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John Kiriakou

Born: 9-Aug-1964
Birthplace: Sharon, PA

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Government

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: CIA torture whistleblower

CIA agent, formerly stationed in Greece and Pakistan. Confirmed the government's use of enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding in an interview with Brian Ross of ABC News in December 2007:

JOHN: At the time I felt that water boarding was something that we needed to do. And as time has passed, and as September 11th has, you know, has moved farther and farther back into history, I think I've changed my mind. And I think that water boarding is probably something that we shouldn't be in the business of doing.

ABC: Why do you say that now?

JOHN: Because we're Americans, and we're better than that. [1]

Kiriakou was investigated by the FBI but no charges were filed with regard to his whistleblowing. He continued to work in Washington, serving as a senior investigator to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the early 2010s. Per Kiriakou's account, during this time the FBI made numerous attempts to entrap him into accepting bribes or revealing classified information. He was later charged in an unrelated case for verifying the name of a CIA agent to an ABC reporter. The leak was discovered following an investigation by Patrick J. Fitzgerald into defense attorneys showing photographs of CIA operatives to Guantanamo detainees, which led tangentially to Kiriakou.

In exchange for a reduced sentence, Kiriakou pled guilty to one count of mishandling classified materials and was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. The New York Times noted that "the cases appear to have resulted less from a conscious policy change than from the proliferation of e-mail, which makes it possible to trace the origin of some disclosures without pressuring journalists to identify confidential sources"[2], comparing it to the accidental revelation of David Petraeus's extramarital affair.


[1] Interview with Brian Ross, ABC News, 10 December 2007.

[2] "Ex-Officer Is First From C.I.A. to Face Prison for a Leak", The New York Times, Scott Shane, 5 January 2013.

Wife: JoAnne Tsimpinos (m. 25-Jun-1988, div. 22-Jun-2002, two sons)
Wife: Heather Kiriakou (CIA employee, m. 6-Aug-2003, three children)

    High School: New Castle High School, New Castle, PA (1982)
    University:
BA Middle Eastern Studies, George Washington University
    University: MA Legislative Affairs, George Washington University

    Institute for Policy Studies Associate Fellow (2015-16)
    House Arrest (3 months, 2015)
    Inmate FCI Loretto (2013-15)
    Mishandling Classified Materials disclosing classified information, pled guilty to 1 count (2012)
    Making False Statements charges dropped
    ABC Terrorism consultant, ABC News (2011-12)
    Rhodes Global Consulting (2011)
    Congressional Staff Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee (2009-11)
    ABC Terrorism consultant, ABC News (2008-09)
    Deloitte and Touche (2004-08)
    CIA employee (1990-2004)
    Assassination Attempt Greece (1990s)
    Assassination Attempt (one other)
    Greek Ancestry

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State (19-Apr-2013) · Himself

Author of books:
The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the C.I.A.'s War on Terror (2012)
The Convenient Terrorist: Abu Zubaydah and the Weird Wonderland of America's Secret Wars (2017)
Doing Time Like a Spy: How the CIA Taught Me to Survive and Thrive in Prison (2017)


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