That's what I'm wondering when I read this NY Times story by Brian Stelter:
How '07 ABC Interview Tilted a Torture Debate
By BRIAN STELTER
Published: April 27, 2009
In late 2007, there was the first crack of daylight into the government's use of waterboarding during interrogations of Al Qaeda detainees. On Dec. 10, John Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. officer who had participated in the capture of the suspected terrorist Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002, appeared on ABC News to say that while he considered waterboarding a form of torture, the technique worked and yielded results very quickly.
His claims — unverified at the time, but repeated by dozens of broadcasts, blogs and newspapers — have been sharply contradicted by a newly declassified Justice Department memo that said waterboarding had been used on Mr. Zubaydah "at least 83 times."
Some critics say that the now-discredited information shared by Mr. Kiriakou and other sources heightened the public perception of waterboarding as an effective interrogation technique. "I think it was sanitized by the way it was described" in press accounts, said John Sifton, a former lawyer for Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group.
Now, I'm just speculating, and Stelter, in the article, raises the issue that Kiriakou got in hot water with the CIA for what he was supposedly "disclosing" in the ABC News interview with Brian Ross.
I'm not buying that. I know former CIA folks have spoken out before, but rarely to provide key and timely (and media-canvassing) backup for the Bush Administration, which was using its bully pulpit to squelch alt views most of the time.
So why would a CIA guy get in hot water for something that ultimately SERVED the purposes of the Bush Administration, if not the CIA overtly (since it prefers to be less visible, not more visible).
That makes me think he was doing SOMEONE'S bidding in this well-orchestrated and influential "leak" of blatantly FALSE information (on MSNBC last night, Rachel Maddow, I heard that Kiriakou wasn't even closely enough linked to the waterboarding in time and place to have ANY direct authority to speak as if he knew what he was talking about on those topics).
So... we do know THIS!
A. his information was false. And strategically false, not just ranter-deluded false.
B. The meme spread widely, had legs, and was orchestrated to do a particular job in a particular time and place (meaning, you can spot SOP of Bush Admin media managment tactics, Rove probably in particular, all over it? altho I vote for Cheney's office as the chief decision-maker).
and C. We KNOW that one of the key changes to the MILITARY under the Bush Administration was to target not just the "enemy" press with Psy-Ops misinformation, but to turn the same tactics on US citizens through home media manipulation as well (Goebbels would be proud).
Therefore, I think what we are seeing is a textbook example of such techniques put directly into action, AGAINST US as an audience TO BE DECEIVED, as we were, quite efficiently.
I'm guessing this guy is still on some black payroll somewhere, in other words, and always was.
Who needs large halls in Nuremberg with shouting people in mass salutes, when people can be more directly affected and opinions shifted with as much manipulative power, right in their own living rooms?