An American hero in prison

To the editor:

Though he did not participate in torture, ex-CIA agent John Kiriakou was the first person to publicly acknowledge the Bush administration’s inhumane abuse of detainees.

Mr. Kiriakou’s disclosures informed the public and encouraged debate that helped pull this country back from a very dark place. But in doing so he drew the ire of the government, which began to harass and intimidate him and his family under both the Bush and Obama administrations, looking for ways to prosecute him.

Finally, when Kiriakou privately shared a colleague’s name to a journalist for use as a source, the government seized the opportunity and threw the book at him. Kiriakou is now serving 30 months in prison. By comparison, Scooter Libby didn’t spend a single day in prison for his role in publicly outing CIA agent Valerie Plame in an act of political revenge for her husband’s statements against the war in Iraq.

President Obama opposed and ended the U.S. torture program. So why is the only person being punished in connection with that program the man who helped expose it? The president should do the right thing and pardon John Kirkaou.

Terry Vee


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