Monday, April 6, 2015

Some CIA officers convinced Arar was innocent, says Kiriakou

Ex-spy: CIA officers protested Arar arrest - Peace Arch News - Canadian Press:

April 5, 2015 - "A former spy has described the debate within the CIA over the arrest, rendition and torture of Canadian Maher Arar, saying multiple colleagues warned against it because they were convinced they were punishing an innocent man.

"The account from former CIA officer John Kiriakou sheds new light on decade-old events that caused a public inquiry in Canada, a $10 million payout from the federal government, and unsuccessful lawsuits in the U.S....

 "It came during an interview at the ex-spy's Virginia home, where he described how he went from being the head of counterterrorism operations in Pakistan after 9-11, to becoming the first CIA employee to publicly question the use of torture, to eventually spending two years in jail for leaking agency secrets....

"Kiriakou expressed disgust with his country's role in sending the engineer to be tortured in his native Syria, and with its continuing failure to issue an apology like Canada has.

"He described a dynamic within the agency in which one mid-to-high-level officer ignored repeated objections from her subordinates, and insisted on pushing ahead.

"'I can tell you that a lot of people inside the CIA objected to this,' Kiriakou said. '(They said), "This is the wrong guy. He hasn't done anything."'

"Arar was grabbed during a New York airport layover and flown to a notorious Syrian prison. He has described a year-long ordeal that included being beaten and stuffed into a body-sized slot in a windowless dungeon. Arar likened it to being buried alive."

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