Tag Archive: John Kiriakou

For Immediate Release, March 1, 2013

Contact: Bill Snape, 202-536-9351, bsnape@biologicaldiversity.org

Obama Allows Dirty, Dangerous Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline to Move Forward

State Department Urged to Declare Keystone Not in National Interest

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration today took the next potential step toward approval of the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline, despite the heavy toll the pipeline and its oil will take on the climate crisis, wildlife and the environment. Some 50,000 people protested outside the White House last month in opposition to the pipeline. Today’s announcement came in the form of a supplemental environmental impact statement on Keystone XL.

“If President Obama is serious about confronting the deepening climate crisis, he needs to take Keystone XL off the table,” said Bill Snape of the Center for Biological Diversity. “There’s simply no way to be in favor of this dirty, dangerous project and still think we’re going to avert climate catastrophe. The State Department should acknowledge the truth and declare this climate-killing pipeline to be not in the national interest.”

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would, every day, carry up to 35 million gallons of oil strip-mined from Canada’s “tar sands” – some of the dirtiest fuels on the planet. The pipeline would cross the heart of the Midwest and deliver oil to the Gulf of Mexico, where most of it would exported to other countries. Along the way, the pipeline would cut through rivers, streams and prime wildlife habitat, including habitat for at least 20 imperiled species such as the whooping crane and pallid sturgeon.

Strip mining of oil from Alberta’s tar sands is also destroying tens of thousands of acres of boreal forest and polluting hundreds of millions of gallons of water from the Athabasca River, in the process creating toxic ponds so large they can be seen from space.

Extraction and refinement of tar-sands oil produces two times more greenhouse gases per barrel than conventional oil and represents a massive new source of fossil fuels that leading climate scientist Dr. James Hansen has called “game over” for our ability to avoid a climate catastrophe.

TransCanada’s existing Keystone I tar sands pipeline has reportedly leaked 14 times since it went into operation in June 2010, including one spill of 24,000 gallons. The State Department’s environmental reviews have pointed out that spills from Keystone XL are likely to occur, estimating that there could be as many as about 100 spills over the course of the pipeline’s lifespan.

“Oil spills, environmental damage, wildlife put in harm’s way, a doubling-down on the climate crisis: It’s hard to understand why the Obama government is even considering this project,” said Snape.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 450,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.


Boehner: Keystone XL Pipeline Should Be Approved

AP  |  By By MATTHEW DALY Posted: 03/02/2013 3:23 am EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new State Department report is the latest evidence that the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada should be approved, supporters say.

The draft report, issued Friday, finds there would be no significant environmental impact to most resources along the proposed route from western Canada to refineries in Texas. The report also said other options to get the oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries are worse for climate change.

The new report “again makes clear there is no reason for this critical pipeline to be blocked one more day,” said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. After four years of what he called “needless delays,” Boehner said it is time for President Barack Obama “to stand up for middle-class jobs and energy security and approve the Keystone pipeline.”

Environmentalists see the State Department report in a vastly different light.

They say it was inadequate and failed to account for climate risks posed by the pipeline. The report also is based on a false premise, opponents say — namely, that tar sands in western Canada will be developed for oil production regardless of whether the Keystone XL pipeline is approved.

“Americans are already suffering from the consequences of global warming, from more powerful storms like Hurricane Sandy to drought conditions currently devastating the Midwest and Southwest,” said Daniel Gatti of the group Environment America. Production of oil from Canadian tar sands could add as much as 240 billion metric tons of global warming pollution to the atmosphere, Gatti said, a potential catastrophe that would hasten the arrival of the worst effects of global warming.

Gatti and other opponents said development of the vast tar sands is far from certain, despite assurances by the project’s supporters.

Read Full Article Here

Tell Me  Again  How  Different  The  Republicans Are  From The  Democrats?


President Obama Marks 40th Anniversary of Earth Day

Uploaded on Apr 12, 2010

President Obama speaks about forty years of Earth Day and his Administrations efforts to fight for a healthier environment.

I  wonder where  respect  for the  citizens  who oppose contamination of  our  water  and  air  went??


