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John Kiriakou has been imprisoned for more than two years. His legal battle before taking a plea that was a better alternative than the risk of a potential 30–year sentence impacted his financial well-being and his resources have been depleted. John was released from prison on February 3, 2015, and is under house arrest until May 1, 2015. In the meantime, he has many goals and plans to meet his mission of being a Force for Good.
With John’s experience in the CIA, as a Whistleblower who was imprisoned for his discussion, he is a sought after speaker for international organizations, colleges and corporations.
As an international expert in political affairs and experiencing the consequences of governmental missteps, John has a unique perspective on whistleblowing, torture policy, and prison reform.
The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror, ©2009, was John Kiriakou’s first book, co-authored with Michael Ruby. John has two more books scheduled for publication in the coming year.
The Reluctant Spy details John Kiriakou’s service in the CIA from 1990 until March 2004, first as an analyst and later as a counterterrorism operations officer.
I am John Kiriakou. I was born into a Greek American household with first-generation parents who were teachers and who influenced me to excel in school and extracurricular activities that resulted in me expanding my education. My immigrant family taught me love of country and to this day, that upbringing has influenced all of my actions.
I joined the CIA as an analyst in the Directorate of Intelligence, figuring I could use my education, use my fascination with international affairs, especially related to the Middle East, and be able to make a real contribution to the nation’s understanding of forces and influences beyond our shores.
I told my story about my time with the CIA in my book, The Reluctant Spy, so those details can be found if you read the book. What transpired with my relationship to the CIA and the way the CIA dealt with the torture policy related to the events after September 11, 2011, is what has transformed my approach to Love of Country.
We need change so that this great country survives and so the world is truly a safer and kinder place for our children to grow and thrive. As a result of my publicly confirming that the CIA was using torture tactics in their interrogation of prisoners captured that were seen as terrorists, I was sentenced to 30 months in prison. I was released on February 3, 2015. My time in prison gave me a perspective on the horrific conditions in prison, the unbalanced way people are treated by the so-called justice system, and the lack of transparency in our government. It was both the greatest and the worst experience of my life. I have been asked if I would do it all again. My answer to that question is an absolute Yes.
From this point forward, I know my mission: I will be a Force for Change.
How One Film Gave Voice to Three Whistleblowers the US Government Tried to Silence
Silenced, a film directed by James Spione has tapped into a zeitgeist moment, when people all over the world are deeply concerned about powers their government has claimed to protect security which infringe upon civil liberties, press freedom, and openness in government.
Kevin Gosztola published this article on MintPress News in partnership with Shadowproof on August 25, 2105.
John Kiriako, Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack are the subjects of this documentary that reveals the treatment afforded whistleblowers who don’t have the right connections. “A person never feels as alone as when the weight of the entire U.S. government is coming down on your head, when Espionage Act charges are being filed against you despite the fact you haven’t committed espionage, and when your personal, financial, and social life are ruined,” John Kiriakou, the CIA torture whistleblower, told Shadowproof. “Jim Spione documented the ugliness of the Obama Administration’s war on whistleblowers. And it was through that documentation that I realized I wasn’t alone.”
In April 2014, Silenced had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Since then it has been screened at dozens of film festivals throughout the world and is now available at iTunes so millions can watch this important film.