As the US Empire falls, the US government continues its regime change attempts around the world in an effort to hang onto power. We see the same tactics applied over and over again. We speak with John Kiriakou, a former CIA analyst and case officer, about what regime change looks like from inside the CIA, which he describes as similar to the Bansky painting, “The Banality of the Banality of Evil.” He reveals the tension between those who ignore the illegality of what the US is doing and those who believe in the rule of law, how the process of deciding to intervene in a country works, and then how it is carried out. He provides specific examples from his own experience, plus his thoughts on what is happening in Belarus and Hong Kong, and the current state of US politics.
John Kiriakou is a former CIA analyst and case officer, former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and former counterterrorism consultant. While employed by the CIA, he was involved in critical counterterrorism missions following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but refused to be trained in so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.” and Kiriakou never authorized or engaged in these techniques:
After leaving the CIA, Kiriakou appeared on ABC News in an interview with Brian Ross, during which he became the first former CIA officer to confirm that the agency waterboarded detainees and label waterboarding as torture. Kiriakou’s interview revealed that this practice was not just the result of a few rogue agents, but was official U.S. policy approved at the highest levels of the government.
The government started investigating Kiriakou immediately after his media appearance. Five years later, the government finally succeeded in piecing together enough information to criminally prosecute him. He became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act – a law designed to punish spies, not whistleblowers.
When Kiriakou came to GAP for help, we began acting as his legal counsel on whistleblower issues and started a public advocacy campaign on his case. Eventually, in order to avoid a trial that could have resulted in separation from his wife and five children for up to 45 years, he opted to plead guilty to one count (not Espionage) in exchange for a 30-month sentence.
Kiriakou is the sole CIA agent to go to jail in connection with the U.S. torture program, despite the fact that he never tortured anyone. Rather, he blew the whistle on this horrific wrongdoing. Read more here. Visit his website here.