After nearly two years in prison for revealing the CIA torture program, former CIA officer John Kiriakou has been allowed to serve the last 86 days of his prison term under home arrest. Kiriakou tweeted at this image of himself with three of his five children after arriving home.
Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty. I'm free at last. MLK Jr (and John Kiriakou). pic.twitter.com/hoPgbjFyAZ
— John Kiriakou (@JohnKiriakou) February 4, 2015
Kiriakou who spent the majority of his 30 month sentence at the Loretto prison in Pennsylvania remains the only single person to face any jail time in connection with the CIA’s secret torture and rendition program. Kiriakou was the man who revealed the program to journalists.
After working for the CIA from 1990 to 2004, Kiriakou shared his knowledge of the agency’s torture methods in 2007, during an interview on ABC News.
Kiriakou discussed the account of Abu Zubaydah, the first high-profile al-Qaeda terror suspected captured after the 9/11 attacks. Zubaydah was subjected to “non-stop use of CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques 24 hours a day for 17 days,” which included the practice of waterboarding.
During the interview, Kiriakou ultimately justified the technique, saying that if they hadn’t used it, and had missed out on an important “nugget of information,” he would have had trouble forgiving himself.
In addition to revealing to the world that the U.S. had used such extreme torture methods, Kiriakou also made it clear that the CIA officers were not acting alone, and were “carefully directed” from the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia, “each step of the way.”
After pleading guilty in October 2012, Kiriakou began his 30-month sentence in February 2013, for revealing the CIA’s illegal torture program, and for disclosing the fact that the program was an official policy of the U.S. government.
Prior to beginning his sentence, Kiriakou said he was “accepting responsibility” for his actions, and “hoping that maybe the country is better and more informed and more transparent” for the debate he helped to initiate.
“I believe I was prosecuted not for what I did but for who I am: a CIA officer who said torture was wrong and ineffective and went against the grain.” Kiriakou said.