When I started as Director of Quaker House in Fayetteville, North Carolina, near Fort Bragg, my main task was to get ready for a big war.
The U.S. was already fighting in Afghanistan, and the buildup for an invasion of Iraq was well underway. We could hear the war machine cranking up among the many units at Fort Bragg — some visible, like the 82nd Airborne, and many invisible, Special Forces units we weren’t supposed to know about — not to mention gathering hordes of “contractors”, a euphemism for mercenaries. Continue reading Who Wants The Best Quaker Job There Is?→
Exclusive Interview With CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou — Part 3 of 3
[John Kiriakou will visit North Carolina October 27-29. As background for the visit, we conducted this email conversation. ThePrelude is here.Part One is here. Part Two is here.]
AFL: Besides telling of some pretty hair-raising “derring do” and anti-terrorist actions, you wrote very favorably overall in your book, The Reluctant Spy, about the CIA (calling it “THE CIA” marks me as an outsider, yes?), and most of the people you worked with and for. I wonder if, in the years since, given what you’ve been through since, that estimate has evolved any?
AFL: John, can we start with a quick background sketch? I gather you’re of immigrant Greek heritage, and grew up in southwest Pennsylvania. From there you made your way into a CIA in 1990 which was long widely regarded as almost iconically WASP and old-family. Was that era over by the time you got there?
Exclusive Interview With John Kiriakou – CIA Whistleblower:
Prelude: Here we set the stage for our conversation with John Kiriakou, former CIA anti-terror agent turned whistleblower who served almost two years in prison for confirming the CIA tortured prisoners in the “War On Terror.”
Kiriakou will visit North Carolina October 27-29, and make several public appearances. (Full schedule below.) This excerpt is from his 2010 book, The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War On Terror. (More on his book here.)
Three Pictures for Today: First, John Kiriakou, CIA whistleblower who confirmed the existence of the CIA’s illegal torture program, just got out of jail, after serving two years in a federal penitentiary. This twitter photo says it all:
Well, not QUITE all. Kiriakou still has a million-dollar legal bill, five kids, one in college, no pension and no job. And he has one other major distinction: of those government officials who planned the illegal [as in violatingexisting U.S. federal criminal law] CIA torture program, organized it, carried it out, shilled for it, covered it up, lied and obstructed justice for it, the only one who has faced charges is Kiriakou, whose “crime” was confirming its existence to a reporter. More on John and his background here.
Now, to the second photo of the day:
Departing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was the federal officer ultimately responsible for the prosecution of Kiriakou and other whistleblowers about torture, government spying on citizens, and more. His record in this record is usefully , shockingly summarized here.
No doubt Holder did some good work in his tenure; but the record on civil liberties is going to make a rough chapter in the history books; and it ought to give him nightmares.
So Welcome home, John Kiriakou. And Eric Holder: here’s the third photo, a sign for you: