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article imageOp-Ed: Obama refuses to pardon or commute sentence of CIA whistleblower

By Ken Hanly     May 29, 2013 in Politics
Washington - Obama has not punished anyone for the torture practices revealed by the CIA whistle-blower John Kiriakou. Indeed, Obama has allowed evidence to be destroyed.
Kiriakou went to jail in February to serve a two and a half year sentence. There is no sign of Obama pardoning him even though he has seen fit not to charge anyone involved in actual torture.
A fellow former CiA officer pointed out the irony of the situation to the New York Times: "The irony of this whole thing is, very simply, that he's going to be the only C.I.A. officer to go to jail over torture."
Kiriakou received numerous service awards during his CIA career including 10 Exceptional Performance Awards, a Sustained Superior Performance Award, the Counterterrorism Service Medal, and the State Department's Meritorious Honor Award. Nevertheless when he emailed the name of a covert CIA officer to a reporter who wanted to contact the officer on a story, he was charged and sentenced to 30 months in prison. The reporter did not reveal the name of the officer publicly. Perhaps this charge was his service reward for revealing the US use of water-boarding back in 2007 in an interview on ABS news.
Obama is loathe to punish anyone for torturing. He always claims that it is time to move on and not dwell on the past. However, when it comes to whistle-blowers or anyone else, except for himself and deliberate administration leaks, those who reveal classified information must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. A former intelligence adviser to Obama, Bruce Riedel, sent a letter to Obama signed by 18 other CIA veterans asking that he commute Kiriakou's sentence but to no avail. There was an earlier Digital Journal report on Kiriakou's sentencing in February.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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