John Kiriakou, former high-level CIA officer and prominent whistleblower, will speak at three events along the Colorado Front Range in February. Kiriakou is know as “the only CIA officer imprisoned for the U.S. torture program – and the whistleblower who exposed it.” Kiriakou is highly critical of the US Justice Department and the Obama Administration’s war on whistleblowers. In discussing his case, Kiriakou points out the glaring double standard between how he was treated, versus how other high level officials – such as Leon Panetta and General David Petraeus – were treated for similar or worse offenses.
Tickets available at the door – $15
When: Saturday, February 13, 1:00PM
Where: Foothills Unitarian Church, 1815 Yorktown Avenue, Ft. Collins
Sponsored By: Ft. Collins Center for Peace, Justice, and the Environment
In 2002, Kiriakou was the Chief of Counterterrorist Operations for the CIA in Pakistan, where he led a successful mission to capture Abu Zubaydah, Al Qaeda’s third ranking leader. Two years later, Kiriakou left the CIA and worked as a senior manager for Deloitte & Touche’s competitive intelligence practice. Kiriakou’s career took a fateful turn in 2007 when he disclosed details about the US torture program in an interview with ABC News. Within days, the US Justice Department began an aggressive investigation of Kiriakou that spanned five years, continuing through Obama’s first term. In 2012, Kiriakou was indicted on three counts of violating the Espionage Act, which has been used many times to prosecute government employees who leak national security information. To avoid risking a lengthy prison sentence, Kiriakou accepted a deal and pleaded guilty to disclosing the name of a CIA operative to a journalist and was sentenced to 30 months in prison, even though the name of the operative was never released to the public. Kiriakou began his prison sentence in February 2013, and was released last February after serving two years. Kiriakou now tours the country speaking on issues of whistleblowing, torture policy, and prison reform.
In his talks, Kiriakou will discuss the plight of another prominent whistleblower, Jeffrey Sterling, Sterling was prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act for allegedly leaking classified information to New York Times reporter James Risen. Risen made national news when he was subpoenaed to testify against Sterling in a case that pitted national security against press freedom. Last year, Sterling was convicted on scant evidence and is currently serving serving a 3.5 year sentence at the federal prison in Englewood, Colorado, a southwest Denver suburb.