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Dennis Berube

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I just saw this the other night. I am admittedly not very familiar with the details of Kiriakou's case beyond a few articles and this documentary, but I still came away with a strange feeling about Kiriakou. As the documentary stated, there were other news stories about torture in the press when he went public, but at the height of the attention to the torture subject, he somehow gets on national tv and says that he thinks the torture actually saved lives and is useful. Granted he retracted that later on and said it was a lie, but not when the public's attention was at its zenith.

There are other things that kind of made my head cock to the side a bit. His general demeanor and attitude shown in the film was confusing at times. At one point, Kiriakou goes out of his way to call his wife and tell her that he heard a rumor that he would essentially be kidnapped by an intelligence agency and then right after that says "don't worry". I know there are many possible explanations for that scene including scripting, but it struck me as odd.

When I think of whistleblowers getting network air time, I can't help but ask "why is he/she on tv?" And I think of Michael Hastings and Dorthy Kilgallen. I'm not suggesting Kiriakou is some kind of disinformation agent, but there is certainly some level of his being allowed to say what he said, and his message didn't threaten anything (except maybe his comment about how 99% of Al-Qaeda never read the koran and didn't care about geopolitical issues at all) and it actually gave a boost to the pro-torture crowd at a critical juncture in the public discourse.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

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