FROM Marcy Wheeler
Preview of CIA Whistleblower Trial For seven years, Attorney General Eric Holder has been trying to force New York Times reporter James Risen to reveal what he learned from CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling. Next week, Sterling will go on trial for leaking classified information that he revealed government secrets to James Risen for the book, State of War , which was published nine years ago — but Risen still isn't talking. Sterling says he's being selectively prosecuted for things other CIA agents have also done. Marcy Wheeler, who writes about national security and civil liberties for Foreign Policy, the Guardian, and the website Expose Facts.com , has the details.
CIA Torture: Partisanship — and Accountability Last week, Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee released a 400-page report on what they called CIA "torture" of imprisoned suspects in the aftermath of September 11. Yesterday on NBC's Meet the Press, former Vice President Dick Cheney defended the program . "We got the authorization from the president and authorization from the Justice Department to go forward with the program. It worked. It worked now for 13 years. We've avoided another mass casualty attack against the United States and we did capture Bin Laden and we did capture an awful lot of the senior guys of Al Qaeda who were responsible for that attack on 9/11. I'd do it again in a minute." One-time POW John McCain is one of few Republicans to agree with Senate Democrats that American values were endangered along with national security. "There were violations of the Geneva conventions for the treatment of prisoners, there were violations of the convention against torture which Ronald Reagan was a primary signatory of, and I think in retrospect some of these practices fly in the face of everything America values and stands for." Former CIA insiders blame inexperienced agents and outside contractors, along with orders from Washington to "get tough" with prisoners. What are the prospects for accountability 13 years later?
The US gets deeper into Middle East wars. What's the endgame? President Trump welcomed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House today… just one of the changes in America's approach to the Middle East since Barack Obama left office. We hear about that and the escalation of warfare as well as civilian casualties.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."