Spelunking the Deep State with John Kiriakou


Manage episode 351886834 series 2485830
By Steve D Grumbine MS, MBA, PMP, PSM1, ITIL, Steve D Grumbine MS, MBA, PMP, PSM1, and ITIL. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

When you Google John Kiriakou, the descriptive label that pops up with his name is Whistleblower.

John was an analyst and case officer for the Central Intelligence Agency during the anti-communist era and then the anti-terrorist era. (Where did all the communists go? Aren’t they a threat anymore? Were they ever? Those will have to be questions for another day.)

He is also an author, activist, and co-host of Political Misfits on Radio Sputnik. He and Michelle Witte regularly have Steve on their show as a guest to talk about (what else?) macroeconomics. Now we get to hear his story, working with—and then against—the CIA.

Of the 14 CIA agents who were offered to be trained in ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques during the hunt for al-Qaeda in 2002, John was the only one who declined. He also came to be the only CIA employee to go to prison in connection with the torture program. He was charged with passing classified information to a reporter.

In addition to sharing his personal experience, John talks with Steve about the history and role of the deep state, how it has transformed over the years, and both the public and political level of tolerance for it. If you still think power rests in the hands of our elected officials, you should listen to this episode.

John Kiriakou is an author, journalist, and whistleblower. He is co-host, with Michelle Witte, of Political Misfits. Kiriakou was a CIA analyst and case officer. In 2007, he became the first U.S. government official to confirm that water-boarding was used to interrogate al-Qaeda prisoners, which he described as torture. In 2012, Kiriakou was convicted of passing classified information to a reporter and received a 30-month sentence.

He is the author of Doing Time Like a Spy: How the CIA Taught Me to Survive and Thrive in Prison; The Convenient Terrorist: Abu Zubaydah and the Weird Wonderland of America's Secret Wars; The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror; The CIA Insider's Guide to the Iran Crisis.

Find his work on johnkiriakou.substack.com

@JohnKiriakou on Twitter

305 episodes