John Kiriakou revealed the CIA’s post-9/11 torture tactics during an ABC interview in 2007. The Department of Justice prosecuted him, and President Obama, who once heralded himself as pro-whistleblower, allowed the prosecution to happen, reported Vox.
Kiriakou’s prosecution came about in 2012 after he pleaded guilty to charges brought against him by the DOJ. He’s currently serving a 30-month prison sentence while the torturers, who were exposed in the CIA torture report, walk free. International law states that governments can pursue prosecutions “where there is sufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction.”
The same year that Kiriakou was convicted, U.S. Attorney General announced that the DOJ would not file charges against operatives involved in torture tactics.
“The department has declined to prosecute because the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain conviction beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Holder. The announcement was made in relation to two deaths caused by torture that same year.
President Obama’s stance on torture prosecutions has been flimsy. In reference to CIA torture methods in 2009, Obama blew off the subject by saying “it’s important to look forward and not backwards.” However, Obama said early this year “we tortured some folks,” as if to downplay the severity of human degradation that’s associated with torture.
Despite some saying that the Department of Justice will still have to decide whether or not to prosecute those involved with the torture tactics, it remains highly unlikely that any prosecutions will happen. And if Obama’s reputation for pursuing whistleblowers is any indication, then it’s probably so that no one will be charged.