Support Jeffrey Sterling


 
Support Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling
(via RootsAction.org)

Mostafa Azizi

On January 26, 2015, Jeffrey Sterling was convicted on nine counts under the Espionage Act for leaking classified information regarding a CIA operation to author James Risen. Last month, Sterling began serving a 42-month prison sentence.

PEN Center USA appeals to its members and allies for their expressions of caring and support.


Please SEND Jeffrey positive messages of support and solidarity via mail. (As all incoming correspondence is reviewed by prison officials, please be positive and avoid negative statements about the government or individuals.)

Jeffrey Sterling, 38338-044
FCI Englewood
Federal Correctional Institution
9595 West Quincy Ave.
Littleton, CO 80123

Please DONATE to the Sterling Family Fund, to assist with travel expenses to allow his partner Holly to visit him in prison, almost 900 miles from their home in the St. Louis area.
Please SHARE this story on social media using the hashtag #JeffreySterling, in an effort to increase public awareness:
 


Background (adapted from the Sterling Family Fund GoFundMe)

On January 26, 2015, Jeffrey Sterling was convicted on nine counts under the Espionage Act for leaking classified information regarding a CIA operation to author James Risen, who, in 2006, published a book titled State of War. The conviction was based entirely on circumstantial evidence. Mr. Risen was not required to testify and the prosecution could produce no documents, no recordings—nothing that directly linked Jeffrey as a source for Mr. Risen's book. In fact, the FBI agent who investigated Jeffrey for over ten years testified that there was absolutely no evidence that Jeffrey was a source.

On May 11, 2015, U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema sentenced Sterling to three-and-a-half years in prison. His attorneys are currently appealing the conviction. Unfortunately for Jeffrey, he became the government’s primary target because he had the audacity to do two things:

  • He went through appropriate legal channels to address his concerns about a covert CIA operation.
  • He filed a discrimination lawsuit against the CIA in August of 2001 (two months later he was fired), which was coincidentally thrown out because proof would require release of classified information. Jeffrey contacted Mr. Risen in an effort to have his discrimination story heard. Mr. Risen subsequently did write an article about Jeffrey's lawsuit. Another story was published in the May 20, 2002 issue of “People” magazine. Here is an excerpt:

    Sterling joined the CIA in 1993 and two years later became a case officer in the Iran Task Force. (He was the only black among its more than 20 professionals.) To prepare, he spent a year studying Farsi, the language of Iran. Sent to Bonn in 1997 to recruit Iranians as agents, he grew frustrated when he wasn't given new prospects to recruit. Perplexed, he returned to Langley and confronted his supervisors. “I asked why I wasn't receiving any assignments. They said, “Well, you kind of stick out as a big black guy,” Sterling recalls. “They said, 'You bring unwanted attention to where you're assigned. Everyone in management agreed I was too conspicuous. And I said, “Well, when did you realize that I was black?”

Arrested in 2011, Jeffrey was fired from his job at Anthem Healthcare, after winning an award in 2010 for saving the company over 32 million dollars due to healthcare fraud. He has been unable to get another job. He and his partner Holly lived off their savings and Holly’s income as a social worker for a few years, but the money has run out. Their house is on the cusp of foreclosure, and they have had to depend on the kindness of family, friends, and, in some cases, total strangers for the money to travel from their home in Missouri to court in Virginia.

More information:

ExposeFacts: Reporting on the Jeffrey Sterling trial
The Invisible Man: NSA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling (short documentary film)
The Intercept: “How Jeffrey Sterling Took on the CIA and Lost Everything”
The Nation: “CIA Officer Jeffrey Sterling Sentenced to Prison: The Latest Blow in the Government’s War on Journalism”
FireDogLake: “Bureau of Prisons Puts CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling in Prison Around 900 Miles from His Wife and Family”
Sterling Family Fund: Our efforts together


Please SEND Jeffrey positive messages of support and solidarity via mail. (As all incoming correspondence is reviewed by prison officials, please be positive and avoid negative statements about the government or individuals.)

Jeffrey Sterling, 38338-044
FCI Englewood
Federal Correctional Institution
9595 West Quincy Ave.
Littleton, CO 80123.

Please DONATE to the Sterling Family Fund, to assist with his partner Holly's travel expenses.
Please SHARE this story on social media using the hashtag #JeffreySterling, in an effort to increase public awareness: