“This site is dedicated to preying on peoples vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.”

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ex-CIA Officer John Kiriakou: “I was arrested in January 2012 and charged with five felonies, including three counts of espionage, one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, and one count of making a false statement.”

Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Shows Inherent Unfairness in U.S. Justice System

Posted on Jul 9, 2016
By John Kiriakou TRUTHDIG
    Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, checking her Blackberry in 2011. (Kevin Lamarque / AP)

Truth dig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer, in the immediate aftermath of FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that the bureau would not seek an indictment against Hillary Clinton for her misuse of and failure to secure classified information, asked me to write about the decision. I said that I would, but found that I was so angry about the Justice Department’s hypocrisy that I just couldn’t put pen to paper until I had cooled off for a few days. I was further angered by what I heard in the nationally televised Comey congressional hearings two days after the announcement, from both Democrats and Republicans.
I’ve not yet cooled off. But I feel as though my anger is focused enough to offer a few thoughts.

First, I want to be clear that I’m not angry at Hillary Clinton personally. I don’t like Hillary. I don’t support her. I don’t trust her. I don’t think she would be a good or trustworthy president. But that’s not the issue here. The issue is the inherent unfairness in the system. 

I was arrested in January 2012 and charged with five felonies, including three counts of espionage, one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, and one count of making a false statement. The espionage charges stemmed from conversations I had had with reporters from The New York Times and ABC News about the CIA’s torture program. Four of those five charges eventually were dropped. 

For the record, I had not made a false statement. That’s what is called a “throwaway” charge that the Justice Department files and then offers to bargain away. And I hadn’t committed espionage, either. 

I did plead guilty to confirming the name of a former CIA colleague to a reporter—who never made the name public. I did it. I admit it. And I paid a price for it.

That said, providing or confirming the names of former or current CIA officers happens all the time and is almost never prosecuted. Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage outed CIA officer Valerie Plame and was never prosecuted for it. Former CIA Director David Petraeus revealed the names of at least 10 CIA officers to his mistress, lied to the FBI about doing it, and still was never charged. Former CIA Director Leon Panetta exposed the name of the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden, and Panetta was not charged. 

The Justice Department calls that “prosecutorial discretion.” I call it an iron fist that came down on my head because I exposed the torture program while those who were politically connected or were friends of the president got a pass on their misdeeds.

Several members of Congress this week raised my case and stated—as if they had any idea what they were talking about—that I had had “criminal intent.” That’s bull. I never had criminal intent. But I still never had a chance. Here’s why:

In my very first hearing in the federal Eastern District of Virginia, my judge said that she would not respect precedent as it related to having criminal intent in a national security case. In plain English, she didn’t care one whit if there was intent or not. Either I did it or I didn’t. If I did it, I should be punished.

At the same time, the Justice Department came up with the novel idea that I had exposed the name and spoken to reporters because I was trying to build a consulting business and sell books. In fact, my book wasn’t written at the time, and it didn’t come out until two years later. 
Furthermore, all the prosecutors had to do was look at my bank account, which I’m sure they did, to see that I was broke. I had no consulting business. It was a lie that because it was spoken by the Justice Department, it somehow was fact. But that didn’t make it any more true.

When I finally stood to be formally sentenced in January 2013, the judge asked me if I had revealed the name on purpose. 

Apparently, criminal intent mattered after all. I said that I had not. She then suggested that I have a conversation with my attorney. As it turns out, you can’t get the plea deal unless you “confess” in open court that you did the crime purposefully.

So what do you do? Do you confess to a “crime” that you had no intention of committing, or do you commit perjury and say you did it on purpose? 

Here’s what’s at stake: If you say you did it—even if you didn’t—you get 30 months in prison. If you fight it and lose, you risk up to 45 years in prison, and you can realistically expect 18 to 24 years. That was my predicament. As one sage adviser told me that morning, “This can be a blip in your life, or it can be the defining event of your life.” I chose the blip.

When I read in blogs, comments or even The New York Times that I “confessed” and that I admitted my “criminal intent,” I cringe. How do you respond when you’re forced into a plea? The deck is stacked against you to begin with. What judge doesn’t want to be named to the Supreme Court? What prosecutor doesn’t want to run for governor? What FBI agent doesn’t want to be special agent in charge? They all want to make names for themselves, to get their names in The Washington Post or The New York Times.

If I had committed espionage, why did the Justice Department drop the charges? If I was the criminal they said I was, why did they let me out after only 23 months? It’s because the case against me was political from the beginning, and they knew it.

