Join Us in a Letter Writing Campaign for CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou

from The Government Accountability Project, 1/9/14

CIA/Torture whistleblower and GAP client John Kiriakou needs your help! As you probably know, he is currently serving a 30-month jail sentence in retaliation for being the first former CIA officer to a) confirm that the agency waterboarded detainees, and b) label waterboarding as torture. He 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. You can read his full story here.

Since his sentence began, Kiriakou has written a series called “Letters from Loretto,” detailing his experiences at the federal correctional institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Last August, he stopped writing the series (and withdrew complaints against prison staff, and turned down press interviews) in exchange for a deal to spend the last nine months of his sentence in a halfway house facility (allowing for much greater freedom). However, he has released a new letter explaining that prison officials have gone back on their word.

In his letter, Kiriakou is calling for supporters like you to send messages to prison officials (see below) and urge them to grant the nine-month halfway house stay! Notable individuals who have already sent letters include Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Tx), former Governor Gary Johnson (R-Nm), and public interest advocate Ralph Nader.

Your help could make a huge difference for Kiriakou, who wishes to resume his place as a productive member of society and as a father to his five children.

Below is draft language you can use in a letter to Erlinda Hernandez at the Bureau of Prisons, who is expected to make a final decision on the halfway house by the end of this month (January). Kiriakou also asks that, if possible, you copy the letter to Charles Samuels, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons.

As always, thanks so much for your support!


The Government Accountability Project

Erlinda Hernandez
Bureau of Prisons
Residential Reentry Office
PO Box 7000
Butner, NC 27509

cc: Mr. Charles Samuels
Director of Bureau of Prisons
320 First St. NW
Washington, DC 20534

Dear Ms. Hernandez:

I write to urge you to allow John Kiriakou (inmate 79637-083 at Loretto) to serve the last nine months of his sentence in a halfway house, so that he may resume productive contributions to society.

Kiriakou served in the CIA for over 14 years. During that time, he was involved in critical counterterrorism missions following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Throughout his career, Kiriakou received 10 Exceptional Performance Awards, the Sustained Superior Performance Award, the Counterterrorism Service Medal, and the State Department’s Meritorious Honor Award.

In 2008, Kiriakou confirmed the name of a former CIA colleague to a reporter writing a book on the Agency. The name wasn’t made public as a result of the confirmation, and Kiriakou, under threat of more severe terms and financial ruin, pled guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

But the real reason Kiriakou was prosecuted is because he is an anti-torture whistleblower who was brave enough to speak out against the agency’s practices. He never tortured anyone – yet he is the only person to be prosecuted in relation to the torture program under the George W. Bush administration.

Kiriakou is an honorable and patriotic American. He does not deserve to be made an example of wrongdoing. I ask that he be granted at least nine months of halfway house time so that he may begin his life again as a valuable member of society and as a father to his five children.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this message.



GAP’s mission is to promote corporate and government accountability by protecting whistleblowers, advancing occupational free speech, and empowering citizen activists. GAP has been the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization since 1977.

The Government Accountability Project
1612 K Street NW, Washington DC 20006


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