Mission creep of the secrecy system: Even behind bars, CIA whistleblower faces retaliation

 John Kiriakou
Former CIA officer John Kiriakou
(Creative Commons-licensed Photo from Truthout.org)

More on yesterday’s post about imprisoned CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou.

Not content with punishing Kiriakou for violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, the Bureau of Prisons seeks to stifle his First Amendment rights, reports Kevin Gosztola at Firedoglake.

Kiriakous’s communications with the world at large are not illegal or improper and still the government seeks to take coercive action against him, even as he pays his debt to society. For the U.S secrecy regime, the enforcement of secrecy laws is necessary but not sufficient. Discussion of the propriety of the secrecy regime is also punished by official action.

This is the secrecy system’s version of “mission creep.”

Gosztola reports:

“Since August of last year, Firedoglake has been publishing “Letters from Loretto,” by Kiriakou, an imprisoned whistleblower 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 provided the name of an officer involved in the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) program to a reporter.”

In one letter Kiriakou shares how cops tore up his prison cell twice after he did an interview with reporters from The National Herald, “the oldest, largest and most highly-respected Greek-American newspaper in the country.”

Imprisoned CIA Whistleblower Threatened| The Dissenter.

10 thoughts on “Mission creep of the secrecy system: Even behind bars, CIA whistleblower faces retaliation”

  1. Kiriakou and his family are being persecuted, without question. I’m taken aback, however, when I look at the details of his conviction and do not find he consulted a criminal or constitutional lawyer (preferably a lawyer who works in both areas) before revealing the identity of a CIA operative who turned out to be working undercover.

    He’s a smart guy but he did not behave like one in taking on the CIA, which has a formidable array of lawyers.

  2. Ronnie, both Bolden and Nagell spent time in Federal prisons and Nagell received a number of psychiatric evaluations. Hicks on the other hand was placed in a mental health facility in Fort Supply Oklahoma due to his compulsive alcoholism and related problems.

    Hicks had taken to even calling local FBI offices from bars, a totally different type of individual than Nagell or Bolden.

    1. Thank you sir. I probably should not have included Hicks as I’ve read somewhere he had been discredited (although I could see how being involved in/harassed over the assassination could drive one to drink or worse). I guess what I was trying to say is they all appear to have been labeled as unreliable “nuts” as a result of their “need” for mental care when their incarceration was to shut them up for not towing the official line.

      1. Ronnie, its pretty easy to find a pattern in FBI reports on leads that were not going the direction that Hoover and headquarters wanted. Basically their last recourse was to begin putting material in the field office reports about possible mental health problems with the sources. That allowed them to close out leads that were taking time away from the type of “closed end” investigations that Hoover felt were most efficient in supporting quick and efficient prosecution of prime suspects.

        You find that tactic used in a host of the 60’s era crimes the FBI pursued – and of course the field agents and SAC’s were smart enough to know what advanced their careers compared to what would end them up in Boise or some other station not conducive to advancement.

        1. With all due respect for your knowledge of the subject, as opposed to my “reading” on it, (I have Some Would Have Talked, it’s in my top 10 – more should read it, and, Nexus is on my to do list) I was referring to the CIA’s role more than the FBI/Hoover. From my reading I think Dulles/Angleton may have played as important a role in the framing of Nagell/Bolden/Hicks as Hoover.
          One more reason I wish they would FREE THOSE DAMN FILES on the top 7 at least.

          1. Once again, much respect for your work. Many have talked. Some have misled us. Some have told the truth and many have not listened. It is a difficult path….

  3. Did not Richard Case Nagell, Abraham Bolden, and what was his name
    …Hicks, who claimed to be a radio operator in Dealy Plaza 11/22/63 all wind up spending time in a Government Mental hospital in Springfield Mo.?

    1. The hypocritical irony here is that when the US gov’t stands to benefit from whistleblowers who initiate successful lawsuits against corrupt corporations under the False Claims Act, they dole out big bucks to the whistleblower as a percentage of the amount of the fine imposed, and publicly shame the company/executives. Fair enough.
      But should the US gov’t’s nose be tweaked by any other kind of conscientious whistleblower, such as Kiriakou, then the security state comes down on them like a tinpot dictatorship.
      Those in the Bush administration (A-G Alberto Gonzales, etc.) and CIA who fiddled the system to come up with legal opinions and practices to justify torture, deserve to be outed, and charged with crimes against humanity.
      As Pogo said, “we’ve met the enemy, and the enemy is US.”

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