Friday May 9th is a Day of Action to help John Kiriakou, the CIA agent serving a prison sentence for whistleblowing against the C.I.A. torture program. The day is being organized by FireDogLake. All concerned members of the public are encouraged to visit their local Representatives’ and Senators’ offices to lobby for Kiriakou’s release to a half way house. For those unable to visit an office, FireDogLake recommends calling the Bureau of Prisons to ask them to move Kiriakou, or to donate to a fund for Freedom of Information Act requests concerning the case.
Kiriakou is a former C.I.A. analyst and case officer. In the wake of September 11, 2001, he refused to be trained in “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which many understand to be a euphemism for the cruel and unusual punishments inflicted upon detainees of the United States in violation of the 8th amendment of the Constitution. These actions include waterboarding, a crime for which the United States has been said to have executed Japanese soldiers for, after World War II.
Kiriakou, after leaving the CIA, was the first CIA officer to confirm that the agency waterboarded prisoners as part of official U.S. policy. Subsequently, the U.S. government investigated and prosecuted him. It has been noted ironically, that the sole C.I.A. officer to be jailed in relation to the torture program was the one to publicly oppose the program. He is currently serving a thirty month sentence under the Espionage Act. Reports by writers such as Kevin Gostolza have described his ill treatment by the Bureau of Prisons and repeated attempts to silence his public communications which have become known as the “Letters from Loretto.”
Kiriakou has been honored in the well known portrait series by Robert Shetterly “Americans Who Tell the Truth.” Other honors he has received include the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civil Courage. While with the C.I.A. he received 10 Exceptional Performance Awards, the Sustained Superior Performance Award, the Counterterrorism Service Medal, and the State Department’s Meritorious Honor Award.
The Green Party of the United States has consistently called for a halt to the prosecution of whistleblowers. Though perhaps less known than others such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, Broward County Greens believe that Kiriakou has performed a service to his country by his defense of the Constitution.
The call to action by FireDogLake includes an “Action Packet.”