Only CIA Agent Jailed for Torture Program Is
Whistleblower Who Confirmed Its Existence
Former operative John Kiriakou, currently in prison, was charged with a
crime after helping expose widespread abuses conducted by agency
Lazare, staff writer
Common Dreams, Wednesday,
December 10, 2014
CIA whisteblower John Kiriakou as depicted in portrait
artist Robert Shetterly's "Americans Who Tell the Truth" series.
There is only one U.S. government employee who has gone to jail in
connection with the widespread torture program by the CIA documented in
summary (pdf) of
the Senate report that was partially released Tuesday: the man who
helped expose it six years ago.
John Kiriakou, who worked for the CIA between 1990 and 2004, stepped
forward in 2007 and confirmed to press outlets some of the first details
about the agency's widespread use of torture.
Among Kiriakou's revelations was an account to ABC
News of the
repeated water-boardings of Abu Zubaydah—a man currently imprisoned in
Guantanamo Bay without charges whose 12 years of torture and abuse at
the hands of the U.S. were further exposed in the Senate report.
2013, Kiriakou—a father of five—was prosecuted by the Obama
administration under the Espionage Act for allegedly revealing
classified information to a reporter. He was sentencedto
30 months in prison, which he is still serving. His incarceration came
after the Obama administration refused
to prosecute any
of the higher-up government officials who designed, authorized, or
otherwise took part in implementation of the torture program.
Kiriakou is widely considered a victim of the Obama administration's war
on whistleblowers, in which the president's administration
has charged more people under the Espionage Act than all previous
The Senate report released Tuesday reveals that, as the Obama
administration locked up Kiriakou, the CIA was actively spreading lies
and misinformation about the agency's vast torture program, including
deliberate leaks and false narratives to the media.
the lawyer who represented Kiriakou, wrote Tuesday
"The newly released Executive Summary of Senate Intelligence Committee’s
Torture Report lays bare that the CIA makes propaganda its business, and
the propagandists and perpetrators of torture are enjoying their
freedom. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has made truth-telling a
crime, and truth-tellers are in jail."