[94] Jail Torturers Not Whistleblowers, Oceans: Humanity’s Landfill, War on Terror Killed Liberty

Published on Jan 31, 2013

Abby Martin Breaks the Set on Whistleblower John Kiriakou’s Fight for Truth, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and Post 9/11 Culture of Fear.
LIKE Breaking the Set @ http://fb.me/BreakingTheSet
FOLLOW Abby Martin @ http://twitter.com/AbbyMartin

EPISODE BREAKDOWN: On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin talks to former CIA official, and torture whistleblower, John Kiriakou, about his prison sentence and Obama’s war on whistleblowers. Abby then takes a look at America’s #1 product, trash, and US’ contribution the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. BTS wraps up the show with a discussion with Media Roots journalist, Robbie Martin, about the gradual deterioration of civil liberties in the US and its relevance to past times of war.


Obama claims EPA regulations create jobs

Matt Clark

Uploaded on Jan 17, 2012

New audio from the President shameless supports the unregulated and unelected body of the Environmental Protection Agency. Apparently, the outlandish regulations create jobs…?


Obama’s Call for Natural Gas Drilling “A Painful Moment” for Communities Exposed to Fracking

Uploaded on Feb 2, 2012

democracynow.org — Last week, President Obama’s called the United States “the Saudi Arabia of natural gas” in a speech about boosting domestic energy production. That concerns Wyoming farmer John Fenton, who already has more than two dozen gas wells on his property. The Environmental Protection Agency ruled in December that water contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming, was a result natural gas extraction and the controversial technique known as fracking. “Things changed pretty rapidly,” Fenton says, after fracking took place on his land near Pavillion, and now has to ship in water for drinking. “It didn’t take long to notice a significant impacts to the water, the change to smell like diesel fuel, methane was bubbling in the water. We had neighbors that actually had livestock die from drinking the water and we also saw really huge impacts to our way of life. The farm fields are full of wellheads now that we have to work around. We have people coming and going off our property 24 hours a day, and we’ve seen over a 50 percent devaluation in the value of our land.” We also speak with filmmaker Josh Fox, who was arrested for attempting to recording a Congressional hearing over the EPA report on Pavillion. Fox is producing a sequel to his award-winning film, “Gaslands,” about the impact of fracking across the United States.

  Clean  water  is it ?  Seems  like the  usual  duplicitous ” DO  as  I  say  and  Not  as  I  do”  BS  to  me So much  for  Change  we  can  believe  in ,  huh ?

Steve Horn On Obama’s EPA Censoring A Damning Fracking Report


Published on Feb 1, 2013


Steve Horn from DeSmogBlog discusses how President Obama’s EPA censored a damning scientific study on hydro-fracking.

Seems to me  like a  whole  lot  of  wishful thinking  and  mud slinging   going  on to cover  up the  fact that  both  sides  stand  for the  same  damn  agenda!  Can  anyone  say  Psy Ops ???

Stop Obama’s War on Fracking — WRAG PAC for Mahoning Valley Energy


Published on Aug 4, 2012

The Obama Administration and the EPA have waged war on domestic energy for too long. Obama has already destroyed the coal industry, and he is out to prevent fracking at every turn. Do not support the anti-energy president this fall, vote for the pro-energy candidates who will support energy jobs in the Valley and abroad.


Judge says former intelligence officer who exposed aspects of use of torture should have been jailed for longer

    John Kiriakou,  John Hundley

    Former CIA officer John Kiriakou leaves a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

    The former CIA officer John Kiriakou was sentenced Friday to more than two years in prison, by a federal judge who rejected arguments that he was acting as a whistleblower when he leaked a covert officer’s name to a reporter. A plea deal required the judge to impose a sentence of two and a half years. US district judge Leonie Brinkema said she would have given Kiriakou much more time if she could.

    Kiriakou’s supporters describe him as a whistleblower who exposed aspects of the CIA’s use of torture against detained terrorists. Prosecutors said Kiriakou was merely seeking to increase his fame and public stature by trading on his insider knowledge. The 48-year-old Arlington resident pleaded guilty last year to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. No one had been convicted under the law in 27 years.


