CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou speaks out

At home with his kids
At home with his kids

…from Russia Today, Moscow


John Kiriakou is free
John Kiriakou is free

[ Editor’s Note: John Kiriakou is now out of jail and now deserves a pound of flesh (or more) from those who put him there. This was government at its worst, and it serves us all… protects us all, to see to it that there is some blowback for the punitive prosecution.

It was done purely to keep the CIA’s going rogue on torture hidden as long as possible, so those involved could get further away from the blood splatters. This includes the Bush White House attorneys that gave them “veil thin legal opinion” cover.

And if you haven’t noticed, no one in mass media is posing the question of whether the current ISIL barbarity was birthed back in the days when attorneys said it was OK as long as you had a good reason. They would never admit that, but when you strip off all the Christmas wrapping, that’s what you have.

John also is still behind the curve, not having been able to read VT, as his comments below seem to indicate that state-sponsored terrorism was not a key factor in all of this, including Osama having been a fellow CIA agent.

But he will have time to catch up now that he is out, as he states below he wants to continue fighting for human rights and civil liberties. That is still the bumpy road it was when he went inside. I will see if we can get an interview with him for VT television and VT radioJim W. Dean ]



– First published … February 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.

Sentencing day
Sentencing day

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?

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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.

RT:You are currently writing a book about the conditions you encountered in prison. What were those conditions like?

JK: I was surprised by the terrible quality of the medical care, of the food. American prisoners aren’t even fed human-grade food. I remember passing boxes, cases of food in the cafeteria marked “not for human consumption, feed use only” or “for sale only in China.” And the medical care was even worse. There were almost a half a dozen deaths of prisoners when I was there in prison, and almost every one of those deaths was preventable.

RT: What was your motivating factor to put yourself through this? You must have known there was a high risk you were taking on.

JK: No whistleblower really sets out to be a whistleblower. I saw a policy that I believed was not just wrong, but was criminal, and I decided to speak about it. I really didn’t think long-term about how the US government can bring its full weight against a whistleblower.

The goal really of the Justice Department is to ruin the whistleblower personally, professionally, and financially. I hadn’t thought that through, and that’s exactly what happened to me. But again, it’s opened up a whole new world for me in the realm of human right and civil liberties.

RT: You say that the aim is to ruin the whistleblower. Washington has now officially admitted that torture took place, and a comprehensive report has been released – do you consider this a final victory?

JK: Absolutely. Everything that I said was true, and we now know that because of the release of the torture report.

RT: Now that all this is public knowledge, do you think the CIA will abandon its torture practices for good?

JK: I do believe that the CIA will abandon torture. Not just because it’s illegal, but because the truth always has a way of coming out. And I don’t think the organization can withstand another revelation that they had yet again begun a torture regime.

RT: No one has of yet been held accountable for the torture program. How do you feel about that?

The man that came out of the shadows
The man that came out of the shadows

JK: It’s the great irony, isn’t it? Personally I feel that the Justice Department is hypocritical to charge me for a crime, and not just me but other whistleblowers as well – [such] as Ed Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and others – and then allow the torturers to go free.

But what really bothers me, is that there is no prosecution of CIA officers who obviously violated the law; those CIA officers who were conducting interrogations in which prisoners were killed. I have no idea why there is no outrage, and why those officers are not being prosecuted.

RT: The horrible conditions that detainees endure in Guantanamo Bay at the hands of the CIA have become somewhat of a recruiting tool for jihadists. Do you think these practices have done more harm or good in the war on terror?

JK: I’m absolutely positive that that has been the case. We always seem to step in a mud puddle, so to speak, when it comes to things like interrogations or drone strikes or attacks on individuals. These activities always serve to promote terrorist recruitments.

You know, when we first began fighting Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, we were talking about a core of just several hundred people. Well, now look at ISIS, which is sort of the next generation of Al-Qaeda. We are talking about fighting something like 35,000 people. And I think that we’ve had a hand in that recruitment.

