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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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If Hillary Clinton Gets a Pass on Espionage From President Obama, so Should Whistleblowers


Either the country has a policy of filing felony charges against people who reveal classified information, or it doesn’t. We all should be prosecuted, or none of us should be.

Posted on Jun 6, 2016 READ MORE

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The U.S. Senator Who Thinks We Need More Incarceration


Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, argues that the U.S. isn’t putting enough people behind bars. He ignores the fact that when ex-felons are allowed to reintegrate into society as productive, tax-paying citizens with voting rights, they are far less likely to reoffend.

Posted on Jun 1, 2016 READ MORE

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A Worrisome New Plan to Send U.S. Troops to Libya as ‘Advisers’


Gen. James Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the United States may soon send “military advisers” to Libya to fight Islamic State. But if the past is any lesson, the plan will presage a large combat contingent.

Posted on May 24, 2016 READ MORE
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Private Groups, Not Government, Lead the Charge on Prison Issues


As architects consider a ban on designing death chambers and a major pharmaceutical company stops selling drugs for use in executions, Washington sits on its hands when it comes to reform.

Posted on May 17, 2016 READ MORE

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Salon With Robert Scheer: John Kiriakou Challenges the American Injustice System

Kiriakou opposes torture and went to prison for exposing it. Now he is working to reform the American security state. The former CIA officer explains how to Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer.

Posted on Mar 10, 2016 WATCH & LISTEN

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AUDIO: Whistleblower John Kiriakou to Robert Scheer: Whistleblowers ‘Are Not Alone’

The U.S. government is out to “ruin” people who expose official wrongoing “in every conceivable way,” says John Kiriakou in an interview with Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer. Kiriakou is a 14-year CIA veteran who was jailed for confirming that the U.S. government tortured prisoners via waterboarding.

Posted on May 29, 2015 WATCH & LISTEN

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Former CIA Agent and Whistleblower John Kiriakou Gives Post-Prison Interview

The former CIA agent-turned-whistleblower tells Amy Goodman he doesn’t regret his decision to expose the Bush administration’s use of waterboarding.

Posted on Feb 10, 2015 WATCH & LISTEN

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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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