People For Bernie Kicks US Whistle Blower Off Panel

| Educate!
John Kiriakou, a former CIA counterterrorism officer, has told RT that he was kicked off a panel at the European Parliament because a fellow panelist objected to his association with Russia as a Sputnik Radio host.

Kiriakou, who spent two-and-a-half years in jail for exposing the CIA’s torture program in 2007, was invited to address the European Parliament on national security whistleblowing Wednesday. However, he was bounced from the panel at the last minute, because one of the other panelists objected to his presence.

Kiriakou told RT he “thought it was a joke” when Winnie Wong, co-founder of the progressive organization, People for Bernie, refused to appear on the panel with him, because “she didn’t want the appearance of Bernie Sanders appearing to endorse the Russian media.”

“I laughed when she first said it because it was so ridiculous that I thought she was joking,” Kiriakou said. “Then she walked away, and one of the aides handed me an updated schedule, and my name then, was not associated with the first panel.”

Wong told Kiriakou she already “ran it up the flagpole” with her organization which supports the independent US Senator from Vermont, and they told her not to appear on the panel with him.

“While they were supportive of me as a person, as an individual, and supportive of the fact that I blew the whistle on the CIA’s torture program, the fact that I was now associated with Russian media meant that they could not appear on this panel with me,” the whistleblower said.

Kiriakou, who hosts a radio show called Loud & Clear on Sputnik Radio, said before he could even process what was going on, he was whisked away to a television studio, where he was told to do a one-on-one interview for Greek national television.

“It wasn’t until I was doing the television interview that I finally said to the MEP, ‘wait a minute, did I get thrown off that panel?’” Kiriakou said.

Organizers said the decision to remove him from the panel was because they “didn’t want to make a problem with the other guests.”

“And I thought ‘Wow. Okay. American politics rears its ugly head in Brussels,’” Kiriakou said.

He said there were no problems when he appeared on another panel with the Cuban ambassador to the EU and several other members of the European Parliament.

The ex-CIA officer said the current state of American politics feels like “a red scare all over again,” adding, that politicians are once again looking at Russians as “the bad guys for absolutely everything.” “They feel they can’t even risk even a tangential association with the Russians or with anything Russian for fear of being branded by their political opponents. It’s ridiculous. It smacks of the 1950s to tell you the truth,” Kiriakou said.

However, unlike the 1950s, Kiriakou said the Democrats are the ones “leading this anti-Russian charge.” “We see it in the media, we see it on CNN, and Fox and MSNBC, it’s not the Republicans, so it’s like Role-reversal compared to what we saw in the 1950s,” Kiriakou noted. He warned that it’s only the “very beginning of this whole process.” “This is only going to get worse as we move our way closer and closer to national elections here,” Kiriakou said. “If you don’t participate in this mantra of the Russians being behind every problem in the United States, you’re weak on Russia and you’re un-American and that’s what we’re seeing now being laid as groundwork.”
Kiriakou said the “single most important point” about the current animosity toward Russia is that the Intelligence Community has provided “literally zero evidence” to support their claims that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.

He pointed to the fact that the intelligence community has previously been caught lying about the CIA torture program; the extraordinary rendition kidnapping program; the secret prison systems; and hacking into the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computer systems “Now they tell us that Russia is behind Trump’s election and Hillary Clinton’s loss,” Kiriakou said. “They tell us to take their word for it. Well, why in the world would we take their word for it, when everything else they’ve told us is a lie?”

Kiriakou said the Justice Department demanding RT to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was simply a “brash political move” by the Democrats.

“This has nothing to do with the fact that RT is a representative of a foreign government, there are lots of different organizations here in Washington that are representatives of foreign governments,” Kiriakou said. “This is very specifically anti-Russian. It has nothing to  do with the news, and instead, it has only to do with domestic American politics.”

  • Sechumanist Redux

    Trump continues to roil things by his adolescent behavior with Putin. The Mueller investigation has also raised some serious concern over what Russia may or may not have done to sway ANYTHING that has happened over the last year. Too many unknowns.

    I understand the hesitation to be seen as involved in any way.

  • Bob Beal

    Loud & Clear is the best thing on Sputnik. It’s a go-to two-hour daily (M-F) newscast:

  • Lili-Ann Berg

    Winnie Wong is part of a network of so-called “progressive” organisations including protest movements funded by a large number of corporate foundations including the Gates foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Institute, some who have links to US intelligence. In other words the Wall Street Foundations support the protest movement against Wall Street etc.
    Behind every protest movement you find the economic elites that rule us all and indoctrinates the young to become obedient slaves to their insidious greed and hegemonic ambitions. How can it be stopped, I ask you?

  • Do you believe that behind Popular Resistance are economic elites that rule us all and indoctrinate, etc.?

  • Lili-Ann Berg

    I was talking about the occupy movement specifically in regards to Wong – I have no idea who support Popular Resistance, but hope its not the case. I rather see it as a forum for open political discourse. I can be wrong.

  • Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers are behind Popular Resistance. They are longtime, dedicated political activists. They were also involved in the Occupy movement. I was with them during the Occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC in October 2011. None of us has any backing from any elites. In fact, I lost my job and my career was torpedoed because of my involvement in Occupy. Economic elites? I wish I knew some flipping economic elites.

  • Lili-Ann Berg

    I have great respect for Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. You on the other hand do need to do some research and stop living among the fairies.

  • Ha! Right. I’m living among the fairies. Thank you for enlightening me.

