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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/12/15

AUDIO: Robert Scheer Hosts John Kiriakou -- A Whistleblower on Torture

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Reprinted from Truthdig

John Kiriakou, left, and Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer.
John Kiriakou, left, and Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer.
(Image by (Joshua Scheer))
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Read the unedited transcript of the full interview below.

On "Scheer Intelligence," KCRW's new podcast with Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer, John Kiriakou, author of "The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror," details his 15 years as a CIA analyst and counterterrorism operations officer specializing in the Middle East.

Kiriakou served two years in prison for exposing President Bush's "lie" about the U.S. torture program. He tells Scheer how the CIA -- an organization created to recruit spies to steal secrets -- evolved into a "paramilitary force," how the U.S. drone program "creates terrorists" by killing innocent civilians, and how the Obama administration uses the Espionage Act as a political tool to threaten whistleblowers.

Additionally, Kiriakou challenges the government's claim that Americans have to surrender their civil liberties to fight terrorist groups around the world. "That's unnecessary, it's anti-constitutional," he says. "And I think [...] all Americans, should stand up and oppose it."

Robert Scheer: Hi, this is Robert Scheer with another edition of "Scheer Intelligence," the podcast I've been doing for KCRW. And I have a wonderful guest tonight, John Kiriakou. He was an intelligence operative for the CIA for 14 years, from 1990 to 2004. After the World Trade Center attack, he was involved in Pakistan in the capture of the third-highest-ranking leader of al-Qaida. And he blew the whistle on torture in 2007, in an interview with ABC; and after that, while he was working for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he ran into some trouble because of an interview he gave to a reporter for The New York Times in which he was said to have revealed the name of another agent to that reporter. It's ironic, because that's the sort of thing that Gen. Petraeus, who was head of the CIA, did 10 times in books that he turned over to his mistress, who was writing a book about him. And he got no such penalty. My guest today, John Kiriakou, served over two years in prison. The reason I particularly wanted to interview you today is because we're speaking a matter of days after the Paris bombing.

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