" in our courts and military courts martial. Look into the Iraq related courts martial, for examples.

        Then, when Panetta became head of the CIA he formally announced that no rank and file CIA employee would be prosecuted for any act previously committed if they thought that they were following orders. I don't know the date, but it was shortly after he was appointed.

        Here are a couple of links relating to Panetta's announcement:

        crooks

        dKos

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 10:59:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, yes.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, enhydra lutris

          Now that I see the C&L page, in particular, I remember reading that when it was first published.  It disgusted me then, and it still disgusts me.

          Thanks!

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 11:39:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I saw it in the online edition of a couple of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NonnyO

            newspapers and sort of blew a fuse. Can't fuind it now however, old links to the AP article turn up 404.

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 12:56:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ditto for me on the AP links (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              enhydra lutris

              I find that very curious.  OTOH, anything that mentions crimes of the previous administration "disappearing" from a "news" site shouldn't surprise me any longer.  Plenty of media outlets aid and abet the lies and the war crimes and other high crimes and misdemeanors (like our rights that were so cavalierly given up by our Congre$$ Critter$ without our express consent), and repealing those unconstitutional and illegal laws has become an "untouchable" topic by simply never mentioning them.

              It's also how women were written out of history: the sin of omission, the sin of silence.  Their names are mostly forgotten to history because no one wanted to give women credit for anything.  The backlash against a few (damned few!) rights given to women in the last nearly 100 years has seen fruition in the current War Against Women and the desire of myopic misogynists to turn back time and keep women barefoot, pregnant and at home again where they have no chance in "interfering in the affairs of men."  [That's not to take away the choice of working at home and raising kids, etc., but the option to either work at home or at a place of employment, or both, should be there for everyone, both women and men.  In the Scandinavian countries there is paid parental leave for both parents for about 18-24 months after a child is born and by law their jobs are waiting for them when they return to work.  Gloria Riviera was horribly condescending to one man in that video asking him 'what's this?' for diaper, etc., and he probably knew more than she did, since by then he'd been taking care of the baby a lot longer and she hadn't given birth yet; she's preggers in the story from two years ago.]

              Bede covered the Boudiccan Rebellion of 60/61 ACE with one dismissive line and never mentioned the fact that the leader of that combined army of united Celtic tribes was a woman!

              I did go through and click on the other links and marked them in my Favorites file, so at least I'll have them for future reference.  In looking at the time frame, I have a vague memory of not saving the link the first time because while I didn't think anything would be done, I held out a smidgin of hope that someone in Congress might act on behalf of their constituents and DO something about bringing justice to the past lies and war crimes.  No such luck.  "Moving forward" is all well and good..., but that can really only be accomplished if there is some kind of resolution having to do with the lies and war crimes and other high crimes and misdemeanors from the past.

              I've been blowing a gasket over these illegal wars and torture and lack of accountability and the illegal laws since they were first mentioned.  Go to war against a little gang of criminals specializing in guerrilla warfare tactics hiding in the mountains?  Not a country?  The criminals who hijacked planes with box cutters and killed almost 3K people were dead.  "Going after the ones responsible for 9/11" (who were dead and blown to bits!) was a stupid excuse to go after the gang of criminals.  The fact that the leader claimed credit (he was a delusional power-hungry twit, after all) does not make it so.  It made no sense then, and thousands upon thousands dead, and an additional aggressive invasion plus more dead later, it still makes no sense!  [It's no wonder I'm on meds for high blood pressure, among other things.]

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 06:38:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I found a few interesting (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          enhydra lutris

          links pertaining to Panetta and his position:

          1.  Jonathan Turley:  "Leon Panetta Pledges That No CIA Employees Will Be Prosecuted For War Crimes"  

          2.  Intel News: "Comment: CIA Insiders Issue Political Threats Against Obama, Panetta."  

          . . . . .This is now becoming clearer, as numerous CIA sources come forward to sharply denounce Panetta’s nomination and, in some cases, even hurtle political threats at the Obama Administration and its nominee. In one such case, a “former intelligence official” speaking to The Washington Post reminded Obama and Panetta that “many of the people Panetta will be expected to lead [at the CIA] would have participated in implementing [torture-based] interrogation polic[ies]“Another “former senior official” warned Obama and Panetta to “think twice about pledges they make now [about the handling of terrorism detainees] because they may come back to haunt them in the future if some dire circumstances occur”.  
          3.  "Obama Is Under Fire Over Panetta Selection
          Current, Ex-CIA Officials Criticize 'Opaque' Process"
          . . . . .
          But one former senior intelligence official noted that many of the people Panetta will be expected to lead would have participated in implementing the interrogation policy. Obama and Panetta "should think twice about pledges they make now" about the handling of terrorism detainees, another former senior official said, "because they may come back to haunt them in the future if some dire circumstances occur."
          Cheney built a brand new home before leaving office within 10 minutes walking distance to the CIA headquarters, you don't suppose . . . . . . !

          4.  "'Obama moves to calm CIA fears over potential prosecution"

          Reassurance after Bush spy chief's warning
          • Suspect was subjected to waterboarding 183 times

          Barack Obama yesterday visited CIA headquarters to defend last week's decision to release four Bush administration memos detailing the agency's interrogation methods against al-Qaida suspects.  

          After the release of the memos, human rights organisations called for prosecution of Bush officials as well as CIA interrogators.

          The row gathered further momentum yesterday when it emerged that one detainee, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, had been subjected to waterboarding 183 times and another, Abu Zubaydah, 83 times.

          Former Vice President Dick Cheney also weighed into the debate overnight saying he found it disturbing that Obama did not also release memos which would show the technique was successful in gathering intelligence.

          Thank you, Jesselyn Radack, for keeping with this and the many perversions of our so called law and justice.

          "There is nothing to fear but fear itself." Franklin D. Roosevelt

          by tahoebasha2 on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:26:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Jesselyn, is their any ability to prosecute these (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias, Christopher Tucker

    bastards that are prosecuting the whistleblowers as accessories to crimes against humanity?  It is clear the prosecutions are politically motivated to hide the crimes committed, isn't this unlawful?

    Can a suit be brought against them, some how some way?

    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

    by gerrilea on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 07:58:26 AM PDT

  •  thanks for all your work Jesselyn and I'm happy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea, Christopher Tucker

    the new format allows me to 'follow' someone so I can know when you post a diary because I don't even look at the front page anymore.
    However this time it was a facebook entry that alerted me to your diary so I got here a little sooner and I made sure this was spread further by 'sharing' in on FB.

    without the ants the rainforest dies

    by aliasalias on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 10:42:07 AM PDT

  •  speaking, or not speaking about torture... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea

    http://www.reuters.com/...

    (Reuters) - - A U.S. military judge angrily cut off a defense lawyer who tried to discuss torture on Monday during a debate on whether courtroom attendance was mandatory for five Guantanamo prisoners accused of plotting the September 11 attacks.
    "We have to talk about torture," Schwartz said.

    "No we don't," the judge replied.

    "I think we do," Schwartz said.

    "I'm telling you I don't think that's relevant to this issue. That's the end of that," Pohl snapped.

    When Schwartz persisted, Pohl said angrily, "Are you having trouble hearing me? Move on to something else!"

    Unlike previous sessions at the high-security war crimes courtroom at the Guantanamo base in Cuba, the court security officer did not muffle the audio feed that spectators hear when the word "torture" was uttered.

    without the ants the rainforest dies

    by aliasalias on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 10:51:08 AM PDT

    •  That won't happen again, there will be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      a 40 second delay so that the NSA computers can edit it out...no need to worry about any "security officer" doing it.

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 11:15:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kiriakou should be charged with torture, (0+ / 0-)

    and the US should compensate Thomas Donahue Fletcher as a victim of torture for the psychological suffering Kiriakou inflicted upon him, by exposing Fletcher's sadistic torture of others, who can't even challenge/stop their torture.  

    This would better fit w/ the pattern of Orwellian absurdity manifest in so many American realms & practices, that I've written about extensively (e.g. "Surreal, Unprofessional CBS Report on My Daily Kos Article, Confirms My Critique of Media)

     

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