Archive for the ‘John Kiriakou’ Category

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‘I don’t believe a word of it’ – CIA whistleblower
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The Country Does Not Need a CIA

One of those real issues is that the CIA has consistently lied to the American people for many, many years. Why would Trump conclude that Brennan was spouting fake news? Well, in the past 15 years, the CIA said that it was not torturing its prisoners. That was a lie. The CIA said that it had not created an archipelago of secret prisons where it was holding hundreds of people, including innocent civilians. That was a lie. The CIA said that it had not created and used a dungeon torture center called the “Salt Pit” in Afghanistan. That was a lie. The CIA said that it was not sending prisoners to third world countries to undergo torture with a wink and a nod from the CIA’s leadership. That was a lie. The CIA said that it had not hacked into computers belonging to investigators of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence while they were writing the definitive report on the CIA torture program. That was a lie.

I won’t even get into CIA protestations that it hasn’t overthrown governments, influenced elections, committed assassinations, or otherwise mucked up U.S. foreign policy since the late 1940s.

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Obama Should Demand FBI Director James Comey’s Resignation Today

John Kiriakou pushes the FBI “incompetence” theory.

Deliberate incompetence, sabotage of terrorism cases, is also a likely factor, given what we know about FBI, CIA and previous spectacular attacks, 9/11 included as well as the Boston Bombing fiasco. Calling something incompetence is convenient and knee-jerk, but ignores the chain of command, the orders, the foreign policy support to terrorists in Chechnya and Syria, the command responsibility of those at the top.

Decisions are multi-layered, and this kind of work is often manipulated behind the scenes…

“But something ought to change, and quickly: that is the consistent failure of the FBI to do its job, to infiltrate domestic and foreign terrorist groups, and to prevent attacks on U.S. soil. This is not something new. The FBI has been incompetent for a very long time.

Orlando shooter Omar Mateen reportedly had planned the massacre “for a long time,” according to CNN. Over the past several weeks, he had attempted to buy military-grade body armor, and he had successfully purchased a Glock semi-automatic handgun and a long gun. And the FBI did nothing.”

 

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by John Kiriakou, Reader Supported News

Vice News’s Jason Leopoldreported recently that the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs (OPA) provided “support” to a variety of Hollywood films, like Argo and Zero Dark Thirty; television series like Covert Affairs and Top Chef; documentaries; and even novels like Richard Patterson’s The Devil’s Light. Leopold said that the nature of the support is largely unknown because the CIA did not keep records of all of its meetings. A declassified CIA Inspector General’s report said, “OPA and other CIA employees did not always comply with Agency regulations intended to prevent the release of classified information during their interactions with entertainment industry representatives.”

Therein lies one of the problems with the relationship between the CIA and Hollywood. There’s little-to-no oversight. And when rules and laws are broken, nobody has to pay the piper.

In 2015, Vice reported that aseparate CIA Inspector General’s report found that former Director Leon Panetta “allegedly disclosed classified information” when speaking with Zero Dark Thirty writer Mark Boal, and that Panetta disclosed additional classified information to director Kathryn Bigelow. An even earlier Inspector General’s report detailed “Potential Ethics Violations Involving Film Producers” Bigelow and Boal, and said that CIA officers had accepted gifts from the two, including watches, restaurant meals, and tickets to the movie premiere, all of which went unreported. Presumably, this was in exchange for cooperating on the film.

CIA employees taking gifts from Hollywood producers for apparently giving them, in the case of Zero Dark Thirty, classified briefings on the bin Laden raid and then not reporting the gifts in their ethics filings is bad enough. The CIA director leaking classified information with impunity to the producers is worse. Indeed, it is a direct violation of the Obama administration’s definition of espionage: “Providing national defense information to any person not entitled to receive it.” That definition came directly from the judge in my case, when I was charged with espionage for blowing the whistle on the CIA’s torture program.

But the worst, the most insidious, thing here is that the end result of the CIA’s cooperation with Hollywood and others in the entertainment industry is that it results in the propagandizing of the American people. That was illegal, until recently.

In the 1950s, the CIA initiated “Operation Mockingbird,” a long-term operation whereby the Agency planted articles in the American press. At the height of the program, some 25 major U.S. news outlets willingly published CIA propaganda meant for the American people.

That was outlawed in the immediate aftermath of the Church Committee hearings. Over time, many Americans forgot that the CIA had tried to influence them subversively. Indeed, many in Congress later said that the ban on propagandizing the American people was so that official outlets like the Voice of America and Radio and TV Marti could not be broadcast to Americans.

