John KiriakouA change of plea hearing is set for today at 11:00 am in the Espionage Act case against Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) whistleblower John Kiriakou.
Let's be clear, there is one reason, and one reason only that John Kiriakou is taking this plea: for the certainty that he'll be out of jail in 2 1/2 years to see his five children grow up.
The government is prepared to drop 80% of its case, including all Espionage Act charges (sound familiar, ahem Tom Drake). Kiriakou is expected to plead guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) for "outing" a torturer. "Outing" is quotes because the charge is not that Kiriakou's actions resulted in a public disclosure of the name, but that through a Kevin Bacon-style chain of causation, GITMO torture victims learned the name of one of their possible torturers. Regardless, how does outing a torturer hurt the national security of the U.S.? It's like arguing that outing a Nazi guarding a concentration camp would hurt the national security of Germany.
In the last couple of weeks, it became public that:
. . . The CIA officer listed as "Officer A" in the John Kiriakou complaint has been revealed to be Thomas Donahue Fletcher. Born in 1953. Fletcher is currently a resident of Vienna, VA. Further - source states journalists have known identity of this person prior to August 2008, when Kiriakou allegedly confirmed the identity in an email to Matthew Cole, formerly of ABC News. . . . Thomas Donahue Fletcher was the chief of the Headquarters Based Rendition Group and was personally responsible for the rendition of Abu Zubaydah (as well as other high-value detainees) to the CIA black site in Thailand and witnessed and played a role in Zubaydah's torture.
An effectively-forced plea from John Kiriakou will be the tragic bookend to the torture narrative: Kiriakou will be going to jail, while Fletcher happily enjoys retirement in Vienna VA, safe with protection from "the most transparent administration in history."