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Kiriakou writes: "I’ve come to the conclusion, over many years of working with, working against, and watching the FBI, that the only way they make their cases is to entrap people. Remember, they can only get promoted if they make arrests and if the arrests stick. If that means entrapment or trumped-up charges, so be it."

John Kiriakou at his Arlington home. (photo: Jeff Elkins)
John Kiriakou at his Arlington home. (photo: Jeff Elkins)

The FBI Isn’t Done With Me

By John Kiriakou, Reader Supported News

19 October 16


hen I was sentenced to 30 months in prison after blowing the whistle on the CIA’s torture program, friends, allies, former colleagues, and a whole lot of attorneys warned me that the Justice Department, the FBI, and the CIA were likely angry at the short sentence I received. Indeed, even after getting no halfway house time at all, I was released after serving only 23 months. I took those warnings seriously. I didn’t trust anybody, inside or outside prison, and I was always alert to the fact that the FBI would likely try to set me up. Again.

Before my arrest, I was the senior investigator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, working for then-chairman John Kerry. As part of that job, I had lunch regularly with foreign diplomats. We would talk about the events of the day, the Middle East, war and peace, and other issues in the news.

One day a Japanese diplomat invited me to lunch. We met at a restaurant on Capitol Hill. I remember discussing Turkish and Israeli elections with him. At the end of the lunch, the diplomat asked, “So what’s next for you?” “Well,” I answered, “I think I’m going to resign soon. I told Senator Kerry that I’d give him two years. It’s been two-and-a-half. I’d like to go back into business for myself.” “No!” The Japanese exclaimed excitedly. His voice became a whisper. “I can give you money if you give me information.”

I became angry. “Do you know how many times I’ve made that pitch? Shame on you. I’m going to report this.”

I went directly to the office of the Senate Security Officer and told him that I had just been pitched by a foreign intelligence officer. He asked me to write him a memo, which he then sent to the FBI.

The next day, two FBI agents interviewed me. I told them the story and they asked me to call the diplomat back, invite him to lunch, and try to get him to tell me exactly what information he wanted and how much money he was willing to pay for it. I did that, and I wrote the FBI another memo. They asked me to do it again, a third time, a fourth, and a fifth. I sent memos to the FBI, recounting the conversation, after each lunch. Finally, the diplomat said that he was being transferred to Cairo. I shook his hand and wished him well. I never saw him again.

A year later, after my arrest, I received “discovery” from the Justice Department. In it were three memos between the CIA and the Justice Department. The first, from the CIA said, “Charge him with espionage.” The Justice Department responded, “But he hasn’t committed espionage.” The CIA wrote back, “Charge him anyway and make him defend himself.” And so they did.

The problem for the Justice Department was that I hadn’t committed espionage. And so the FBI concocted a scheme, whereby an FBI agent pretended to be a Japanese diplomat to try to trap me into committing actual espionage. But I kept reporting the contact. To the FBI! The “transfer to Cairo” was just a way for the FBI to wrap up the operation. There would be no additional criminal charges.

But the FBI wasn’t done with me. The 30 months I had received was not the 30 years they had preferred. I had been incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution at Loretto, Pennsylvania, for about six weeks when a fellow prisoner, an Afghan national, approached me and said that a new prisoner wanted to meet me. The new prisoner, he said, had been the Taliban’s spokesman in the United States and was in prison on a gun charge.

I declined. I had nothing to say to the Taliban spokesman, whose case I vaguely remembered from six or eight years earlier. A few days later, an obviously Afghan-looking man approached me in the prison yard, his hand outstretched and a big smile on his face. I immediately put my hands in the air. All I needed was a long-distance FBI photo of me shaking hands with a confessed terrorist. I told him to back off, using words that were much less polite. I wasn’t going to shake his hand. “Come on,” he said. We have a lot in common. “We have nothing in common,” I told him. “Walk away before we have a problem.”

As it turned out, he was released six days later. Imagine. He was only at Loretto for six days. I wonder what the FBI had offered him to wear a wire that day, to try to get me to implicate myself in God knows what. I’m glad I hadn’t taken the chance.

