Last week there was a hearing at a Guantanamo Bay courtroom in which one of the psychologists who devised the Central Intelligence Agency torture regime testified under oath.
The Times did its duty of reminding us what monsters the CIA produced in the early years of its so-called war on terror, people introduced to most Americans in the Senate’s torture report. These are people such as the CIA’s former Director George Tenet and Deputy Director John McLaughlin. They include unapologetic torture proponents such as former Deputy Director for Operations Jose Rodriguez and current CIA Director Gina Haspel. They are the creators of the torture program: psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. And in the photos of Abu Zubaydah’s drawing that the Times ran, the CIA dutifully blacked out even the stick-figure sketches of the actual torturers, those CIA officers who sold their souls to break the law, all in honor of that false god called “national security.”
The second thing that interests me is the officer’s hiring of Mark Zaid to represent him, rather than one of more than a dozen A-list national security attorneys at three or four major law firms in Washington. Zaid is literally the worst possible choice for any whistleblower in national security.
MEMORANDUM FOR: The governments and people of the United Kingdom and the United States
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPs)
SUBJECT: Extradition of Julian Assange Threatens Us All
On April 11, London police forcibly removed WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange from the embassy of Ecuador after that country’s president, Lenin Moreno, abruptly revoked his predecessor’s grant of asylum. The United States government immediately requested Assange’s extradition for prosecution under a charge of “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).
Former U.S. Government officials promptly appeared in popular media offering soothing assurances that Assange’s arrest threatens neither constitutional rights nor the practice of journalism, and major newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post fell into line.
The great American writer Henry David Thoreau wrote, “It takes two to speak the truth–one to speak and one to hear.” Today, it takes three to speak the truth–one to speak, one to hear, and one to defend the first two in court. If the US Government has its way, there will be no defense, no truth.
For the Steering Groups of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence:
William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
Richard H. Black, Senator of Virginia, 13th District; Colonel US Army (ret.); Former Chief, Criminal Law Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General, the Pentagon (associate VIPS)
Marshall Carter-Tripp, Foreign Service Officer & former Division Director in the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (ret.)
Thomas Drake, former Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service and NSA whistleblower
Bogdan Dzakovic, former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security (ret.) (associate VIPs)
Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator
Katherine Gun, former linguist and Iraq War whistleblower in UK’s GCHQ (affiliate VIPs)
James George Jatras, former US diplomat and former foreign policy adviser to Senate leadership (Associate VIPs)
Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF (ret.); ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units (JSOC)
John Kiriakou, former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003
Clement J. Laniewski, LTC, US Army (ret.) (Associate VIPs)
Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.) (Associate VIPs)
Edward Loomis, NSA Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)
Annie Machon, former intelligence officer in the UK’s MI5 domestic security service (affiliate VIPs)
Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA presidential briefer (ret.)
Craig Murray, former British diplomat and Ambassador to Uzbekistan, human rights activist and historian (affiliate VIPs)
Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East & CIA political analyst (ret.)
Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)
Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)
Peter Van Buren, US Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (Associate VIPs)
J. Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA (ret.)
Larry Wilkerson, Colonel, US Army (ret.), former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State; Distinguished Visiting Professor, College of William and Mary
Sarah Wilton, Commander, US Naval Reserve (ret.) and Defense Intelligence Agency (ret.)
Robert Wing, former US Department of State Foreign Service Officer (Associate VIPs)
Ann Wright, US Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former US Diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War