    Read Full Article Here


    By: Wednesday January 23, 2013

    Former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who blew the whistle on waterboarding and exposed how CIA torture was policy, was convicted of a classified leak for sharing the name of an officer involved in the rendition program with a reporter. He is set to be sentenced to jail for thirty months on Friday.

    Kiriakou appeared on an episode of “Citizen Radio” this morning. Interviewed by the show’s co-host Allison Kilkenny, he revealed that his attorneys have a document showing that he clearly was the victim of a selective prosecution.

    “While I confirmed the name of one CIA officer involved in the torture regime,” Kiriakou stated, “There was a second CIA officer who provided the same reporter the names of ten undercover officers as well as information about counterterrorist operations and flight plans for the black flights going to CIA prisons but that CIA officer was not investigated and was not prosecuted.”

    The reporter is Matthew Cole, who at the time claimed to be writing a book on a CIA rendition operation in Italy.

    After seeing the document, the only thing Kiriakou could conclude was that the second CIA officer did not blow the whistle on torture. He added that he believes the Justice Department made a decision in 2007 to come after him and were very patient in developing a case against him.

    Significantly, government prosecutors have accused Kiriakou of “trying to minimize the seriousness of his actions and is falsely claiming to be a whistleblower.” Josh Gerstein of POLITICO reported on a recent court filing, where prosecutors state:

    To the extent the defendant falsely denies elements of the offense or relevant conduct in a sentencing allocution, or again seeks to claim the misbegotten title of whistleblower, such a claim should be squarely rejected and considered as a repudiation of his acceptance of responsibility for the criminal conduct he committed.

    The filing, signed by US Attorney Neil MacBride, recommended he be sentenced to 30 months and a “supervised release term of three years.” It also sought to show that what Kiriakou did was not the result of some lapse in judgment.

    …[T]he defendant’s emails seized during the investigation revealed that Kiriakou disclosed to journalists information about dozens of CIA officers, including numerous covert officers of the National Clandestine Service beyond the one identified in the indictment, as well as others since retired. As the narrowly framed charges reflect, the government was required to “balanc[e] the need for prosecution and the possible damage that a public trial [would] require by way of the disclosure of vital national interest secrets in a public trial.” United States v. Morison, 844 F.2d 1057, 1067 (4th Cir. 1988). For purposes of sentencing, however, it is sufficient to note that for Kiriakou the charged conduct was in no sense aberrational or reflective of an atypical lapse of judgment…

    The filing reflects the fact that support for Kiriakou is growing and it is aware that more and more people are referring to him as a whistleblower.


    Read Full Article Here

    Politics, Legislation and Economy News

    Legislation  :  Whistle Blowers

    Three journalists subpoenaed by defense in CIA leak case

    Three journalists subpoenaed by the defense in the criminal case against of former Central Intelligence Agency officer John Kiriakou will fight efforts to force them to testify in the case, according to court filings and spokespeople for the news outlets involved.

    The journalists being pressed for testimony are Scott Shane of the New York Times, Julie Tate of the Washington Post and freelancer Matthew Cole, sources told POLITICO.

    The subpoenas seek to force Shane, Tate and Cole to attend depositions and answer defense questions, apparently about classified information related to the CIA’s interrogation of alleged terrorists. Prosecutors have indicated they don’t plan to call journalists as part of their case.

    Shane and Cole were mentioned in Kiriakou’s indictment, though not by name, as recipients of classified information about the identities of CIA personnel involved in the spy agency’s “Rendition, Detention and Interrogation” program.

    Tate, a Post researcher who worked on stories about the Guantanamo prisoners and helped develop a Post database of the inmates, was not mentioned in the indictment. However, Kiriakou’s lawyers said in a court filing “information developed by Mr. Kiriakou’s defense indicates that Researcher 1 [Tate] participated with Journalist A  [Cole] in certain activities alleged in the Indictment.”

