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Formerly-Incarcerated CIA Whistleblower Continues To Speak Out

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou opposed the torture tactics that the CIA used in the 'War on Terror.'
Troy Page / t r u t h o u t
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Former CIA officer John Kiriakou opposed the torture tactics that the CIA used in the 'War on Terror.'

A conversation with former CIA official and anti-torture activist John Kiriakou

John Kiriakou spent 14 years in the CIA as an analyst and counterterrorism officer. At one-point he was responsible for leading the team that found Abu Zubaydah, one of the highest ranking al-Qaeda officers at the time.

But Kiriakou’s career has become defined by a decision he made after he left the CIA. In 2007, he became the first CIA official to publicly acknowledge the agency’s use of waterboarding.

Five years later he was charged with disclosing classified information regarding the identity an undercover CIA officer. He admitted to this in a plea deal and served almost two years of a 30-month sentence. Kiriakou was released earlier this year and has since devoted his time to speaking out about the rights of whistleblowers and the state of torture in America’s ‘War on Terror.’

He speaks tonight at the UNC School of Media and Journalism’s Carroll Hall at 7:15 p.m.He'll be in Greensboro tomorrow afternoon, Fayeteville tomorrow night, and in Raleigh on Thursday.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Kiriakou about his career in the CIA and becoming an anti-torture activist.

Copyright 2015 North Carolina Public Radio

Anita Rao is the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content. She has traveled the country recording interviews for the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps production department, founded and launched a podcast about millennial feminism in the South, and served as the managing editor and regular host of "The State of Things," North Carolina Public Radio's flagship daily, live talk show. Anita was born in a small coal-mining town in Northeast England but spent most of her life growing up in Iowa and has a fond affection for the Midwest.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.