RT: How do you think the attitude of the US government to whistleblowers has changed? There’s been a number of high profile cases, including yours, over the last few years.

JK: I think that Americans are more aware of the role of whistleblowers, whereas as recently as three to four years ago, nobody gave whistleblowers a second thought. I have to say, really, since I went to prison, that I have been overwhelmed by the support I’ve received from average Americans across the country, and I think that just a few years ago that wouldn’t have been the case.

RT: Finally, after all that you’ve gone through, would you blow the whistle again if you were in a position to do so?

JK: I would. I would do it again. As terrible as it’s been, as difficult as it’s been, I have a family that is rock solid in its support of me, and a family that knows right from wrong, Torture is wrong, and I’m proud to have played a role in the end of torture as US government policy, and I would do it all again.

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  1. Oh they all have soft landings in nice cushy jobs. All the orgs that suck up millions in human rights donations never go after people like this. They prefer to spend the money on overhead, especially the DC ones.

  2. Re Toby’s, a few years ago I posted some tame comments on Yahoo critical of Israeli crimes against Palestinians, selecting the option to be notified of responses to verify your point myself. Predictably the deluge of replies were outrageous slurs revealing the trolls’ sexually depraved minds, irrelevancies, lies, etc. If the Zios finally censor Internet criticism of their crimes, don’t lose heart as a new form of technologically sophisticated samizdat will arise unlike anything previously known, over which they’ll have no control. More importantly, people will be forced to abandon their keyboards and meet face to face to discuss matters, which is the only hope for concerted action.

  3. FindLaw has an article about trial commissar Brinkema’s earlier complicity in the FBI’s paint ball case a decade ago, where blatantly unconstitutional “preemptive prosecution,” itself based on unconstitutional, coerced plea-bargain testimony about legal activities that might possibly suggest future, unspecified aid to enemies of countries merely allied to the U.S., resulted in effective life sentences for several American Muslims. Meanwhile prominent neocons and members of congress can demand the preemptive mass murder of tens of thousands of Iranians with impunity on the grounds they might possibly use the nukes they are not developing…ad nauseam. With Kiriakou, pointing out crimes committed by the state becomes the only real crime. The constitution is dead, folks, as the criminal state in DC is now literally rolling back advances in the rule of law a thousand years and more.

  4. It takes a public conscious to demonstrate a public outcry and a method of communicating that rage to as many people as possible, in a venue that people will accept.
    The Clive Bundy cattle/BLM is a good one for the NRA folks. Short wave radio pastor gives the call to arms and serve the community by meeting at Clive Bundy’s ranch. Within days an army of armed protestors faces off the BLM. The BLM walks.
    For the passive folk who like bake sales and painted face parties how hard is it to flash mob demonstrate DC with a clown infested balloon inundated punch and muffin festival to protest the Keystone pipeline.

    • Toby,
      My response was a direct response to the articles desire for a hasty remedy and where that remedy may be short sited for something as huge as a 250 year old British banking empire that controls the current US of A.
      From the article below:

      “Jonathan Williams recorded in his book, Legions of Satan, 1781, that Cornwallis revealed to Washington during his surrender that “a holy war will now begin on America, and when it is ended America will be supposedly the citadel of freedom, but her millions will unknowingly be loyal subjects to the Crown.”….”in less than two hundred years the whole nation will be working for divine world government. That government that they believe to be divine will be the British Empire.”

      Storming the gates wont work. Getting out of private debt will.

    • Toby,
      I have no Idea where I got the idea that this article was calling for mass protests. Skipping through articles too fast again. If the internet is the next generation of public education, news, entertainment, and social venues it makes sense that a large volume of content will be propaganda and that includes professional trolls and dysfunctional adolescence.
      The government lobby’s will always have more resources than individuals or small groups so I expect a huge campaigns of distractions and insults.
      I stopped worrying about the few dull witted who mindlessly accept the MSM with hopes their not as ignorant as I believe and they don’t post comments. Hence the silent majority. I do it to vent.

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