    A New York Times spokeswoman said the paper will fight the subpoena to Shane, whose reporting on interrogations was specifically cited in Kiriakou’s indictment. “We generally oppose subpoenas that seek the testimony of our journalists and we plan to oppose this one,” Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy wrote in an e-mail.

    A spokeswoman for the Post had no immediate comment, but a lawyer for the paper said Tate will seek to block the subpoena issued to her. “We plan to file a motion to quash the subpoena on behalf of Ms. Tate,” Williams and Connolly attorney William Doffermyre said in an e-mail.

    Cole’s lawyer, Mark Zaid, filed papers in federal court in Alexandria, Va. Thursday asking that the subpoena against his client be thrown out. Zaid said Cole is protected from testifying by the First Amendment and by a reporter’s privilege. However, Zaid also said his client, if forced to appear, would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights because he faces a real threat of prosecution for revealing classified information at the deposition. (Cole’s motion is posted here.)

    It’s unclear precisely what information the defense is seeking from the journalists, but it may be seeking to demonstrate that some of the information the government contends it was making efforts to keep secret was in fact being circulated outside the government.

    Depositions are unusual in criminal cases but Kiriakou’s defense team argues they are necessary because of special rules that apply to the use of classified national security information in court. The prosecution is opposing holding the depositions.

    Kiriakou is facing one charge of disclosing the identity of a covert officer, three counts of violating the Espionage Act by revealing closely-held national defense information, and one count of lying to the CIA’s Publications Review Board.

    The press subpoenas were first reported Thursday by Steven Aftergood on the Federation of American Scientists’s Secrecy News blog. However, Tate was identified in that account only as “Researcher 1,” the way she is generically referred to in court papers. Shane’s identity is evident from the indictment. Cole’s link to the case was first reported on this blog in April.

    Defense lawyers indicated in July that they wanted to talk with journalists about the case, but there was no talk at that time of compelling witnesses to testify.

    It’s unclear why the names of the journalists are being redacted from public court records. While unindicted third parties are not usually named in indictments, they are usually identified publicly in subsequent court filings.

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    Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It

    Whistle Blowers  :  Torture / Water-boarding

    Ex-CIA man accused of leaks seeks classified data in his defense, also wants reporters deposed

    By Associated Press,

    McLEAN, Va. — Lawyers for a former CIA officer accused of leaking the names of covert operatives have told a judge that they will need to expose a wide array of government secrets to provide an adequate defense for their client at trial.

    Court records unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Alexandria show that lawyers for former CIA officer John Kiriakou want to reveal details of the CIA’s capture of al-Qaida operative Abu Zubaydah, further details about the life of one of the exposed covert operatives, information about alleged CIA discussions on the use of contractors to torture detainees and other classified information.

    They also want to depose the journalists who allegedly received the leaks and show a jury emails detailing the CIA’s unsuccessful requests to stop The New York Times from publishing an article that named one of the exposed operatives, an interrogator who questioned Zubaydah and Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

    Prosecutors say the defense requests amount to “graymail,” an attempt to dissuade the government from bringing Kiriakou to trial by threatening to expose even more classified information than what has already been revealed.

    Kiriakou was involved in the capture of Zubaydah, who was water-boarded. Kiriakou publicly confirmed the water-boarding, wrote a book about his experiences at the agency and expressed conflicting opinions about the effectiveness of waterboarding. Kiriakou’s comments were cited by both advocates and opponents in the national debate over whether water-boarding of high-value terrorist detainees is ever appropriate.

    The judge in the case, Leonie Brinkema, has already rejected arguments by Kiriakou that he is a victim of vindictive prosecution, specifically that he was singled out for prosecution as retribution for public statements that portrayed the CIA in an unflattering light.

    Brinkema will decide what disclosures, if any, are necessary after balancing Kiriakou’s trial rights against the government’s secrecy interests. The judge can also craft an unclassified “substitution” that provides the gist of the information sought but lacks the details that require secrecy.

    Kiriakou’s lawyer, Robert Trout, declined to comment Wednesday beyond what was publicly filed.

