The Department of Justice’s policy of distorting privacy laws to pursue and discredit whistleblowers continues. The Associated Press reported yesterday that a former CIA officer, John Kiriakou, is being charged with leaking classified information after publicly expressing concerns over the use of torture during interrogations.
The National Whistleblowers Center obtained a copy of the indictment, available here.
In the indictment, the DOJ argues that because the interrogation “operation fell within the scope of a CIA counterterrorism program,” all details are therefore critical “national defense information.” Using this type of circular logic and vague, umbrella terminology is now standard practice for the Department of Justice as it works to hide serious legal and ethical allegations, including those made by Mr. Kiriakou in this case.
Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center, stated:
We condemn Mr. Kiriakou’s indictment. The First Amendment means what it says; freedom of speech exists in the United States regardless of the wishes of extremists at the DOJ and CIA who are using outrageous charges to attack whistleblowers. These charges should be dropped immediately, and an investigation should instead be made into those responsible for them.
You can read more about the government's treatment of national security whistleblowers in the recent Whistleblowers Protection Blog article, "Washington Times Covers the Department of no-Justice."