Portraits of "Americans who tell the truth"

Artist Robert Shetterly's ongoing series of portraits of "Americans Who Tell The Truth" includes a recently-unveiled painting of John Kiriakou, the former CIA agent and counterterrorism adviser who became a torture whistleblower and was sentenced today to 30 months in prison:

Even if torture works, it cannot be tolerated -- not in one case or a thousand or a million. If their efficacy becomes the measure of abhorrent acts, all sorts of unspeakable crimes somehow become acceptable. I may have found myself on the wrong side of government on torture. But I’m on the right side of history. …There are things we should not do, even in the name of national security. One of them, I now firmly believe, is torture.

There's a book, too. More about the project here. Bradley Manning is among the more recent news figures who is also included in the series.


  1. I was an unlikely fan of Robert Shetterly, in that I was editing small magazines in Halifax, and subscribed to Maine Times, well, to steal ideas from them. He was their editorial illustrator, and one of his illustrations struck me so much that I bought it. It’s still with me, 21 years later. I love it. And I’m glad to see that he’s taken his gifts even further in the time since. 

      1. There’s a person who makes submissions to the President, and apparently the current person who does that thinks that nobody should be spared.

        1. I’m sure that if that excuse had been offered on behalf of Dubya, you’d have accepted it, right??

          1. The media wouldn’t have printed the story, so I wouldn’t have known.

            And I’m not defending him, just describing the mechanism.

  2. Interesting…..  Presidential pardons  Where, other than in a dictatorship, can one leader override the decision of the judicial branch of government.  Another one to consider…. Executive Orders.  What other form of government, besides a dictatorship, allows one individual to make rulings. 

    1. Well, a simple look at Wikipedia will tell you that it works that way in many democratic countries.

  3. To paraphrase Dorothy Parker, this selection generally runs the whole gamut of ideology all the way from A to B.

    But I do give credit to the very few names here who are as vocally anti-war today as they were on January 19, 2009.

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