HuffPost Live’s Alyona Invites All-Star Panel To Discuss CIA Torture Whistleblower John Kiriakou’s Plea Deal (video)
CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou plead guilty this morning to revealing the identity of a CIA officer in the agency’s detention and interrogation program. He is expected to spend 2 1/2 years in prison.
The reason he chose to negotiate a plea deal rather than go to trial was summarized succinctly by Marcy Wheeler (investigative blogger, Emptywheel):
… the rush to make a plea deal came after [U.S. District Court Judge] Brinkema ruled, on October 16, that the government didn’t need to prove Kiriakou intended to damage the country by leaking the names of a bunch of torturers. That ruling effectively made it difficult for Kiriakou to prove he was whistleblowing, by helping lawyers defending those who have been tortured figure out who the torturers were.
So ironically, John Kiriakou — who took enormous risks as a whistleblower to expose criminality — will do jail time as if he were the criminal, while the torturers themselves remain free.
Today on HuffPost Live, Alyona Minkovski hosted an all-star panel to discuss the John Kiriakou whistleblower case, including:
- Marcy Wheeler (Grand Rapids, MI) Investigative Blogger, Emptywheel @emptywheel
- Kelley Vlahos (Washington, DC) Columnist, Antiwar.com @KelleyBVlahos
- Col. Morris Davis (DC, WA) Former Chief Prosecutor for the Military Commissions at Guantanamo @ColMorrisDavis
- Jesselyn Radack (Washington, DC) National Security & Human Rights Director at Government Accountability Project @JesselynRadack
- Josh Gerstein (Arlington) Reporter, POLITICO @joshgerstein
VIDEO: U.S.-Backed Bahrain Arrests & Deports 2 U.S. Human Rights Observers As 1st Anniversary Of Democracy Protests Nears
Two American peace activists, Huwaida Arraf and Radhika Sainath, were arrested and detained this Saturday, while acting as Human Rights Observers in U.S.-backed Bahrain. Both are members of the Witness Bahrain initiative.
The Bahraini monarchy deported the two on Sunday, and they were flown — handcuffed behind their backs, and prohibited from using the bathroom, and from eating or drinking for the entire seven hour flight — to London.
According to Arraf, Bahrain appears to be removing all human rights activists and observers in the run-up to the one-year anniversary of the democratic uprising against the ruling monarchy:
[We] also were getting reports of journalists and human rights organization representatives being denied entry into the country in the lead-up to the first anniversary of the Bahrain revolution, and this caused great alarm, that the government was planning to escalate its oppression of the people.
A November 2011 report, conducted by an independent commission, and authorized by the Bahraini monarchy in an attempt to ease tensions, concluded that grave violations of human rights had been committed by government troops. These violations included disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force and firearms to repress the protests, and a systematic and deliberate policy of torture.
The panel confirmed that government forces murdered dozens of people during the protests, and five reform activists had been tortured to death while in custody. Other detainees were tortured by electric shock and by beatings with wires and hoses. Additionally, the panel found that activists were later targeted and fired from their jobs and universities and caused to lose their homes.
Just weeks ago, the Obama Administration was reported to be quietly selling arms to the Bahraini monarchy, in spite of these documented human rights abuses against its people.
In the following video, Amy Goodman of DemocracyNow! interviews the two American peace activists just deported from Bahrain, Huwaida Arraf and Radhika Sainath. They discuss their arrests, what is happening now in Bahrain, and the level of assistance they received by the U.S. embassy during their detention.
The Bahraini monarchy has blocked the above footage of Arraf being arrested by security forces from being shown in Bahrain.
Robert Naiman, Policy Director of Just Foreign Policy, recently arrived at Bahrain Int’l Airport as an observer — there to witness the gov’t response to peaceful protests — and he is reporting that he too has been prohibited from entering the country:
… the Bahrain authorities would not let me enter the country. At this writing, it’s 5 p.m. local time. My flight got in at 2:15 AM. I have been informed that the Director of Immigration has decided that I shall not have a visa to enter Bahrain — although in the past it was the practice of the Bahrain authorities to give visas to Americans in the airport pretty much automatically — so the authorities are saying that the only way I am leaving the airport is on a plane out of the country. At this writing, it looks like I could be in the airport for another 36 hours.
I won’t be able to contribute to [the Witness Bahrain] reports, since, sitting in the airport, I won’t be able to observe the protests and the government response.
VIDEO: Judge Napolitano Interviews Donald Rumsfeld: ‘Did YOU Sell Saddam Hussein WMDs?’
Here is one of the better interviews I’ve seen in a while, and believe it or not, it was conducted on Fox News.
Judge Andrew Napolitano wastes no time in grilling Former Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on topics which include:
- Whether he was responsible for what happened in Iraq after the invasion.
- Rummy’s once chummy relationship with Saddam Hussein — back when he worked in the Reagan Administration (which was when Saddam was gassing the Kurds).
- Whether we’re actually safer for having invaded Iraq.
- His role in authorizing torture.
- Whether Iraq was a just war, considering we hadn’t been attacked, the country posed no threat to us (which Rumsfeld had previously admitted), and yet cost hundreds of thousands of innocents their lives, and led to two million being displaced?
It’s a shame not a single journalist in the main stream media had the gonads to engage in this line of questioning during the run-up to the invasion!
Glenn Greenwald Debates David Frum on Universal Jurisdiction Over Torturers & On U.S. Aid to Israel
There are few ideologies I find as confounding, disjointed, and brazenly dishonest as neo-conservatism. Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum, who debates Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, is far from an idiot. I wish he were, because I like to believe every pundit — regardless of where he lies on the political spectrum — honestly thinks […]
WATCH: MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Bemoans US’s Lack of ‘Loyalty’ to Egypt’s Brutal Dictator
Last Friday, Chris Matthews appeared on Morning Joe where he questioned the Obama Administration’s character for not showing proper loyalty to one of the Middle East’s most brutal dictators, Hosni Mubarak. He tells Joe Scarborogh and Mika Brzezinski: Americans think upon ourselves as the good guys, and being good friends, and loyal. And these are values […]
WATCH: US State Dept. Spokesman Struggles To Explain US Hypocrisy In Egypt
Here’s an excellent al Jazeera interview that perfectly demonstrates America’s misguided and hypocritical Middle East policy. US State Department Spokesman PJ Crowley gets tongue-tied trying to explain how the United States can on one hand claim to support the Egyptian protesters in their fight against torture, poverty, corruption & unemployment, while simultaneously propping up their brutal […]
U.S. Officials Privately Admit They Overstated Damage Inflicted By WikiLeaks
Reuters is reporting that Internal U.S. government reviews confirm what many of us had cynically assumed all along: that the US government was intentionally embellishing the damage done to US interests abroad by WikiLeaks documents: A congressional official briefed on the reviews said the administration felt compelled to say publicly that the revelations had seriously damaged American interests […]
Former Justice Dept. Chief: Obama Gave Bush Officials ‘A Get Out of Jail Free Card’
In an exclusive interview with Brad Jacobson for The Raw Story, a former acting Justice Department chief J. Gerald Hebert (who served the DOJ in various positions between 1973 and 1994), had this to say about the Obama Administration’s failure to hold public officials to account: “It’s one thing to want to appear like you’re […]
George W. Bush’s Cover-Up Is Now Obama’s Cover-Up
The New York Times Editorial blasted President Obama yesterday for breaking his campaign promise to end George W. Bush’s “abuses of power, denials of justice to the victims of wayward government policies, and the shielding of officials from accountability.” The Times outlines how Obama has aggressively — from the get-go — taken George W’s torch […]