by Elizabeth Vos, Disobedient Media:
Suzie Dawson of the Internet Party hosted the second Anti Spy Bill event late yesterday. During the proceedings, Kim DotCom spoke with CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou regarding the CIA’s torture program and the methods used by authorities to target whistleblowers.
The Internet Party will continue to host weekly events in order to continue work on the Anti-Spy Bill.
John Kiriakou, Suzie Dawson and Kim DotCom discussed the need for oversight in regards to the CIA. Kiriakou stated that the agency required strong oversight, as he said the CIA was constantly pushing moral, legal and ethical boundaries. Kiriakou discussed having witnessed the instigation of a CIA torture program in the wake of the September 11th 2001 terror attacks, which he described as having inspired a radical culture shift within the agency.
Kiriakou spoke about a 2007 media appearance where he had revealed the existence of the CIA’s illegal torture program. He described the interview as having utterly changed the course of his life after he revealed publicly for the first time that the CIA tortures its prisoners, torture was official government program, and that this program had been personally approved by President Bush.
Although legally cleared during the Bush Presidency, Kiriakou described his surprise that President Obama had allowed the FBI to secretly investigate him, eventually charging him with five felonies, including espionage. Kiriakou expressed deep surprise that he had been the only person who had spoken publicly about the torture program. He stressed the importance of transparency, emphasizing that the American public must know what is being done in its name. Kiriakou described the authorities’ investigation as having culminated in an effort to entrap him due to a lack of evidence against him.
Kiriakou also described having sent an open letter to Edward Snowden in the wake of his groundbreaking publication of surveillance methods, warning Snowden not to cooperate with the FBI.
Kim Dotcom told Kiriakou: “Every once in a while these organizations run into people like us, smart people who understand what’s going on, who understand there are other people fighting against this unjust system and want to reform this injustice. Our duty is to fight these cases to the end to remind people what is going on, because that’s the only way to let people know what is happening. If we don’t do this, no one else will.”
Suzie Dawson observed during the event that CIA torturers were reported to have been selected specifically based on histories of domestic and sexual violence. Kiriakou responded that it requires a special kind of monster to inflict that kind of physical, psychological and emotional harm on a person without losing their soul.
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