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The actions of the government in the John C. Kiriakou case are profoundly disturbing ("Former CIA Agent Who Outed Fellow Agent Sentenced to 30 Months," Jan. 26). The interrogators who tortured prisoners, the officials who gave the orders, the attorneys who authored the torture memos and the CIA agents who destroyed the interrogation tapes have not been charged with crimes.
In these matters, President Barack Obama has urged us to "look forward, not backward." In contrast, after 15 years of exemplary service for the CIA, where he was trusted with the country's most sensitive secrets and counterterrorism operations, Mr. Kiriakou made the mistake of being the first CIA officer to call waterboarding "torture" and to reveal that the CIA's torture program was policy rather than the work of a few rogue agents. The government then used the draconian and rarely used Espionage Act, created during World War I to go after spies and stifle dissent, to charge Mr. Kiriakou with crimes related to sharing information with attorneys for alleged terrorists. (He pleaded guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and was sentenced to prison for it.)
The sanctimony of the judge and the U.S. attorney in Virginia is particularly galling and neatly sums up the sorry state of justice in this country. To paraphrase, if you're out there and thinking about exposing government wrongdoing, don't do it, because we're coming after you. That chilling message should be very troubling to all U.S. citizens.
First Published February 9, 2013 12:00 am