News Release

Torture Whistleblower Awardee Blasts Election Direction


ELIZABETH MURRAY, emurray404 [at], @elizabethmurra
Murray served as deputy national intelligence officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career in the U.S. government, where she specialized in Middle Eastern political and media analysis. She said today: “This year the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence will be conferred on former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who blew the whistle on CIA torture at great personal and professional cost. We will honor him this Sunday, September 25th at American University.

“John displayed both courage and integrity in speaking the truth to the American public about U.S. government-sponsored torture, no matter how inconvenient and costly the truth may have been.”

JOHN KIRIAKOU, jkiriakou [at], @johnkiriakou
Kiriakou said today: “Our country is in crisis, whether it is because of our apparently seamless escalation into a permanent wartime economy, our inability to wage peace in the Middle East and South Asia, or our national compulsion to prosecute and humiliate national security whistleblowers. The quest for peace must be a part of our presidential election. Instead of arguing which candidate would be more likely to use drones, more likely to bomb our enemies, real or perceived, or more likely to use the stick, rather than the carrot, we must demand that those candidates commit themselves to the pursuit of peace both here and abroad. Without peace, we will continue down the long road toward anarchy and hatred. I am honored that my friends and colleagues in the intelligence and law enforcement communities have given me the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence. I will work hard in the pursuit of peace. I hope to do them proud.”

Also, see: “Intel Vets Urge Fast Report on Clinton’s Emails” — which states: “Secretary Clinton’s case invites comparison with what happened to former CIA case officer Jeffrey Sterling, now serving a three-and-a-half-year prison term for allegedly leaking information to New York Times journalist James Risen.”

Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence notes that Kiriakou, in 2002, “led the team that located Abu Zubaydah, alleged to be a high-ranking member of al-Qaeda. It later transpired that Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times. … Kiriakou was the first U.S. government official to confirm (during a national news interview in December 2007) that waterboarding — which he described as torture — was used to interrogate al Qaeda prisoners. … Kiriakou subsequently faced persecution by the U.S. government for his act of truth-telling, and was sentenced to a 30-month prison term — ostensibly for revealing classified information. To this day Kiriakou remains the sole U.S. government official — past or present — who has gone to jail over the issue of torture in the post-9/11 era. Kiriakou’s claim of U.S. torture practices was later confirmed by President Obama, who in 2014 publicly acknowledged that ‘we tortured some folks.'”