Season 3 Episode 4

Ex-CIA US Torture Tactics Whistleblower
John Kiriakou

There are some things we should not do, even in the name of national security.

This week I got a chance to sit and chat with my friend and fellow “whistleblower elite club member”, (as he calls it), John Kiriakou. John is a retired CIA agent and a father of five, who didnt know how much his life was going to change one day when he saw something that was so wrong, and was compelled to speak up.

Kiriakou spent 14 years at the CIA as an analyst and case officer, leading the team that found high-ranking al-Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah in 2002.

Yet, years after the event and under the Obama administration, Kiriakou ended up spending 2 years in prison after blowing the whistle on the George W. Bush administration’s torture program. In 2007.

Kiriakou became the first CIA official to publicly confirm and detail the agency’s use of waterboarding. In January 2013, he was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. Under a plea deal, Kiriakou admitted to a single count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act by revealing the identity of a covert officer involved in the torture program to a freelance reporter, who did not publish it. In return, prosecutors dropped charges brought under the Espionage Act. Kiriakou is the only official to be jailed for any reason relating to CIA torture. Supporters say he was unfairly targeted in the Obama administration’s crackdown on government whistleblowers. 

The Espionage Act of 1917 (yes thats right, 1917)  is the same law that current administrations use as a “catch all” to prosecute anyone who whistleblows on our own Government, essentially.

Originally, the Espionage Act was hardly ever cited and only limited to entirely active and known spies—until recently. Both the Obama and Trump administrations have now started using this literally unrelated law to sweep and target whistleblowers who are trying to let everyone know of outrageous and or corrupt practices within our own government.

Let’s take a look at Obama and Trumps stats, proving that party politics are not the only driving force behind this sudden dramatic increase in targeting whistleblowers. 

It seems to have become a “we support whistleblowers…….as long as they arent blowing the whistle on US.

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OBAMA Administration Stats

8 people charged-more than ALL others combined since 1917.

Chelsea Manning

Ed Snowden

Stewart Nozette

Thomas Drake

Shamai Leibowitz

Stephen Kim

Fmr CIA Jeffrey Sterling

Fmr CIA John Kiriakou

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TRUMP Administration Stats

Reality Winner

Henry Kyle Freese

Julian Assange

and a staggering 132 mentioned under investigation at last press conference.



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