My skin has thickened dramatically over the past 4½ years. I genuinely don’t care what people think about me. I know what I did and what I didn’t do. I’m happy with my life and comfortable with my past. I seek nobody’s approval.

But what I do seek is fairness in the system. It’s too late for me. But I certainly won’t be the last person to be charged with espionage for blowing the whistle on government waste, fraud, abuse or illegality. It’s going to happen again. And when it does, I hope the defendant asks for the Clinton/Petraeus special treatment.

9 comments:

  1. For Ash -


    American Chronicles
    July 11 & 18, 2016 Issue
    Who Are All These Trump Supporters?

    At the candidate’s rallies, a new understanding of America emerges.


    By George Saunders

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/11/george-saunders-goes-to-trump-rallies

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good read so far. Thanks!

      Did you actually read the whole thing Bob?

      Here, a bit for Mome:

      "Whee is all this anger coming from? It’s viral, and Trump is Typhoid Mary. Intellectually and emotionally weakened by years of steadily degraded public discourse, we are now two separate ideological countries, LeftLand and RightLand, speaking different languages, the lines between us down. Not only do our two subcountries reason differently; they draw upon non-intersecting data sets and access entirely different mythological systems. You and I approach a castle. One of us has watched only “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” the other only “Game of Thrones.” What is the meaning, to the collective “we,” of yon castle? We have no common basis from which to discuss it. You, the other knight, strike me as bafflingly ignorant, a little unmoored. In the old days, a liberal and a conservative (a “dove” and a “hawk,” say) got their data from one of three nightly news programs, a local paper, and a handful of national magazines, and were thus starting with the same basic facts (even if those facts were questionable, limited, or erroneous). Now each of us constructs a custom informational universe, wittingly (we choose to go to the sources that uphold our existing beliefs and thus flatter us) or unwittingly (our app algorithms do the driving for us). The data we get this way, pre-imprinted with spin and mythos, are intensely one-dimensional. (As a proud knight of LeftLand, I was interested to find that, in RightLand, Vince Foster has still been murdered, Dick Morris is a reliable source, kids are brainwashed “way to the left” by going to college, and Obama may yet be Muslim. I expect that my interviewees found some of my core beliefs equally jaw-dropping.)"

      Delete
    2. Every last word, Ash.

      I thought you'd like the well written lefty propaganda.

      If you were literate, you could have written it yourself.

      Delete
  2. BOTTOM LINE:

    Any country, government, family, member of any intelligence or military organization, any enemy, politician or ordinary citizen that trusts the US Government is playing with fire.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don’t be a fool, if you see that flag, run for cover.

      Delete
  3. BUT OF COURSE:

    Orlando, Florida (CNN)Hillary Clinton supporters rejected an effort Saturday to add a call for "an end to occupations and illegal settlements" in Palestinian territories into the Democratic platform.

    Clinton's backers argued that the current language in the party's platform, calling for negotiations for a two-state solution in Israel to give Palestinians a homeland, are enough and that going further would inflame tensions and undercut U.S. diplomats' ability to lead future negotiations.
    But Bernie Sanders' supporters -- as well as dozens of young people in the crowd in an Orlando hotel ballroom for the Democratic National Committee's platform drafting committee's two-day meeting -- said the language they'd proposed simply repeated a position Clinton herself has taken in the past.
    "This is a moral issue. This is an issue of our time. It has spiritual and moral implications," said Cornel West, the pro-Sanders civil rights activist and philosopher. "Democratic Party, you've been in denial for too long. Palestinians ought to be free.”

    ReplyDelete
  4. THE US GOVERNMENT WILL NEVER HONESTLY LOOK ITSELF IN THE MIRROR

    How do you look someone in the eye and admit you sent their loved ones to into war for ill considered reasons?

    How do you tell them that their sons and daughters, husbands and wives died in vain for a conflict built on lies?

    The answer is you don't, because no one could, even after the publication of the damning seven year, 2.6 million word Iraq War report by Sir John Chilcot and his committee released this week.

    Chilcot, a pillar of the British establishment, had total access to secret documents including private communications between Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W Bush, which under normal circumstances would not be released this year, or possibly ever.

    In the run up to war Blair had made Saddam Hussein's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) his central justification for the invasion of Iraq, but those weapons of mass destruction simply did not exist.

    The truth, confirmed now but at the time widely suspected, is that Bush administration intelligence about WMD was almost entirely wrong and much of it was utter fiction.

    ReplyDelete
  5. .

    At least Bush had the good sense to go to ground, to pretty much disappear from public life, to shut up and just paint, unlike others like Cheney and Blair who continue to insult us with their presence.

    .

    ReplyDelete