What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 26, 2012

Obama Admin: Immunity for Torturers, Prosecution for Torture Whistleblowers

As I've written elsewhere, my profoundest disappointment with the Obama Administration revolves around its refusal to prosecute the war crimes of the Bush Administration.

Two days after his inauguration, the President signed Executive Order 13491 - ordering the US back into compliance with US and International Law regarding the use of torture - and that's a good thing, of course.

Torture is bad.  Torture is illegal.  The torture should be prosecuted.

But the Obama administration isn't prosecuting the torturers.

The Justice Department on Monday charged a former Central Intelligence Agency officer with disclosing classified information to journalists about the capture and brutal interrogation of a suspected member of Al Qaeda, Abu Zubaydah — adding another chapter to the Obama administration’s crackdown on leaks.

In a criminal complaint filed on Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation accused John Kiriakou, the former C.I.A. officer, of disclosing the identity of a C.I.A. analyst who worked on a 2002 operation that located and interrogated Abu Zubaydah. The journalists included a New York Times reporter, it alleged.

“Safeguarding classified information, including the identities of C.I.A. officers involved in sensitive operations, is critical to keeping our intelligence officers safe and protecting our national security,” said Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., in a statement.
Now, don't get me wrong. Leaking the name of a CIA operative is a very serious charge - one that should be investigated and, if necessary prosecuted.

Although I doubt my Bush Administration admiring friends would agree completely with that last bit (cough Valerie Plame cough).

But letting the CIA (current or retired) torturers go unpunished while prosecuting a retired CIA officer for bringing the story to the public?

How does that mesh with claiming the "moral high ground" for reiterating that torture is illegal?

It simply doesn't.

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

Actually, Kiriakou's case was only one of three significant legal "events" the day before (or of) the State of the Union. None of the three put the Justice Department or the nation in a good light.