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CIA Officer Jeffrey Sterling Sentenced to Prison: The Latest Blow in the Government’s War on Journalism


CIA Officer Jeffrey Sterling Sentenced to Prison: The Latest Blow in the Government’s War on Journalism

Norman Solomon

The sentencing of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling on May 11 for espionage ends one phase of a long ordeal and begins another. At age 47, he has received a prison term of 42 months—three and a half years—after a series of ever more improbable milestones.


The 24 hour news cycle props up the crumbling establishment. The subset of violence is exacted upon with token people of color to give the illusion of justice to those on the fringes that consider themselves a part of the ruling class. Everything is a trade secret so a handful of those inside the establishment can pad their bottom line with that figment of imagination called money. The common exchange of Language is co opted to give the illusion of simplicity.

If Mr. Sterling is truly as noble as accounts indicate, I hope to see him on the other side of his sentence in good health. As a lay citizen, that is the only hope I have left.


Thank you for this excellent insider-report, Mr. Solomon.

In response to this item:

“The successful prosecution of Jeffrey Sterling has given more leverage to the information clampdown that the Obama administration continues to implement. With a multi-count Espionage Act conviction, it serves as yet another warning shot—not only against whistleblowing and disclosure of classified information, but also against basic communication with journalists by government employees and contractors.”

I’d like to say that while citizens expect uber-authoritarian creeds from the right wing likes of a Nixon, J. Edgar Hoover, or Joseph McCarthy, it’s more troubling when the supposed “left” side of the would-be political duopoly assumes such stances. But I think there’s a far more important point than the usual Sports Fans’ level of team comparative “analysis,” and it’s what I term Gradual Accommodation.

In the past, I pointed out a very real Progression that’s moved seamlessly from one administration to the next. Essentially, both “teams” have normalized wars of aggression, a growing internal prison-industrial complex, extremes of wealth aggregation, unregulated mass media control (via private ownership), the use of torture, and the clampdown on any witnesses, whistle-blowers, brave journalists, inconvenient Truth Tellers or any other heretics to the status quo that Mars (military might) and Mammon (banksters’ rites) built.

It could be argued that these more Draconian efforts are the works of madmen and madwomen, those made insecure by the knowledge that their HOUR of power is moving beyond their grasp… that all over the world people are protesting rule by all sorts of nefarious tyrants and policies–put into law and practice–that vastly punish the many to advantage the few. This is a complete inversion of both legal and spiritual law… and the law of karma will not be indefinitely mocked.

Also, the fact that it is a Black man who’s being punished by a white, patriarchal system of power abuses runs in alignment with the police brutality aimed at Black males breaking out all over… and finally being documented by individuals’ uncensored cell phones.

Just as the old Boys’ clubs are cracking down on Blacks, they are also undermining Women’s Rights and women, in general.

The time is closely approaching where humanity will live by very different precepts. This TERRIFIES the champions of the hierarchical cruel status quo…

If WE lived in a nation under a genuine rule of law, people like Condi Rice would be HUNG for crimes against humanity. And while I don’t believe in the Death Penalty, I’d be happy to make that exception for today’s cowardly Leaders-into-False-Wars. How many million have they murdered or made into orphans, or homeless refugees? That human moral excrement can arrogate to itself the right to judge persons of character is proof positive that a new church-state Inquisition has arrived. (It will not last long.)

This Trial serves as Exhibit A (to support the above allegation).


“For prospective whistleblowers, the Sterling case is yet more proof that they can “go through channels” to express concerns only at their peril. Particularly in security-state realms—as the experiences of NSA whistleblowers William Binney, Thomas Drake, Edward Loomis and Kirk Wiebe have shown—using the much-ballyhooed official channels to report concerns is a flag that draws official retribution.”

Don’t forget Mr. Kirakou or Chelsea Manning. And if you want to add “unofficial channels” the list of taboo truth tellers grows a lot larger.

Obama is normalizing this new McCarthyism crossed with Stasi-state snitching so that the NEXT authoritarian will further tighten the screws. THAT has been the progression since Reagan began to demonize big govt. to open the way to privatizing everything. From there, robbing government of accountability and legitimacy, all sorts of graft and corruption could enter to fill the vacuum (as Janine Wedel, among others chronicles in her work).

A parody on this scenario would have a trial underway and ANY item the Defense brings up is immediately stamped, “State’s Secrets” or “National Security.” In other words, there IS no defense granted to The Accused. THAT is fascism at its peak. From military show-trials to military style national security mandates thwarting open trials, to the corporate version likely to be enforced through such corporate-friendly legal frameworks as those facilitated by the TPP and TIPP.

Still, as the inversions of truth, justice, decency, and any remnant of fair play pass away… millions of persons resist what’s going on. The insults and assaults are so varied and widespread that battles vary from region to region even if at their core they all aim at the same diabolical thing: Plutocratic controls.


"The federal courtroom in northern Virginia where Holly and Jeffrey Sterling returned for the sentencing on May 11 was the scene of a disturbing, though scantly reported, simulation of justice in late January. At the outset, covering the trial, I noted that “prospective jurors made routine references to ‘three-letter agencies’ and alphabet-soup categories of security clearances.” Steeped in a local atmosphere of deference to mega-employers like the CIA and Pentagon along with numerous big contracting firms nearby, “the jury pool was bound to please the prosecution.”
“The prosecution was gratified two weeks later when the nearly all-white jury, which included no African-Americans, voted guilty on all counts”.
I see absolutely no resemblance of Justice for Sterling with these facts alone-
The “show trial” with all of the cheap theatrics and dramatic effect that Solomon brings forth is only further testimony to the fact that A “Fair Trial” and “Rule of Law” are all but forgotten ethics in our Stasi style Justice System…
Mr. Sterling been grifted into the ranks of the noble few who’s alleged crimes are insignificant compared with his War Crimminal accusers.


What is the reason the MSM did not cover this at length?

This case, this example-making of Mr. Sterling, is just incredible.

As a progressive Democrat, President Obama’s continual fascist actions have been alarming to me. His disdain for the left, for the unions that got him elected; his irritability at having to even NOT deal with rising racisim (how about a DOJ moratorium to police departments re: shooting to kill?); his Tuesday afternoon “Kill List” meetings…the secret healthcare and TPP meetings at the WH…where is the outrage?

The biggest red-herring? The Republican Obstruction show. Obama’s trying and caving…the results are popular with Republican values…and look at the stock market!

Obama has been a Trojan Horse. We all wanted the hope so much, many have a hard time seeing what has actually happened…

Believe it: Obama has consistently shown who he is. We need to fight back and call it out! Mr. Sterling’s story does chill, as it is meant to. We cannot submit to that.