I was released from prison in February 2015. Six months later, two FBI agents came to my door. They were all smiles and could not have been any friendlier. They showed me their badges and asked if I remembered a prisoner with whom I socialized at Loretto. I responded with, “You guys have a lot of nerve coming here. You know I’m represented by counsel.” They said that my former “friend” might have returned to a life of crime. I told them to get off my property.

Last week, things turned a little more ominous. I received a call from a man who said that he and I had been colleagues overseas more than a decade ago. I did not recognize his name, so I asked him a few questions about where in the CIA he had worked and whom he knew from those days. He dropped a couple of names, but his CIA lingo was incorrect. He also seemed to know a little about my career, but he had the years wrong. I was confident that I had never worked with him.

By the end of the conversation, he had offered me a “consultancy,” about what I am still not sure. He also offered me $5,000 a month to do “research” on his behalf. This had “pitch” written all over it. I wanted to have the same conversation with him that I had had with the fake diplomat. I wanted to say, “Do you know how many times I’ve made that same offer over the years?” But it wasn’t worth wasting my breath. I told him to take a hike.

I’ve come to the conclusion, over many years of working with, working against, and watching the FBI, that the only way they make their cases is to entrap people. Remember, they can only get promoted if they make arrests and if the arrests stick. If that means entrapment or trumped-up charges, so be it.

In June 2013, in an open letter, I gave Ed Snowden some advice. I’ll repeat it here. “FBI agents will like, trick, and deceive you. They will twist your words and play on your patriotism to entrap you. They will pretend to be people they are not – supporters, well-wishers, and friends – all the while wearing wires to record your out-of-context statements to use against you. The FBI is the enemy; it’s a part of the problem, not the solution.”


John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act — a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration’s torture program.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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+41 # whichwayforward 2016-10-19 09:29
thanks for writing this and to RSN for publishing it. I was unaware of Mr Kiriakou's case and will now try to follow.
Makes me want to know the stories of the other three whistleblowers indicted under Obama. Besides Snowden, Manning, Kiriakou who are they? Is this a pretty big symptom of decaying Republic?
+34 # Merlin 2016-10-19 10:35
whichwayforward 2016-10-19 09:29

Jefrey Sterling and Barret Brown are two I am familiar with.

Silence is an absolute must when you are doing wrong or criminal things. Whistleblowers are a huge threat and must be silenced. Examples of them must be made to insure that fear rules those who are knowledgeable.

The fear of prison, torture, (publicly illustrated by GITMO on an ongoing basis) "disappearance" (or death) are the current techniques being used by the Obama administration.

Yes, as John shows in this article it is a very serious problem. Our elected leaders lie by all 3 methods, (outright lying, deception and omission.) If we can not get the truth from them, whistleblowers, hackers and leakers are our only means of getting the truth.
+21 # tedrey 2016-10-19 10:37
I'm aware of Jeffrey Sterling, Thomas Drake, Shamai Leibowitz, and Stephen J. Kim. I think they're all googleable (Is that a word yet?)
+13 # Radscal 2016-10-19 17:40
The Goog is a dangerous tool. Please use alternative search engines like duckduckgo that do not track you or keep your search histories to sell to the government or corporations.
+20 # John S. Browne 2016-10-19 10:12

We live in MUCH MORE than a "decaying Republic", to quote "WhichWayForwar d" above. We now live in an ALREADY DECAYED republic. Government entrapment and criminality are rampant. They just want to "get" people. It doesn't matter, WHATSOEVER, if they are innocent. They even turn on their own trustworthy colleagues like Kiriakou if it means stepping on others to get ahead, and to make it look like they're getting the so-called "traitors" who aren't traitors.

Again I say, we ain't seen nothin' yet. The government is going to come after more and more innocent Americans, especially those like myself who legally and non-violently stand for nothing but what is right, and against all that is wrong, in the United States, those who see through all of this increasing government corruption and criminality in the false name of "justice", and those who only act as True Americans and those for True Liberty and Freedom.

