If you are a CIA “asset,” and you torture a suspect, you will be officially transferred from your specialty if you get exposed. It would be bad PR to continue the policy.
The person whose testimony leads to your identification will go to jail. The only question is: for how long?
The whistleblower on waterboarding by the CIA — which of course America never indulges in, we assured by every President — will get two and a half years for pleading guilty to a lesser charge. He probably would have gotten life if he had not pleas bargained.
The whistleblower, John Kiriakou, did not mention the name of the waterboarder, but the government said that someone could have figured it out from the information he revealed.
Kriakou was at first charged with a violation of the Espionage Act of 1917. He had exposed the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of waterboarding on alleged insurgents after September 11, 2001. Waterboarding was thought to be useful in converting alleged insurgents into confessed insurgents.
His lawyer made this statement. How does outing a torturer hurt the national security of the U.S.? It’s like arguing that outing a Nazi guarding a concentration camp would hurt the national security of Germany.”
The government prosecutors did not respond to thus question. They did not have to. He pleaded guilty.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a former government official told Firedoglake recently that the CIA was “totally ticked at Kiriakou for acknowledging the use of torture as state policy” and allegedly outing the identity of a covert CIA official “responsible for ensuring the execution” of the water-boarding program.
This is standard bureaucratic justice. The bureaucrats resent getting caught in full public view. He who exposes them is the enemy. The possibility that the practice is illegitimate never enters their collective minds.
The Espionage Act was passed during the enlightened and humane rule of Woodrow Wilson, the darling of liberals. It was part of his policy to lock up anyone who opposed the war. He won the 1916 for keeping us out of that war. Thirty days after his inauguration, he persuaded Congress to enter the war on the side of the British, who owed billions to J. P. Morgan Co. and other bond firms. The Wilson government then proceeded to lock up ministers who preached against the war.
You say you did not read this in your high school history textbook? I wonder why not.