Whistleblower John Kiriakou: For Embracing Torture, John Brennan a “Terrible Choice to Lead the CIA”

By | January 31, 2013

Days after he was sentenced to 30 months in prison, John Kiriakou — the first CIA official to be jailed for any reason relating to the torture program — denounces President Obama’s appointment of John Brennan to head the CIA. “I’ve known John Brennan since 1990,” Kiriakou says. “I worked directly for John Brennan twice. I think that he is a terrible choice to lead the CIA. I think that it’s time for the CIA to move beyond the ugliness of the post-September 11th regime, and we need someone who is going to respect the Constitution and to not be bogged down by a legacy of torture.” …

Whistleblower John Kiriakou: For Embracing Torture, John Brennan a “Terrible Choice to Lead the CIA”.

Sounds good, but here is a pro Brennan statement that says he is a strong opponent of torture:

…This is the second time that Obama has sought to nominate Brennan to head the spy agency, and the second time that questions have arisen about his involvement in enhanced interrogation tactics when he was a CIA official during the administration of former President George W. Bush.

Brennan’s candidacy for the top CIA job was derailed over the issue when he was an early front-runner for it after Obama’s 2008 election victory. Brennan withdrew his name from consideration at that time and, in a letter to President-elect Obama, said he had been a “strong opponent” of Bush-era policies, including the Iraq war and coercive interrogation techniques. Brennan instead became Obama’s White House counter-terrorism adviser. Obama issued an executive order banning the techniques shortly after taking office. Barring unexpected revelations, most political handicappers believe Brennan will be confirmed as CIA director this time.

via NYPost

Doesn’t each head of the CIA have to take an oath to uphold the Constitution?

The organization called Oath Keepers (OathKeepers.org) is making inroads into the active military, retired military and law enforcement communities, reminding them that they swore an oath to defend the Constitution. Their greatest concern is that a rogue Federal Government will issue direct orders to military and law enforcement personnel to violate the civil rights of American civilians on American soil. …

Congressional Oath of Office, FBI, CIA, etc.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

via DumbDC

Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, reserves, National Guard, veterans, Peace Officers, and Fire Fighters who will fulfill the Oath we swore, with the support of like minded citizens who take an Oath to stand with us, to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God. Our Oath is to the Constitution …

Declaration of Orders We Will NOT Obey

Recognizing that we each swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and affirming that we are guardians of the Republic, of the principles in our Declaration of Independence, and of the rights of our people, we affirm and declare the following:

1. We will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people.

2. We will NOT obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects – such as warrantless house-to house searches for weapons or persons.

3. We will NOT obey any order to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to trial by military tribunal.

4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state, or to enter with force into a state, without the express consent and invitation of that state’s legislature and governor.

5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in violation of the compact by which that state entered the Union.

6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.

7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.

8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control” during any emergency, or under any other pretext. We will consider such use of foreign troops against our people to be an invasion and an act of war.

9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies, under any emergency pretext whatsoever.

10. We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.

Kiriakou’s intent seems to me to have been to seek redress of grievances.

The population of the USA is around 314 million today. The majority, over 150 million Americans according to polls, oppose torture. I’m convinced from listening to people who have gone through it in military training that the number who oppose torture would be much higher if Americans who now support torture were themselves subjected to waterboarding (water suffocation).

How do 150 million+ Americans seek redress of the grievance that a small hidden and protected group of government workers are torturing people? It bothers me because I was raised to believe in my country. I know there are good people in the CIA/FBI/etc. who disagree with these tactics. Torture results in false confessions. It is both worthless and inhumane. As far as we know, someone is being tortured to death in Guantanamo right now. It could be an 89 year old man or a 14 year old child. I’ve read that over 100 people have been tortured to death in these places. It is past time to close all of our little Nazi torture camps and to get help for the people who conducted the torture.

Sunday 24 April 2011… Clive Stafford Smith, legal director of Reprieve, discusses the ‘extraordinarily thin’ evidence used to hold prisoners and the ‘nonsense’ cooked up by a group of serial informers to get privileges Link to video: Guantánamo Bay files: ‘The vast majority were not extremists’

More than 700 leaked secret files on the Guantánamo detainees lay bare the inner workings of America’s controversial prison camp in Cuba.

The US military dossiers, obtained by the New York Times and the Guardian, reveal how, alongside the so-called “worst of the worst”, many prisoners were flown to the Guantánamo cages and held captive for years on the flimsiest grounds, or on the basis of lurid confessions extracted by maltreatment.

The 759 Guantánamo files, classified “secret”, cover almost every inmate since the camp was opened in 2002. More than two years after President Obama ordered the closure of the prison, 172 are still held there.

The files depict a system often focused less on containing dangerous terrorists or enemy fighters, than on extracting intelligence. Among inmates who proved harmless were an 89-year-old Afghan villager, suffering from senile dementia, and a 14-year-old boy who had been an innocent kidnap victim. …

The Guantánamo files are among hundreds of thousands of documents US soldier Bradley Manning is accused of having turned over to the WikiLeaks website more than a year ago.

The documents were obtained by the New York Times and shared with the Guardian and National Public Radio, which is publishing extracts, having redacted information which might identify informants.

A Pentagon spokesperson said: “Naturally we would prefer that no legitimately classified information be released into the public domain, as by definition it can be expected to cause damage to US national security. The situation with the Guantánamo detention facility is exceptionally complex and releasing any records will further complicate ongoing actions.”

via Guardian

Manning, another whistle blower, is still in jail.

Bradley Edward Manning (born December 17, 1987) is a United States Army soldier who was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed classified material to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks. He was charged with a number of offenses, including communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source and aiding the enemy, a capital offense, though prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty.[1] He was arraigned in February 2012 at Fort Meade, Maryland, where he declined to enter a plea. The trial is expected to begin in June 2013.[2]

via Wikipedia

Was his intent to damage the US or to aid the enemy? Or was it to end a big lie and human rights abuses? Why didn’t the documents Manning supposedly leaked result in the closing of Gitmo? They proved that the residents of that torture camp are mostly harmless people, right?

Melvin A. Goodman, a former CIA analyst, recommends that the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General, severely weakened by the Bush and Obama administrations, be rebuilt. That would be a good start, but will that happen under John Brennan?

The character of the next CIA director is to my thinking more important than that of our next president.

2 thoughts on “Whistleblower John Kiriakou: For Embracing Torture, John Brennan a “Terrible Choice to Lead the CIA”

    1. Xeno Post author

      I’m not convinced one person should have that much responsibility or power. Without an unparalleled sobriety, dedication and moral fiber World War III and the ensuing deaths of billions could result. What maters is that the President gets the right info from that Office. Could the “right” info sometimes be a lie? WMDs come to mind. What did that stove-piping buy? PNAC objectives for preemptive war. What did it cost? Our world reputation, trillions of dollars, countless innocent lives, and internally, massive distrust and disgust at the failure of American democracy.

      But did some very reliable super quantum computer simulation tell them that invading Iraq was the only way to avoid WWIII?

      The oath is one big picture goal: Do the job without trashing the Constitution. For example, putting everyone on Earth in jail is one way to stop all terrorists.

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