If all of this should show Kiriakou and his ilk anything, it should show them that they never should have worked for the criminal U.S. government, and never have trusted them. You truly do what's right, and are incorruptible, reporting all illegal attempts at entrapment, and that government will destroy you. Yes, they aren't finished with Kiriakou yet. One doesn't call government criminals the criminals that they are, without illegal retaliations being carried out against them, all made to look like it is allegedly "legal", "justified" and "doing what's right".

+20 # Kootenay Coyote 2016-10-19 16:24
'The government is going to come after more and more innocent Americans, especially those like myself who legally and non-violently stand for nothing but what is right, and against all that is wrong...'.

As further & independently evidenced by the assaults, arrests & charges at Standing Rock.
+32 # Buddha 2016-10-19 10:17
And if you want proof that we are actually an inverted totalitarian country, look no further than the behavior of our CIA and FBI in attacking whistleblowers and anybody who threatens the State, justice and rule of law be damned.
-20 # Krackonis 2016-10-19 10:49
So other countries use a national investigative force to do public good and solve crimes, and what the FBI just uses its power to jerk itself off?
+16 # Merlin 2016-10-19 11:39
Krackonis 2016-10-19 10:49
"So other countries use a national investigative force to do public good and solve crimes, and what the FBI just uses its power to jerk itself off?"

How is this relevant?
+7 # John S. Browne 2016-10-19 15:31

Besides, they're all corrupt, too.

+16 # Robbee 2016-10-19 11:02
john wisely exposes attempted entrapment
+24 # Ted 2016-10-19 11:48
Thats true, probably the best way to try to protect himself now is to keep publishing their blatant attempts to snare him, and ANY oddball incidents he comes up against.

For what little hope that might give.
+16 # Stilldreamin1 2016-10-19 11:40
+19 # Philothustra 2016-10-19 11:47
The FBI has been a criminal government agency
since J Edgar conceived it 90 years ago. JEH
was a blackmailer of presidents par excellence, til he ran into Tricky Dick, who actually had no extramarital dalliances. When JEH died, RMH joked "how can they tell?" then said something like "So that old c$%^!&*(r is really dead!"
+8 # John S. Browne 2016-10-19 15:35

Don't you mean, "RMN"?

+7 # Anonymot 2016-10-19 17:03
+4 # librarian1984 2016-10-21 14:12
Mr. Kiriakou, May I say thank you. You probably knew what you were in for and you were brave enough to go forward. I hope it won't be wasted.

When we see something wrong we can't be silent, we can't be a part of the machine. It's interesting how you heroic whistleblowers have fared. You and Manning in jail, Snowden (and Assange) in exile -- and Daniel Ellsberg walking around. THAT is the direction the country's gone.

We are still about 21 years from Orwell's description, a fascist machine that makes Hitler's Germany look like pikers. Maybe President Ivanka Trump will command the glorious troops against Asia, or Panem or whatever, and we will be living grey lives in ruined cities. If this is the vision the inbred oligarchs have for us, and if their enablers continue to go along, what hope is there for any other world?

Twenty-one years before 1984 .... that would put us at 1963, which seems about right. Do we take back our country? CAN we take it back?

There are cracks in the Empire's defenses. We need more courageous people like you to expose the machine and the Clintons.

What do we tell our kids, at the front end of their lives? Fight the system every step and shout about injustice? Or go along because it's so much easier to just shut your mouth, especially as you get older and have a family to worry about and the stakes go up, with jail and maybe torture.

Hillary and the neos are cold and brutal. They demand compliance.
+5 # John S. Browne 2016-10-22 03:22

I have a serious question for you [we can't get to user profiles anymore, except our own if we alter the URL, so I can't remind myself of what your first name is (I wonder if RSN's web- master knows what they're doing---and why isn't there a link to archived articles?)], "Librarian- 1984", what do you mean by "...(w)e are still about 21 years from Orwell's description..." ? At first I thought you meant 32 years since 1984, though I'm no longer sure now; but we're definitely not 21 years from fascism taking over completely in the U.S., since it already has.

