“Allowing ourselves to become a nation of silent, secretive, timid citizens is likely to result in a system of democracy and justice that is neither very democratic nor very just.”
― Dahlia Lithwick
James Spione’s new film SILENCED follows a group of high-profile former feds who questioned official national security policy in post 9-11 America, and have endured harsh consequences. It features former NSA senior executive Tom Drake, former CIA officer John Kiriakou, former Justice Department lawyer Jesselyn Radack and former State Department diplomat Peter Van Buren.
John Kiriakou is currently serving a 30 month prison term at a Federal correctional facility in Loretto, Pennsylvania.
Here is a short blurb:
Over the past several years, an arcane WWI era law called The Espionage Act has been used six times to bring charges against whistleblowers, not for revealing information to a foreign government, but for talking to the press. In fact, the current administration invoked this law more times than all previous administrations combined.
The targeting of whistleblowers raises profound questions that have implications far beyond the fates of the individuals profiled in this film. In an age where the spectre of terrorism is deemed an appropriate reason for the Executive branch to claim greater and greater powers, can the United States government maintain a commitment to the rule of law? How can a democracy that purports to champion human rights simultaneously attempt to quash criticism from within its ranks? What is the effect on our First Amendment right to dissent–and on the whole idea of a free press–when those in power single out whistleblowers for prosecution?
More on The Espionage Act here.
James Spione teamed up with producer Daniel Chalfen and executive producer Jim Butterworth of Naked Edge Films to make this new documentary. The group has reached their funding goal of $35,000 with 300 funders via Kickstarter. The funds will be used for post production and the film is expected to be finished by end of the year.
From now until March 14th, you can still support them on Kickstarter here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1…. The group states that additional Kickstarter funds raised in the final days will be put to good use– “some critical upgrades to editing equipment, beginning work with composer Emile Menasché, and spending more time in the edit room assembling all of these individual stories into a powerful narrative about the importance of whistleblowers to American democracy.”
Read more here.
Peter Van Buren wrote:
While all of us in this important film have given interviews before, none of us has opened up, in depth, the way we did with Jim. It is also important to note that none of us are profiting from this film or the Kickstarter campaign, unless you consider the telling of truth on a large and public scale to be our reward.
Mission accomplished “M”! If you have not done it yet, you may now give meritorious and superior awards to the Van Buren Project hounders from DS and DGHR.
- 3/8/13 Peter Van Buren (scotthorton.org)
- Filmmaker Accuses Obama Administration of Silencing Whistleblowers (Video) (entertainably.com)
- Oscar-Nominated Filmmaker’s New Ambitious Feature Documentary on War on Whistleblowers (dissenter.firedoglake.com)
- Peter Van Buren: Mission Unaccomplished (huffingtonpost.com)
- CIA/Torture Whistleblower John Kiriakou Reports to Prison Today (paramuspost.com)
- John Kiriakou, Scooter Libby and the Myth of Justice (wemeantwell.com)
- CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou given more than two years in prison (guardian.co.uk)
- Why did it take the State Department 10 years and billions of dollars to figure out that Iraq reconstruction was a massive failure? (syracuse.com)