March 2, 2015—CIA torture whistleblower John Kiriakou worked undercover for the agency for 14-plus years. In 2013, he became the first CIA official to ever be sent to prison for leaking classified information.
To understand what landed Kiriakou in prison, we go back to a 2007 interview he did with ABC during which he described the CIA enhanced interrogation technique of waterboarding as torture. From that moment—in which he became a whistleblower—Kiriakou felt increased scrutiny from the government of his actions.
In the summer of 2008, Kiriakou leaked the name of a retired undercover CIA agent (who was part of the CIA’s rendition program, not its torture program) to Matthew Cole. Cole was looking for a source, and at that time Kiriakou felt it was OK to provide that information due to the fact that the agent had retired. What Kiriakou didn’t know is that the agent had remained undercover.
This action landed Kiriakou in custody for violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. After a lengthy legal battle against a prosecution that was, as he and his attorneys described it, “vindictive and selective,” Kiriakou accepted a plea and admitted the leak. The punishment was to spend 30 months in prison.
After experiencing the horrible conditions of prison (from inedible food to extreme overcrowding), Kiriakou was released from prison to a halfway house February 3. He is currently serving out the remainder of his sentence under house arrest.
From his home in Virginia, Kiriakou joined Voices of Liberty Managing Editor Tiffany Rider for a virtual interview to discuss his case, as well as learning the truth about CIA torture, his experience capturing a top al-Qaeda official, the growth of ISIS and his advice for other whistleblowers. Watch all nine segments of the interview below.
Part 2: ‘We Decided to Waterboard Each Other’
Part 3: ‘The People Carrying Out the Torture Were Lying’
Part 4: Prosecuting CIA Officers for Torture
Part 5: ‘Enhanced Interrogation’ and Torture
Part 6: Using the Law to Silence Dissent
Part 7: Releasing Classified Information
Part 8: Islamic Extremism in the Middle East
Part 9: How to Blow the Whistle
This article is hosted, designed, and promoted with the assistance of readers like you. Give a gift to keep VoicesofLiberty moving the message of liberty forward.