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Friday, May 31, 2013

Letter from Prison

Posted by on Fri, May 31, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Dan retweeted this earlier today, but you should check out the letter from prison by CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, the first government official to admit that waterboarding was real, official, and sanctioned.

Now he's in prison, and his letter is revealing. Its details about how prisoners mostly get along (except when it comes to the TV), and how the guards are more likely to cause problems than anyone else, are reminiscent of stories told by the grand jury refusers.

Here's a taste:

When I got to the lieutenant's office, I was ushered into the office of SIS, the Special Investigative Service. This is the prison version of every police department's detective bureau. I saw on a desk a copy of my book, The Reluctant Spy, as well as DVD copies of all the documentaries I've been in. The CO showed me a picture of an Arab. "Do you know this guy," he asked me. I responded that I had met him a day earlier, but our conversation was limited to "nice to meet you." Well, the CO said, this was the uncle of the Times Square bomber, and after we had met, he called a number in Pakistan, reported the meeting, and was told to kill me. I told the CO that I could kill the guy with my thumb. He's about 5'4" and 125 pounds compared to my 6'1" and 250 pounds. The CO said they were looking to ship him out, so I should stay away from him. But the more I thought about it, the more this made no sense. Why would the uncle of the Times Square bomber be in a low-security prison? He should be in a maximum. So I asked my Muslim friends to check him out. It turns out that he's an Iraqi Kurd from Buffalo, NY. He was the imam of a mosque there, which also happened to be the mosque where the "Lackawana 7" worshipped. (The Lackawana 7 were charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism.) The FBI pressured him to testify against his parishioners. He refused and got five years for obstruction of justice. The ACLU and several religious freedom groups have rallied to his defense. He had nothing to do with terrorism.

In the meantime, SIS told him that I had made a call to Washington after we met, and that I had been instructed to kill him! We both laughed at the ham-handedness by which SIS tried to get us to attack each other. If we had, we could have spent the rest of our sentences in the SHU - solitary. Instead, we're friendly, we exchange greetings in Arabic and English, and we chat.

Read the rest here.


Comments (5) RSS

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Urgutha Forka 1
Wow, so it was the Prisoner's Dilemma, played out in real life... in an actual prison!
Posted by Urgutha Forka on May 31, 2013 at 10:19 AM · Report this
Zebes 2
Gross. But society has evidently dictated that angering the wealthy and powerful is a punishable offense, so I guess he deserves it all? Especially that bit about getting his shit wrecked because an idiot CO can't figure out his name. That's the real crime, right there.
Posted by Zebes on May 31, 2013 at 10:29 AM · Report this
I'm kind of surprised at the wonder with which people all over the place look at this letter. I find nothing in it surprising. If other people do, then I'm particularly happy that it's being spread far and wide.

Until recently, I would periodically pick up a postcard when out on a leisurely weekend and mail it to my grandmother. She passed away, and now I intend to do the same with political prisoners. I've spent some very brief time (days) in jail, and I found the sheer boredom of the situation excruciating. Imagining the horror of months in the clink, I think I would be happy to receive any communication from the outside world in that situation. Last weekend, I bought a card for Adam Kokesh, only to find that he'd already been released. So sometime next week, Kiriakou will be receiving it.

PO BOX 1000
LORETTO PA 15940-1000
Posted by Phil M on May 31, 2013 at 12:32 PM · Report this
NopeNope 4
CO's are a special breed of douchebag. Right up there with undercover police and pedophiles.
Posted by NopeNope on May 31, 2013 at 4:44 PM · Report this
sirkowski 5
Can we trust that guy?
Posted by sirkowski on June 1, 2013 at 4:17 PM · Report this

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