|By: Brian Sonenstein Monday December 22, 2014 10:00 am|
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday December 10, 2014 11:10 am|
The CIA had a propaganda campaign to defend its detention and interrogation program. It involved the leaking of classified information to shape the public’s opinion, undermine criticism and deceive Congress and is detailed in the executive summary of the Senate intelligence committee’s torture report, which shows the extent to which CIA officials were willing to [...]
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday December 2, 2014 11:00 am|
CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, who is serving a prison sentence at the federal correctional institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania, writes in a new letter about the the Bureau of Prisons’ “stridently anti-family” policies. The letter comes as Kiriakou is counting down the days until February 3, 2015, when he moves to house arrest, and the formal end of his sentence on May 1.
Firedoglake has been publishing “Letters from Loretto” by Kiriakou, who was the first member of the CIA to publicly acknowledge that torture was official US policy under the George W. Bush administration. He was convicted in October 2012 after he pled guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) when he confirmed the name of an officer involved in the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) program to a reporter. He was sentenced in January 2013, and reported to prison on February 28, 2013.
Acknowledging that his “incarceration has been easy” and “boring” at times, he adds that he is fortunate that he had the “strong support” of family. Not all prisoners have this kind of support.
Kiriakou argues that BOP’s commitment to “maintain and strengthen families” is a “bad joke at best and a cynical cruelty at worst. Despite the happy talk, real BOP policies are stridently anti-family.”
For example, a judge could order a first-time nonviolent offender to serve his or her sentence in a halfway house or at home under house arrest. This would help that person’s family remain intact.
“The prisoner would contribute to society by working and paying taxes, and he would be able to pay any fines or restitution he may have,” Kiriakou writes. “In prison, he can do none of these things, and indeed, he is a burden on society to the tune of nearly $30,000 a year.”
But judges and the Justice Department very rarely use their power to determine how a person serves his or her sentence, even though they know that “community and family ties are key elements in reducing recidivism.”
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday December 1, 2014 5:00 pm|
During President Barack Obama’s presidency, a record number of government employees have been prosecuted for leaking or blowing the whistle. Several of them have been prosecuted under the Espionage Act, a World War I-era law that was intended to be used against spies and not for punishing people who disclose information without authorization. Simultaneously, the amount of information being kept secret by the government has increased exponentially while the United States expands the reach of its global security state.
Silenced immerses viewers in this world.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday November 20, 2014 4:00 pm|
On the floor of House of Representatives on November 17, Virginia Democratic Representative Jim Moran put forward a stinging rebuke of the “selective prosecution” of former CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou. He asked President Barack Obama to pardon Kiriakou and called the fifteen-year CIA veteran “an American hero.”
Kiriakou was the first member of the CIA to publicly acknowledge that torture was official US policy under President George W. Bush’s administration.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday November 10, 2014 1:45 pm|
Kevin Gosztola made another visit to the federal correctional facility in Loretto, Pennsylvania, where CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou is imprisoned. Kiriakou was in good spirits and had begun to count down the days until he is released from Loretto to a halfway house in southeastern Washington, DC.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Friday September 12, 2014 11:07 am|
In a letter from CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, who has been serving a prison sentence in a federal correctional facility in Loretto, Pennsylvania for over a year, he recounts how he had a medical emergency in the prison and received virtually none of the appropriate care or treatment that a person should typically receive. The medical emergency also apparently stemmed from a “Physician’s Assistant” (PA) prescribing him a medication for his diabetes that only made his condition worse.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday August 7, 2014 9:21 am|
CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, who has been serving a prison sentence in a federal correctional facility in Loretto, Pennsylvania for over a year, has written a letter describing how he was given a special designation marking him dangerous. This led to him not being sent to a minimum security camp, and he reveals he was put in a low-security facility because the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) inappropriately categorized his offense as one related to “espionage.”
|By: Chris Sabatini Tuesday July 8, 2014 7:49 am|
Firedoglake is pleased to introduce a new series that we hope will generate interest and spread the word about torture whistleblower John Kiriakou’s imprisonment. We will be publishing artist Christopher Sabatini’s graphic renderings of some of John’s past and future prison letters, published here at FDL. Below you’ll find his illustration of the first Letter from Loretto, which you can read here. We hope you will enjoy this series!
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday June 23, 2014 11:47 am|
Reflecting on mass incarceration in the United States, which he has experienced firsthand during his time in prison at the Federal Correctional Institution of Loretto, Pennsylvania, CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou advocates for prison sentencing reform in his latest letter from jail.