"A contract employee working for the Central Intelligence Agency said she had been fired recently for posting a message on a classified computer server that said an interrogation technique used by the agency against some terror suspects amounted to torture.* laura:
Besides losing her job, Ms. Axsmith also lost her top-secret security clearance, which she had held since 1993 and used for previous work for the State Department and National Counterterrorism Center."
"Is it naive to wonder how such an ordinary sentiment would be so threatening to a US federal agency? After all presumably people at the CIA read the newspapers and know that an overwhelming majority of the Senate has voted to outlaw torture a couple times. Is this the kind of thing that has to be whispered in the hallways of Langley, for fear of provoking offense? Or perhaps more likely, is this about a contractor, BAE, that doesn't want to risk losing its CIA contracts?
Anyhow, now that the news has spread to the Washington Post, the New York Times and God forbid, Wonkette, it seems that the CIA and BAE may have invited more headaches for having fired the contractor than if they'd let the (after all) internal post go, where it most likely would have been quickly forgotten into the ephemera of blog posts about CIA cafeteria cuisine?"
* the ex-employee has a new blog - the post that got her fired:
"Waterboarding is Torture, and Torture is Wrong
Not to mention ineffective. Econo-Girl has serious doubts as to whether European lives were saved.
Econo-Girl's purpose in writing this blog is to start a dialog on the Geneva Convention, since it now applies to the Department of Defense again. Guess it's not quaint anymore, eh?
Over the next few weeks, Econo-Girl would like to post articles about the Geneva Convention, like its origin and major provisions. Legal analysis is not the magic some would have you believe.
If the grunts and paper pushers are knowledgeable, the anti-torture infrastructure will be strengthened."
update: emptywheel adds:
"As I said just after the Hamdan ruling, the ruling won't so much change the Administration's behavior (as my blogmate Kagro X has shown repeatedly). But it may convince the individuals who carry out the Administration's atrocities to stop cooperating.
And, I suppose, that was the danger of Axsmith's post. While on an earlier assignment, Axsmith read interrogation reports that--presumably--relied on waterboarding. She knew from classified documents what we all know from press reports and books, that the CIA has tortured detainees. And she simply pointed out that waterboarding had not achieved what Condi had claimed, saving lives. Waterboarding is ineffective. Perhaps just as dangerous, she threated to make the "grunts and paper pushers ... knowledgeable," strengthening "the anti-torture infrastructure."
In our case, of course, the lies have to do with our claim to be a nation of laws, the beacon of liberty around the world. Those lies depend as much on our silence as they do on any signs we place in our windows--our silence, among other things, about our embrace of torture.
Waterboarding is torture. A nation of laws does not torture. We are not a nation of laws."