  • Lili-Ann Berg

    Instead of pointless posturing why don’t you google who’s supporting the occupy movement. You may be surprised. I have no more comment on this issue, sorry.

  • Right. Because I’ve never done that before. And because Google is God, and every source one finds is unimpeachable.

  • kevinzeese

    Margaret Flowers and I have been guests on the show many times. It is a good show with well informed hosts.

  • kevinzeese

    Adolescent behavior?

  • kevinzeese

    I am not sure why the two of you are fighting as I suspect you would agree on almost everything. Occupy was complicated as living outside in tents in the middle of the city is stressful and there were outside forces trying to influence us — not just police but political and economic operatives.

    At one point we saw Democrats trying to take control of Occupy urging occupiers to run for office as Democrats. Van Jones, who went on to become a CNN personality, was one of those urging Occupy to take that course as were some unions (some were also allies of Occupy) and some Democratic Party front organizations.

    Margaret Flowers and I were among those who spoke out against this path and blew the whistle on Democrats. (There are old articles still on this website, written when it was a site OccupyWashingtonDC, that show these disputes.) This led to very personal and aggressive attacks against us, as Lisa Simeone probably remembers since she was part of it.

    At the same time there were people like Winnie Wong who aided the attempted Democratic takeover. She created Occupy Democrats. She went on to become a Democratic Party operative, which is where she is today.

    We remain steadfast in challenging the duopoly and working with movements for economic, racial and environmental justice. Sometimes the coalitions we are part of include Democrats (there are so many there is no choice) but part of our job is always to push the coalition toward independence from the Democrats and in favor of more radical positions than the Democratic Party offers.

  • kevinzeese
  • Aquifer

    Well apparently these folks are involved, up to their ears, in fomenting a new “cold” war – clearly for political purposes ….

    If Russia had been able to do ANYTHING to “influence” our election that is more a sad commentary on the state of those elections … And the brouhaha is an obvious attempt by the Ds to distract from its own crooked”influence”

  • Aquifer

    Well well – Do “People for Bernie” represent Bernie? If they do, then it’s rather clear where he stands – makes one wonder where was he, e.g. when BClinton’s admin was screwing around in Russian elections or HClinton’s DOS was handing out cookies to right wing Ukrainian rebels. If these folks don’t represent him why is he silent on this travesty? Silence is assent ….
    Also this “registering as a foreign agent” is a rather “clever” way to smear not just the networks but all those who appear on them – they become, by extension, “foreign agents” – gee, how convenient as the folks who appear on them pretty much all happen to be critics of our duopoly government … So now domestic critics are labeled “foreign agents”
    “Have you recently, or have you ever, appeared on RT or Sputnik? Answer the question!” McCarthy would be so proud …

  • Aquifer

    EVERY protest movement? I protest that characterization and i am NOT funded by any elites – or do you consider my SS checks as “elite funding” – if so, they are pretty chintzy elites …

  • DHFabian

    There’s a movement, or just the routine fund-raising campaigns? Before we knew what happened, Occupy itself had been redefined as an elitist “middle class movement.” The rest of us finally walked away, and that was the end of any possible movement. “Occupy” just became something of a marketing term.

  • DHFabian

    Just a side issue, but Sen. Sanders is a standard politician. His role has been to sell what enough people are willing to buy. Before the Clinton administration, he claimed to support democratic socialism, and spoke out strongly about US poverty and the need for legit poverty relief programs. That doesn’t sell to today’s middle class campaign donors, so he dropped the issue. Many noticed. Then he climbed on the Clinton bandwagon and lost the last of his credibility.

  • DHFabian

    The key points: Years of research have shown that most voting choices come down to economic issues. The Dem voting base had long consisted of the poor and middle class, for the common good. The Clinton wing split this base wide apart in the 1990s, and the past 8 yrs. confirmed that this split is permanent.

    2016: Both big party candidates were opposed by much of their own voting bases. In the end, roughly half of all voters rejected both. Trump was such an alarming candidate that Clinton won the majority of votes. Trump won the electoral vote. And Russia still had nothing to do with any of it. “It’s the policies, stupid.”

  • Linda Jansen

    Here’s a short video revealing Bernie on the Russiagate Dem bandwagon: Really appalling.

  • Sechumanist Redux

    What’s your point?

  • irvingwood

    John. I listen to Loud and Clear. You are worth 100 times shrimps like Winnie the Pooh. Just another puffed up party apparatchik. I’d check with Bernie, & if he’s behind it you know your course. You are of course free to make hay with this disgusting ploy. I personally think Bernie is a flake & no socialist, but he may be the best America can produce. Being a Canadian, l can laugh at US politics, but for you it’s not so funny. Chin up mate, you are definitely on the side of the angels. You did a fine thing that many wouldn’t have. The EU is pretty much dead. Forget them. Regards
    Capt.Colin Smith
    Inuvik, inside the Arctic Circle ,
    NT, Canada

  • irvingwood

    HRC is as mad as a hatter.ln massive denial. Bernie is a flake, no socialist. See him sell his soul for a few shillings. US politicos sell their souls so easily. They have no proof at all. Cheney’s another loony toons neo-con. The US pols want a war with Russia. I’m convinced they are so unstable they will blow up the world.

  • larrysherk

    Bernie better unload Winnie Wong because (1) he cannot afford to distance himself from Kiriakou and (2) he cannot afford to be perceived as involved with the ridiculous Cabal campaign against Russia, who should be our best friend. Bernie’s credibility already has a few cracks and it certainly cannot stand this kind of xenophobic propaganda.