I’ve mentioned John Kiriakou several times before on these pages. In case you forgot, he was the only person jailed for the CIA’s torture program. Unsurprisingly, he was the guy who blew the whistle on it.
Fortunately, John has served his time and, rather than riding off into the sunset, he continues to courageously speak out against the ever expanding injustices perpetrated on the American people by their own government.
– ‘No one went to jail but me’: CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou speaks out (RT, Feb 10, 2015):
Former CIA analyst John Kiriakou blew the whistle on the agency’s use of waterboarding and was subsequently locked up. Fresh out of prison and on the heels of the CIA torture report, he feels vindicated – and says he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.
RT:You’ve described your time in detention as “terrible years that ruined you personally,” yet you’ve also said it’s all been worth it. Can you expand on that?
John Kiriakou: You know, I really do believe that it was worth it. I’m proud to have played a role, however small, in the outline of torture in the United States. And to me, the past now is water under the bridge. I’m proud to have played that role and it’s time to move on and continue this fight for human rights and civil liberties. Continue reading »
– Notes from the Underground: John Kiriakou’s Letter from Prison (Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 31, 2013):
Greetings from the Federal Correctional Institution at Loretto, Pennsylvania. I arrived here on February 28, 2013 to serve a 30-month sentence for violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. At least that’s what the government wants people to believe. In truth this is my punishment for blowing the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program and for telling the public that torture was official U.S. government policy. But that’s a different story. The purpose of this letter is to tell you about prison life.
The prison population is much like you might expect. Loretto has 1,369 prisoners (I never call myself an “inmate.” I’m a prisoner). About 50% are black, 30% are Hispanic, and 20% are white. Of the white prisoners, most are pedophiles with personal stories that would make you sick to your stomach. The rest of the white prisoners are here for drugs, except for a dozen or so who ran ponzi schemes.
What follows is a rather brief, but incredibly interesting letter from John Kiriakou, the only person to be jailed in a torture related case in the U.S. Of course, he wasn’t involved in torture, he blew the whistle on it. For that offense he has been caged, while those actually involved in allowing torture roam free. I first highlighted John’s plight last year before he was jailed in my piece: Have You Heard of John Kiriakou? I suggest reading that post before getting into the letter below. Enjoy.
– CIA torture whistleblower sentenced to prison by US judge (PressTV, Jan 26, 2013):
A CIA whistleblower who was among the first to expose details of the spy agency’s use of waterboarding and other torture methods against Muslim suspects accused of terrorism was sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison by a US judge.
The 48-year-old former CIA agent John Kiriakou, who worked for the spy agency between 1990 and 2004 and was involved in the capture of a ‘terror suspect,’ received the jail term on Friday by US District Judge Leonie Brinkema, who proclaimed that the sentence she issued was “way too light.”
The judge harshly rejected the notion that Kiriakou was a whistleblower concerned about the illegal use of harsh torture tactics by American spies and intelligence officers and said, “This is a case of a man who betrayed a solemn trust.”
In a 2007 televised interview with the US-based ABC News, Kiriakou offered a dramatic description of the use of waterboarding in torturing a suspect that he had helped capture, Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein, also identified as Abu Zubaida.