News Release

First Time: Voice of CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling


invisible manFor the first time since he was indicted on Espionage Act charges more than four years ago, the voice of former CIA case officer Jeffrey Sterling is being heard by the public today in a documentary produced by and just released by The Huffington Post. The film’s immediate audience includes hundreds of thousands of viewers of “Democracy Now,” which aired it this morning.

On Monday, Sterling was sentenced to 42 months in prison.

NORMAN SOLOMON, solomonprogressive at
Solomon was a producer for the film on behalf of ExposeFacts, which is a project of IPA. ExposeFacts extensively covered Sterling’s trial. Solomon is IPA’s executive director.

JUDITH EHRLICH, mousethatroaredfilm at
Ehrlich is the director of the just-released short documentary “The Invisible Man: CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling.” Her past films include the Oscar-nominated “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.” She just wrote the short piece “On Jeffrey Sterling: From the Filmmaker of ‘The Invisible Man’,” which notes: “Jeffrey Sterling was convicted in large part on the basis of metadata — not the content of his communication.”

RAY McGOVERN, rrmcgovern at, @raymcgovern
McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years and now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. McGovern was quoted Monday in U.S. News and World Report: “Jeffrey Sterling Sentenced to 42 Months for Talking to Reporter.” He just wrote the piece “Punishing Another Whistleblower,” about the Sterling case.

McGovern said today: “It seems clear that the White House told the Department of Justice to make an example of Jeffrey Sterling — an example of what one can expect if s/he decides to blow the whistle….

“But the wrist-slap administered to former Gen. David Petraeus for far more egregious behavior — including lying to the FBI — made it indecorous for her [the judge] to mete out the draconian sentence, after which the Justice Department and White House were positively lusting. Plans for a draconian sentence for which DOJ had been pressing fell through and the pizzazz fizzled out of the intended deterrent effect.

“At the same time, the trial surfaced real questions. Were the CIA faulty blueprints foisted on Iran aimed at sabotaging any nuclear nuclear weapons program of Iran … and perhaps Iraq? For me that does not pass the smell test.

“Or was it something trickier still — actually too tricky by half — aimed at ‘discovering’ documentary evidence ‘showing’ how close Iran AND Iraq were to a nuclear weapon — and, of course, how much they need to be stopped.”

JESSELYN RADACK, jradack at, @jesselynradack
Radack is the director of National Security & Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project. She said today: “Like all other whistleblowers prosecuted under the Espionage Act, Sterling is only guilty of embarrassing the government.

“If you’re a former CIA director like Petraeus and Panetta, you can leak with impunity or receive a slap on the wrist at most. As demonstrated by the Petraeus case, there are numerous other more appropriate ways to punish leaks. If you’re loyal to the truth rather than the CIA, you’ll be bludgeoned. While Sterling was sentenced to less jail time than the government asked for, the two-tiered system of justice is still unacceptable.

“Sterling is collateral damage in the government’s war on the media.

“Sterling is the latest casualty in the Obama administration’s unprecedented war on whistleblowers.

“The biggest leaker in the country is the United States government. They’re not doing damage assessments on their political leaks for propaganda or self-promotion purposes rather than the public interest.

“‘National security’ is not the U.S.’s reputation. If the government wants to stop being embarrassed, it should stop doing embarrassing things.”