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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/10/16

Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Shows Inherent Unfairness in U.S. Justice System

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Apparently, criminal intent mattered after all. I said that I had not. She then suggested that I have a conversation with my attorney. As it turns out, you can't get the plea deal unless you "confess" in open court that you did the crime purposefully.

So what do you do? Do you confess to a "crime" that you had no intention of committing, or do you commit perjury and say you did it on purpose?

Here's what's at stake: If you say you did it -- even if you didn't -- you get 30 months in prison. If you fight it and lose, you risk up to 45 years in prison, and you can realistically expect 18 to 24 years. That was my predicament. As one sage adviser told me that morning, "This can be a blip in your life, or it can be the defining event of your life." I chose the blip.

When I read in blogs, comments or even The New York Times that I "confessed" and that I admitted my "criminal intent," I cringe. How do you respond when you're forced into a plea? The deck is stacked against you to begin with. What judge doesn't want to be named to the Supreme Court? What prosecutor doesn't want to run for governor? What FBI agent doesn't want to be special agent in charge? They all want to make names for themselves, to get their names in The Washington Post or The New York Times.

If I had committed espionage, why did the Justice Department drop the charges? If I was the criminal they said I was, why did they let me out after only 23 months? It's because the case against me was political from the beginning, and they knew it.

My skin has thickened dramatically over the past four years. I genuinely don't care what people think about me. I know what I did and what I didn't do. I'm happy with my life and comfortable with my past. I seek nobody's approval.

But what I do seek is fairness in the system. It's too late for me. But I certainly won't be the last person to be charged with espionage for blowing the whistle on government waste, fraud, abuse or illegality. It's going to happen again. And when it does, I hope the defendant asks for the Clinton/Petraeus special treatment.

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John Kiriakou spent 14 years at the CIA and two years in a federal prison for blowing the whistle on the agency's use of torture. He served on John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations Committee for two years as senior investigator into the Middle (more...)
 

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