John Kiriakou

John Kiriakou is a former CIA analyst and whistleblower. He co-hosts "Loud and Clear" on Sputnik Radio. He worked for the CIA from 1990 to 2004, including as chief of counter-terrorist operations in Pakistan. In an interview in 2009, he became the first former government official to confirm the use of waterboarding against al-Qaida suspects. From 2009 to 2011, John was a senior investigator for the US Senate foreign relations committee. In 2012, he was charged with leaking classified information to journalists and served two years in prison. Follow him on Twitter: @JohnKiriakou

Articles by this author

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Friday, March 16, 2018
I Went to Prison for Disclosing CIA Torture. Gina Haspel Helped Cover It Up.
I was inside the CIA’s Langley, Va., headquarters on Sept. 11, 2001. Like all Americans, I was traumatized, and I volunteered to go overseas to help bring al-Qaeda’s leaders to justice. I headed counterterrorism operations in Pakistan from January to May 2002. My team captured dozens of al-Qaeda...
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Wednesday, March 16, 2016
An American Mussolini
As you probably heard, Donald Trump canceled a rally in Chicago after scuffles broke out between Trump supporters and opponents around the arena where the candidate was supposed to speak. True to form, Trump blamed everybody but himself for this debacle. He eventually decided that Democratic...
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Wednesday, February 03, 2016
Let’s End Torture in U.S. Prisons
Solitary confinement is exactly what it sounds like. A prisoner is kept in a small cell — usually 6 feet by 10 — alone, for 23 hours a day. For one hour a day, he or she may be taken into a small cage outside, with the opportunity to walk in circles before being taken back in. Even the outdoor cage...
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Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Outrage in Oregon
The armed men occupying an isolated federal building in a remote Oregon bird sanctuary say they won’t leave until the federal government stops its “tyranny.” Yet it’s not clear what that tyranny is, exactly. One of the group’s leaders is Ammon Bundy, who, along with his brother, participated in...
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Thursday, December 31, 2015
The GOP Candidates Know Nothing about Syria
Like many political animals, I was glued to the latest Republican presidential debate . For the most part, there were no surprises: Donald Trump railed against Muslims , Chris Christie lamented that the NSA can’t intercept Americans’ phone calls and emails as easily as it used to, Ben Carson...
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Friday, October 23, 2015
What Clinton Got Wrong About Snowden
Hillary Clinton is wrong about Edward Snowden. Again. The presidential candidate and former secretary of state insisted during the recent Democratic debate that Snowden should have remained in the United States to voice his concerns about government spying on U.S. citizens. Instead, she claimed, he...
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Saturday, October 17, 2015
The Sad Fate of America’s Whistleblowers
What is it about whistleblowers that the powers that be can’t stand? When I blew the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program, I was derided in many quarters as a traitor. My detractors in the government attacked me for violating my secrecy agreement, even as they ignored the oath we’d all...
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Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Let’s Talk About Torture
The CIA’s torture-era leadership won’t repent. Even after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its report saying in no uncertain terms that the CIA had tortured its prisoners, that torture was official U.S. government policy, and that torture never elicited any actionable...
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Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Correcting Unfair Sentencing Laws
After I blew the whistle on the CIA’s torture program, I agreed to a plea deal that sent me to a federal prison for 23 months . Like most American prisons, mine was full of nonviolent drug offenders — people who had made a mistake, in some cases many years ago — or who had supposedly been caught up...
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015
What Caused the Charleston Massacre?
The recent mass murder of worshippers in an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina raises troubling questions for all Americans. First among them: How could this have happened? I think the answer to that one is easy. We live in a heavily armed society. And hundreds of groups in our...
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