My guest today is John Kiriakou, former CIA analyst and case officer, and member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
Joan Brunwasser: Welcome to OpEdNews, John. You are the recipient of the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence. Congratulations! Many of us do not know about this award. Fill us in please.
John Kiriakou: Thanks for having me. I've been a big fan of OpEdNews for a long time.
JB: i'm so glad to hear that!
JK: The Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence is given to current or former intelligence officers or federal law enforcement officers who have exhibited "courage" and demonstrated "integrity" in their actions or their analysis. It was founded by former senior CIA officer Ray McGovern and was named not after the revolutionary hero, but after a CIA analyst who was the first to say, despite being detrimental to his career, that the U.S. was actually losing the war in Vietnam and that CIA analysis was not honest.
JB: I assumed the award was named after the other Sam Adams but this has more relevance. I'm curious about how Sam Adams, the CIA analyst, fared after he profferred his critique about the Vietnam War.
JK: As you might imagine, the CIA's Sam Adams was marginalized and pushed out of his job. "Why can't you be a team player?" became a refrain from those around him. He believed--rightly--that there was a conspiracy among military and intelligence leaders in South Vietnam to underestimate the numbers of Vietcong. Nobody would listen to him, his career appeared to be at an end, and he resigned from the CIA while still in his early 40s. He died of cancer about 10 years later.