    In court papers, government prosecutors said the information the defense wants to disclose is in many cases irrelevant to the charges.

    Another issue in dispute in the case is the legal standard required to convict Kiriakou. Trout argues that the government must prove that Kiriakou intended to harm the United States by leaking, a very high standard that derailed the government’s attempt to prosecute two pro-Israel lobbyists accused several years ago of disclosing sensitive information to reporters.

    Prosecutors say that standard does not apply in this case because the defendant is not a private citizen but a government employee who had been trained in his legal responsibilities to protect classified information.



    Monsanto’s Roundup Altering the Physical Shape of Amphibians


    Mike Barrett, News Analysis:


    While it wasn’t surprising to see morphological changes take part due to the naturally emitted chemicals from predators, it was rather shocking to find out that Roundup had the same effects — causing the tails of the tadpoles to grow in size. What’s more, the combination of the naturally emitted chemicals and Roundup caused the tadpoles’ tails to grow twice as large. Seeing as tadpoles alter body shape in order to properly survive in its environment, the forced changes from herbicides like Roundup can put the animals at a disadvantage.


    Read Full Article Here




    Environmental Groups Sue EPA Over Lack of Coal Ash Regulation


    Emma Schwartz, News Report:


    A 2009 investigation by the Center for Public Integrity revealed the havoc that coal ash has wreaked near ponds, landfills, and pits where it is dumped. Even the EPA has identified 63 “proven or potential damage cases” in 23 states where coal ash has tainted groundwater or otherwise harmed the environment. But critics say no meaningful federal regulations have been put in place.


    Read Full Article Here




    Survival / Sustainability


    Using Community Gardens to Grow Low-Income Communities Out of Food Deserts


    Emily Apple, New Deal 2.0:


    “More than 23 million Americans live in ‘food deserts’: areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, particularly ones composed of predominantly lower income neighborhoods and communities. Recognizing these problems, Daniel Bowman Simon … has now has moved on to helping low-income individuals and families access healthy foods through his organization SNAP Gardens. Simon encourages SNAP beneficiaries to ‘grow’ their benefits by utilizing a 1973 amendment to the Food Stamp Act that allows food stamp recipients to use their benefits to buy seeds.”


    Read Full Article Here



    The Hidden Food in Your Yard – You May Walk by It Every Day…


    By Dr. Mercola


    A major part of achieving optimal health is living in partnership with nature.

    Growing your own food is a great way to rekindle this connection with nature.

    But have you thought about eating plants that grow wild—perhaps in your own backyard?

    Some “weeds” can be delicious if prepared properly, and they are absolutely free.

    In an article published earlier this summer, Live Science collected some easy-to-identify healthful weeds, including:

    Dandelion: The entire plant is edible, and the leaves contain vitamins A, C and K, along with calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium.
    Purslane: Purslane tops the list of plants with omega-3 fats.
    Lamb’s-quarters: Lamb’s-quarters are like spinach, except healthier, tastier and easier to grow.
    Plantain: Not the better-known banana-like plant with the same name. It has a nutritional profile similar to dandelion.
    Stinging Nettles: If you handle them so that you don’t get a painful rash from the tiny, acid-filled needles, these are delicious and nutritious cooked or prepared as a tea.

    This is of course how our ancestors ate. They hunted and gathered, and ALL of it was wild. And by all accounts, they were far healthier than we are.

    Of course, like anything else, identification and use of wild plants requires spending some time educating yourself, lest you eat something inedible or even poisonous. But with some attention to learning what to look for, you can avail yourself of some of the most highly nutritious, health-promoting plants for FREE—and have a lot of fun doing it. With the availability of the Internet, in addition to a number of excellent printed books and even wild-food foraging classes, this information is now easy to access.

    So, grab your favorite weeding tool and a basket, and step outside to see what little gems you can find in your own backyard!


    Read Full Article Here







    Whistle Blowers


    ‘Reluctant Spy’ indicted for leaking US secrets


    A former CIA officer was indicted Thursday on charges of leaking secrets to journalists, including the name of a covert agent and the role of another CIA employee in classified operations.