But that all changed on July 2, 2013, with the passage of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, which passed as part of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. The new law allows a wide variety of propaganda meant for Americans. That includes CIA support for Hollywood.

Does this presage a period of television shows like The F.B.I., a series that ran from 1965-1974 and which had each episode personally approved by J. Edgar Hoover? Will Hollywood not be permitted to make movies or series critical of the Agency? Do we want John Brennan to be the guy who decides what we get to see?

Congress must re-implement the Smith-Mundt Act, the original one, and keep the government out of our movie theaters and televisions. Propaganda is a malicious force. It has no business in American society.


Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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My Lunch With an FBI Whistleblower, Not Yet Out

By John Kiriakou, Reader Supported News

11 April 16

 

had lunch with an FBI agent last week. If you don’t know me, that’s a highly unusual event. I hate the FBI. I hate what they’ve done to civil liberties in the United States. I hate that they spy on peace activists, civil libertarians, and people of color, all under the guise of “national security.” I hate the FBI’s dirty history of COINTELPRO, of sending poison pen letters to Martin Luther King Jr. to try to get him to commit suicide. I hate that they tried to set me up on an espionage charge because they knew that the case against me for blowing the whistle on the CIA’s torture program was weak. But I was intrigued.

The FBI agent in question told me that he had uncovered evidence of waste, fraud, abuse, and illegality at the Bureau. He said that he had reported this untoward behavior up his chain of command and was told to mind his own business. He went to the FBI Inspector General and the FBI General Counsel, and was told both times that he should walk away, that he should mind his own business. He wanted to know what I thought he should do, based on my own experience.

I told him that he could do one of several things. He could continue up the chain of command and go to the Senate or House Judiciary Committees. If he did that, there would certainly be an internal investigation, he would be ostracized at the FBI, and he would likely face spurious charges that could include espionage. That’s what the CIA and the FBI did to me, to NSA’s Tom Drake, to the CIA’s Jeffrey Sterling, to the State Department’s Stephen Kim, and others.

I told him that he could go to the press, in which case there would also be an investigation, his security clearance would be suspended, and he would likely be fired, at least, for insubordination. He also could be charged with espionage or any number of national security charges related to leaking.

I told him that he could talk to an attorney who specializes in national security whistleblowing cases, like Jesselyn Radack of ExposeFacts. Radack is a fearless advocate for national security professionals who take their oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution seriously. She is also a whistleblower. She lost her job as a Justice Department ethics officer after insisting that John Walker Lindh, known in the press as the “American Taliban,” be allowed access to an attorney, a basic constitutional right that the FBI denied him.

And finally, I told him that he could do nothing. Just keep quiet. He would keep his job, his pay grade, and his clearances. But he wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.

The FBI agent, deep down, knew all these things. He recalled the recent case of another FBI whistleblower, Darin Jones, who was fired after he blew the whistle on waste, fraud, and abuse at the Bureau. Jones said that FBI bigwigs had blown $234,000 of the taxpayers’ money on an awards ceremony for themselves, they had improperly spent taxpayer money without going through proper channels, and that a former FBI assistant director had had a conflict of interest related to a computer help-desk contract.

What did Jones do? He went through the chain of command. He complained to his superiors about the waste, fraud, and abuse he saw. In response, he was fired on the last day of his probationary period. That was three and a half years ago. His appeal still hasn’t been heard. And as with other whistleblowers, especially those in the national security arena, it has been virtually impossible for Jones to find work, and former friends and colleagues avoid him. He has described himself as “radioactive,” a non-person.

Congress, over the years, has toyed with the idea of enhanced protections for FBI whistleblowers. The chairman and ranking Democrat of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Pat Leahy (D-Vermont), have introduced the FBI Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, which would expand the number of people at the FBI eligible for whistleblower protection and would allow them to appeal dismissal in the court system. The problem is that the bill has languished in the Senate and has not come up for a vote. It likely won’t this year. Meanwhile, the House has ignored it.

The bottom line is this: Jones, the FBI agent with whom I met, and others who report on FBI malfeasance internally are screwed. There really are no protections. It’s the same in national security. A potential whistleblower can go through the chain of command and likely be charged with crimes, he can go to the press and likely be charged with crimes, or he can keep his mouth shut. There are no alternatives. And until Congress recognizes the patent unfairness of the current system, other good and patriotic men and women will be ruined for doing the right thing.

 


John Kiriakou is an associate fellow with the Institute for Policy Studies. He is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.