“Torture is wrong.”

The Washington Post reported Friday that Christine Axsmith, a CIA contractor, was fired for posting in her blog, on a top secret clearance government intranet, that “torture is wrong.”

The day of the last post, Axsmith said, after reading a newspaper report that the CIA would join the rest of the U.S. government in according Geneva Conventions rights to prisoners, she posted her views on the subject.

It started, she said, something like this: “Waterboarding is Torture and Torture is Wrong.”

And it continued, she added, with something like this: “CC had the sad occasion to read interrogation transcripts in an assignment that should not be made public. And, let’s just say, European lives were not saved.” (That was a jab at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s trip to Europe late last year when she defended U.S. policy on secret detentions and interrogations.)

One wonders when the government is going to fire half the authors at the War College, where opinions like this (some based on the authors’ experience with classified information) are far more outspoken.

Mind you, Axsmith posted to peers only, on a top-secret access intranet.

As ZDnet said,

Fired – and threatened with criminal prosecution – for opining that torture is wrong, at a time when that sentiment is official policy.

How’s that for a chilling effect?

When such speech in such a context draws such consequences, what hope is there for real whistleblowers, or people working on true governmental transparency?

35 Comments

  1. gicu

    August 11, 2007 @ 8:53 pm

  2. Skyros

    August 25, 2007 @ 12:42 am

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    Nice…

  3. Panagiotis

    August 25, 2007 @ 8:55 pm

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    Cool…

  4. Dating

    September 3, 2007 @ 11:53 pm

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    Good article!

  5. php blog

    January 13, 2008 @ 11:19 pm

    5

    Fired – and threatened with criminal prosecution – for opining that torture is wrong, at a time when that sentiment is official policy.

    How’s that for a chilling effect?

  6. unix linux

    January 13, 2008 @ 11:19 pm

    6

    When such speech in such a context draws such consequences, what hope is there for real whistleblowers, or people working on true governmental transparency?

  7. Accident claim

    April 19, 2008 @ 5:55 am

    7

    I really can not understand how can Bush promote torture in 2008! This lame excuse with “terrorist attacks” lets Bush do whatever the heck he wants with all citizens of all over the world. I’m sure they use this excuse to torture people that have nothing to do with terrorism. A state that injures people and then says it’s legal is not something normal.

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    July 17, 2008 @ 7:21 am

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    Now who ever said that this is democracy we are living in?

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    December 27, 2008 @ 1:39 pm

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    What an absolute disgrace – how can people get away with things like this in this day and age.

  10. South Beach Girl

    January 15, 2009 @ 11:48 am

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    Very cool post.

  11. NEC

    February 12, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

    11

    Fired – and threatened with criminal prosecution – for opining that torture is wrong, at a time when that sentiment is official policy.

    How’s that for a chilling effect?

  12. Bali Accommodation

    November 17, 2009 @ 1:51 am

    12

    It means blogs are affecting the old media now.

  13. [URL=http://www.whiplashcompensationonline.co.uk]IanG[/URL]

    December 8, 2009 @ 10:11 am

    13

    Torture is not only wrong but fails to produce truthful confessions.
    But beware that the wests softly softly approach to criminals is not our undoing!

  14. Injury Personal

    April 14, 2010 @ 2:56 am

    14

    Great article, torture resulting in injuries or pain in any form in a modern democracy should not be acceptable.

  15. Ian

    June 29, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

    15

    Torture is not only wrong but fails to produce truthful confessions.

    Obama thank fully agrees.

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  17. Mark

    September 21, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

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    Torture maybe wrong but has any one told the other side this????
    As for torture getting reliable information – this has been proved to not be the case.

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    October 14, 2010 @ 4:03 am

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    Couldn’t agree more.

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    October 29, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

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    Thanks for taking the time to post!

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    March 2, 2011 @ 11:48 am

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    Yeah this is awesome to know!

  25. Meili's Runescape Blog

    March 11, 2011 @ 4:42 am

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    That is just a chilling thought – to think that you could get in trouble for saying torture is wrong is…. just wrong on sooo many levels. *shivers*

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    January 8, 2012 @ 11:31 am

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    Torture is a problem in many parts of the world including Africa – Zimbabwe and Uganda in particular. Even Tanzania has had some reported problems.

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    December 22, 2012 @ 4:14 am

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    There can be no change if the employees of government cannot even discuss amongst themselves the policy alternatives. No wonder the US is in political gridlock and rather than being a beacon of hope to the free world it has been for the past 300 years it is increasingly seen as proving that democracy is a failure. Only God can help us if the Chinese political system is seen as the successful model the world should emulate.

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    December 22, 2012 @ 4:25 am

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    I guess if you are a person of concious and need to speak out against what you think is wrong you may as well tell the world like Bradley Manning instead of risking the sack by telling your peers behind closed doors. Go out with a bang instead of a wimper!

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