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John Kiriakou

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John Kiriakou
John Kiriakou

John Kiriakou writes a weekly column for Truthdig. Kiriakou is a former CIA officer, former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations...

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Donald Trump’s National Security Choices Are Not the ‘A’ Team in Intelligence Circles


Progressives have no reason to be optimistic about retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser or Rep. Michael Pompeo as CIA director.

Posted on Dec 2, 2016 READ MORE

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Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling Appears to Have Suffered a Heart Attack in Prison


CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling has battled to get adequate medical care while in federal prison. He doesn’t have the luxury of time. He needs help immediately.

Posted on Sep 21, 2016 READ MORE

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How the CIA’s Darkest Torture Secrets Were Exposed—and Covered Up


An investigator for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Dan Jones, worked hard to get to the bottom of the agency’s torture program. Then-Attorney General Eric Holder and others conspired to keep the worst news hidden.

Posted on Sep 11, 2016 READ MORE
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The Man Who Captured Abu Zubaydah Says It’s Time to End His Ordeal and Send Him Home


If the government decides you are an “enemy combatant,” you cannot defend yourself in court. It’s a terrible precedent and a threat even to U.S. citizens. We should immediately release the alleged terrorist.

Posted on Aug 26, 2016 READ MORE

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The DNC Email Leaks: The Gift That Keeps On Feeding Distrust


The worst of the many offenses revealed in the latest WikiLeaks case is that Bernie Sanders was undemocratically deprived of fair play in the Democratic primary.

Posted on Jul 27, 2016 READ MORE

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Force Reform in Saudi Arabia With a Thousand Cuts


Despite new evidence of Saudi complicity revealed in the 9/11 report’s “28 pages,” the Saudis keep getting a free ride from the lemmings in Congress. Here’s how to ratchet up pressure on the regime.

Posted on Jul 19, 2016 READ MORE

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Charge Abu Zubaydah With a Crime or Free Him


Al-Qaida’s reported No. 3 operative is a bad guy, but he did not help plot the Sept. 11 attacks and has provided no actionable intelligence since his capture—and subsequent torture—in March 2002.

Posted on Jul 12, 2016 READ MORE

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Bio

John Kiriakou
John Kiriakou

John Kiriakou writes a weekly column for Truthdig. Kiriakou is a former CIA officer, former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and former counterterrorism consultant for ABC News. He was responsible for the capture in Pakistan in 2002 of Abu Zubaydah, then believed to be the third-ranking official in al-Qaida. In 2007, Kiriakou blew the whistle on the CIA’s torture program, telling ABC News that the CIA tortured prisoners, that torture was official U.S. government policy, and that the policy had been approved by then-President George W. Bush. He became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act—a law designed to punish spies.

He served 23 months in prison as a result of the revelation.

In 2012, Kiriakou was honored with the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage, an award given to individuals who “advance truth and justice despite the personal risk it creates,” and by the inclusion of his portrait in artist Robert Shetterly’s series Americans Who Tell The Truth, which features notable truth tellers throughout American history. He was later named “Peacemaker of the Year” by the Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County, Calif. He won the PEN Center USA’s prestigious First Amendment Award in 2015 and is the author of “The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror.”

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