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Congressman Criticizes ‘Selective Prosecution’ of CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou, Calls for Pardon

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA)

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. He was convicted in October 2012 after he pled guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA). He was sentenced to two and a half years in jail in January 2013, and reported to Federal Correctional Institution Loretto in Pennsylvania on February 28, 2013, where he has been serving his sentence. (Firedoglake has been publishing Kiriakou’s letters from prison written as “Letters from Loretto”.)

Moran himself acknowledged [PDF] that Kiriakou was a whistleblower, the first “intelligence officers to officially and on-record reveal that the US was in the torture business as a matter of White House policy under President Bush.” He helped to confirm that waterboarding and other torture techniques were a “matter of standard military and intelligence procedures,” which ignited an “intense and overdue debate.”

“The real issue here is the extremely selective prosecution of John and the ongoing efforts to intimidate him from talking about our intelligence community’s misfires,” Moran stated. “Even former CIA Director Leon Panetta now concedes he accidentally revealed classified information to the writer of Zero Dark Thirty, but faces no legal ramifications. Jose Rodriguez, the CIA’s former head of the Clandestine Service, admits to deciding without any legal authorization to erase videotapes of torture sessions so they could never be used in US courts but has never been forced to answer for this destruction of evidence.”

Moran suggested that the charge, which he pled guilty to committing, stemmed from answering a “question from a US reporter who was duplicitously fronting for lawyers defending al Qaeda prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay and in the process unintentionally confirmed the classified identity of a CIA colleague,” who was “being erroneously labeled as an enhanced interrogation techniques torturer.”

During the statement, Moran hailed him not only as a hero but also as a “devoted family man to his wife and five children, a churchgoing member of the Greek-American community, a bestselling author and a serious-minded former congressional foreign policy aide.”

CommunityThe Dissenter

Congressman Criticizes ‘Selective Prosecution’ of CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou, Calls for Pardon

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA)

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. He was convicted in October 2012 after he pled guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA). He was sentenced to two and a half years in jail in January 2013, and reported to Federal Correctional Institution Loretto in Pennsylvania on February 28, 2013, where he has been serving his sentence. (Firedoglake has been publishing Kiriakou’s letters from prison written as “Letters from Loretto”.)

Moran himself acknowledged [PDF] that Kiriakou was a whistleblower, the first “intelligence officers to officially and on-record reveal that the US was in the torture business as a matter of White House policy under President Bush.” He helped to confirm that waterboarding and other torture techniques were a “matter of standard military and intelligence procedures,” which ignited an “intense and overdue debate.”

“The real issue here is the extremely selective prosecution of John and the ongoing efforts to intimidate him from talking about our intelligence community’s misfires,” Moran stated. “Even former CIA Director Leon Panetta now concedes he accidentally revealed classified information to the writer of Zero Dark Thirty, but faces no legal ramifications. Jose Rodriguez, the CIA’s former head of the Clandestine Service, admits to deciding without any legal authorization to erase videotapes of torture sessions so they could never be used in US courts but has never been forced to answer for this destruction of evidence.”

Moran suggested that the charge, which he pled guilty to committing, stemmed from answering a “question from a US reporter who was duplicitously fronting for lawyers defending al Qaeda prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay and in the process unintentionally confirmed the classified identity of a CIA colleague,” who was “being erroneously labeled as an enhanced interrogation techniques torturer.”

During the statement, Moran hailed him not only as a hero but also as a “devoted family man to his wife and five children, a churchgoing member of the Greek-American community, a bestselling author and a serious-minded former congressional foreign policy aide.” (more…)

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."