What is this about?
After a years-long investigation, John was charged with three counts of espionage, one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and one count of making false statements as a result of his 2007 ABC News interview in which he said the CIA was torturing prisoners and that this torture was official US government policy.
The espionage and false statement charges were dropped, and in order to be with his children to watch them grow up, John agreed to plead to the Intelligence Identities Protection Act in exchange for 30 months in prison.
John told the court that a reporter doing a book on rendition asked if he could recommend a former colleague who might sit for an interview. John could not recommend anybody, but the reporter mentioned the first name of a former colleague. John responded with a last name and said he believed the former colleague was retired. It is for that conversation that John was prosecuted.
This is not a case about leaks, though. It is a case about
whistleblowing. John spent most of his career protecting
American security. He served honorably in the CIA and helped
achieve major counterterrorism successes that made the world
safer. John received 10 Exceptional Performance Awards, a
Sustained Superior Performance Award, and the
Counterterrorism Service Medal, as well as the State
Department's Meritorious Honor Award.
The people who tortured detainees in custody have never been charged. A CIA executive who destroyed more than 90 videotapes of the torturing of prisoners in Agency custody - tapes that could have been used as trial evidence - was not charged and has been given a free pass by the Justice Department.
But John, who never tortured anyone, will go to prison for 30 months because of a reporter’s simple question.
Why a website and a plea for help like ths?
John and his wife and five children are facing ruin. The
government's decision to target him was designed to destroy
his career, his reputation and ability to provide for his
family, and thus to chill future disclosures about CIA
interrogation programs by anyone.
John has legal bills of more than $1 million, and already has lost his home and exhausted his savings.
What is this defense fund?
There is a community of people who are seeking to help John
and his family to avoid a catastrophic financial collapse.
The How to Help page on this website permits visitors to
contribute to a fund to help to help pay legal bills. John
and his wife have lost all means of income and have given
all of their savings to cover legal bills. A fund lets them
focus what resources they have on their children's basic
needs: keeping food on the table, paying for utilities and
covering pediatric visits.
Any and all contributions to this important cause will help. This is a humanitarian and a principles issue - saving a family from disaster and saving a man who gave 15+ years of his life in often dangerous service to our country from going to jail and from ruin because he innocently answered a reporter's question and got on the wrong side of people working to cover up and downplay torture.