Sterling’s case was the first case involving an alleged leak to the press to proceed to a full trial in thirty years. The last case involved Samuel L. Morison, a Navy civilian analyst who was charged under President Ronald Reagan for leaking photographs of Soviet ships to alert America to what he perceived as a new threat.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday January 26, 2015 4:00 pm|
|By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday January 22, 2015 2:00 pm|
A federal air marshal whistleblower won an important Supreme Court victory on January 21 when justices voted 7-2 that his disclosures were covered by the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) and had not been “specifically prohibited by the law,” as the government claimed.
|By: Norman Solomon Tuesday January 6, 2015 11:00 am|
The trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, set to begin in mid-January, is shaping up as a major battle in the U.S. government’s siege against whistleblowing. With its use of the Espionage Act to intimidate and prosecute people for leaks in “national security” realms, the Obama administration is determined to keep hiding important facts [...]
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday January 5, 2015 4:00 pm|
New York Times journalist James Risen testified in a federal courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia, during a pretrial hearing in a leak case against former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling. The hearing was held so US District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema could determine what questions Risen would have to answer at trial as a subpoenaed witness. The [...]
|By: Brian Sonenstein Monday December 22, 2014 10:00 am|
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday December 16, 2014 12:00 pm|
A federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, has authorized a subpoena for New York Times reporter James Risen to force him to provide testimony in the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling. Prosecutors would be able to ask if he had a “prior non-confidential reporter-source relationship” with Risen. The former CIA officer is alleged 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: Tim Shorrock Saturday November 22, 2014 1:59 pm|
From his opening story about the vast shipments of cash to Iraq in the early days of the U.S. invasion to his final chapter on the U.S. government’s attacks on Diane Rourk and the four NSA whistleblowers, James Risen paints a brilliant but tragic portrait of a country gone mad with power and greed during the 12 years of the Bush-Obama “war on terror.”
His stories are culled from many years of deep reporting, including his explosive revelations in 2005 of the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program. They provide startling new evidence of how the post-9/11 atmosphere of fear and government intimidation allowed an entire generation of American officials, intelligence officers, contractors, psychologists and propagandists to defy U.S. and international law and turn the United States into a global ethical pariah.
|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.