    John Kiriakou, who had previously revealed the CIA’s use of waterboarding of Al-Qaeda suspects, was charged in January with leaking secrets. The indictment allows the case to proceed to trial without an evidentiary hearing.

    The indictment returned by a grand jury in Virginia charged Kiriakou with one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and three counts of violating the Espionage Act.

    The indictment also charged him with making false statements to the CIA in an unsuccessful attempt to trick the agency into allowing him to include classified information in his 2010 book, “The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror.”


    Read Full Article Here






    How to Succeed in Reoccupation Without Really Trying


    Nathan Schneider, Op-Ed:


    This is a new time; the movement and people’s perspectives on it are in a totally different place than they were last fall. Potential allies expect more from the movement, I’d say, and so they should. People I know who were wholeheartedly behind it a few months ago seem to think it’s over, or it should be. The encampments, which Occupiers know as well as anyone sometimes turned into rather unsafe spaces, lost much public support.


    Read Full Article Here




    Corrupt Canadian Banking System.mp4


    Uploaded by facing42 on Apr 6, 2012


    This is my daughter. She gave this speech at a business meeting in front of 600 people. Her eyes have been opened to a scam that is being perpetrated upon Canadians and the rest of the world.
    I am the owner of this video. Feel free to use it freely without altering the content in a manner that would draw conclusions unintended by the speech but please redirect people back to the original post.

    Please also see these great resources for more information and people who are trying their best to enact the necessary change in our country and the world:






    More proof activism works: Kraft, Coca-Cola and Pepsi all say they will leave ALEC


    By Madison Ruppert


    For those who are unaware, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is a corporate front group which enables corporate members to help craft “model” legislation which they then give to their allies in state legislatures to put forth as their own.

    Essentially, it allows America’s largest corporations to ghostwrite legislation which is later proposed by legislators without the public ever knowing that ALEC had a hand in crafting the bill. They have been linked to many corporations with less-than-admirable intentions, one of the more troubling being Corrections Corporation of America.

    A great resource to learn more about the corrupt and deplorable actions of ALEC is ALEC Exposed, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy. They expose ALEC corporations, politicians, state chairmen, who funds ALEC as well as a breakdown of all of the so-called “model bills” they create.

    A coalition of citizen groups led by the group Color of Change have begun a campaign to pressure the corporations behind ALEC to quit the group and thus cease providing them with massive funding.

    They are arguing that popular consumer corporations should not be backing legislation which, ultimately, is incredibly harmful to the communities which profit off of.

    Furthermore, they are directly harming their shareholders and employees as well by damaging their communities as well.

    The coalition, made up of Color of Change, Rebuild the Dream, Center for Media and Democracy and the Republic Report, along with private individuals, recently wrote to all 20 corporations sitting on ALEC’s board.


    Read Full Article Here




    Generation Waking Up: The Story of Our Generation




    Articles of Interest


    These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps


    Andy Greenberg, Forbes Staff


    If Americans aren’t disturbed by phone carriers’ practices of handing over cell phone users’ personal data to law enforcement en masse–in many cases without a warrant–we might at least be interested to learn just how much that service is costing us in tax dollars: often hundreds or thousands per individual snooped.

    Earlier this week the American Civil Liberties Union revealed a trove of documents it had obtained through Freedom of Information Requests to more than 200 police departments around the country. They show a pattern of police tracking cell phone locations and gathering other data like call logs without warrants, using devices that impersonate cell towers to intercept cellular signals, and encouraging officers to refrain from speaking about cell-tracking technology to the public, all detailed in a New York Times story.

    But at least one document also details the day-to-day business of telecoms’ handing over of data to law enforcement, including a breakdown of every major carrier’s fees for every sort of data request from targeted wiretaps to so-called “tower dumps” that provide information on every user of certain cell tower. The guide, as provided by the Tucson, Arizona police department to the ACLU, is dated July 2009, and the fees it lists may be somewhat outdated. But representatives I reached by email at Verizon and AT&T both declined to detail any changes to the numbers…..


    Read Full Article Here




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