Btw, thank God for most U.S. librarians standing up for what's right the past fifteen years, and standing up against the National Security Letters and spying on patrons; but it is ironic that you are a librarian (or former librarian?), because my local librarians acted in the exact opposite way, like totally brainwashed neocons, and violated my First Amendment free speech rights, etc., by telling me I couldn't put up anti-war fliers anymore [this was over ten years ago (I still live in the same small town in the Pacific Northwest), so I have boycotted that library and haven't set foot in it ever since---I tried going to the woman in charge of the libraries for the entire area (the county), and she took their side (I live in a so-called "ultra-conserva tive" area)].

+3 # librarian1984 2016-10-22 06:35
Hi, John. I am ashamed of those librarians. I suppose they are personally conservative and use their position to support their beliefs. They are certainly not upholding their professional ethics. What is their reasoning?

I am a bit more cantankerous than you. I would be going in there MORE, making myself a pain, questioning their decisions, requesting far left materials for purchase and through interlibrary loan, etc. I don't like it when fascists get comfortable :-)

I agree with you that many librarians have been adamantly and consciously fighting the surveillance state in every way possible, though sometimes their hands are effectively tied -- for instance the Patriot Act tells us we can't let a patron know if the government asks for their personal information.

We are not quite to Orwell's 1984, when people like Winston Smith (and us) are monitored even in our homes 24/7 for facial expressions, though we are not far from it. The mechanisms are nearly in place and the populace is almost cowed enough to go along with it. There are many things wrong but for the extreme fascism of 1984 it will take a few years. I was trying to figure out how long it would be until Americans accept all the controls of 1984, estimated 20 years, and realized that would put us at 1964 -- and it dawned on me how things had changed in November 1963, when TPTB decided they could assassinate a president.

Funny about the profiles, yeah? Not funny ha-ha.
+3 # librarian1984 2016-10-22 06:57
When I was a kid and learned about Hitler and the Nazis, I couldn't believe the people of Germany couldn't recognize what Hitler and the Nationalists were doing. But we see it right now. We're watching it happen.

The Democrat Convention, with that general foaming at the mouth and the crowd chanting "U-S-A-U-S-A" was very disturbing. I'm sure Germans can recognize what they're seeing.

And Hillary's new go-to phrase: "America is great because we are good"? Unbelievable. Wrong on EVERY level.

My latest education is seeing that fascism can emerge from the left. Well, Hillary's left, which I guess is other people's right. Whatever. It's happening here and the bots are embracing it wholeheartedly -- with a smile on their face, a song in their heart and a flag pin on their lapel.

Take care, comrade. Fight the good fight.
+2 # John S. Browne 2016-10-22 19:22

I don't think it will take 21 years, though. We're on the brink of it right now. On my local library, I contacted the ACLU back then, hoping that I could get someone to go in with me and witness their reaction(s); so that, if I was arrested, I would have support for proving that they violated my rights, and that the arrest was false; but the ACLU refused to help. I didn't want to get arrested without any backup; because, knowing the system as I do, I knew I would be railroaded, and I'm too physically ill to handle prison and/or jail.

On fascism, I keep trying to tell people here that fascism is left-wing, NOT right-wing, and that somehow belief of which side it stems from got morphed over to supposedly being "right-wing", but everyone balks against believing it. Fascism has ALWAYS been left-wing. Look at the fact that communism is left-wing, and that the two ideologies are quite similar (their "planks" and/or lists of steps for how to turn a government into one or the other of them are very similar, with pretty much the same steps, but the communist one having a few more steps).

(Continued below)
+1 # John S. Browne 2016-10-22 19:23

Look at the fact that "eutopian", and/or non-totalitaria n, socialists are left-wing, and look at the history of Germany more closely, and at Spain, noticing that in Spain in particular the fascism was left-wing, being fought against by the right-wing conservative Republicans. "Eutopian" socialism can't be left-wing, and totalitarian socialism right-wing. They're both left-wing; and, in truth, they always have been and always will be, and so will fascism.

That is why the fascist neocons are neoliberals. They aren't true conservatives at all. As with hiding behind counterfeit "Christianity" as many of them also do, they hide behind "conservatism", but they are anything but conservative(s) , just as those of them who claim to be "Christians", like G.W. Bush, are anything but True Christians, and are nothing but counterfeit "Christians". Thus, they are counterfeit "conservatives" as well, and are neoliberal left-wing fascists, aka "national socialists", like the German Third Reich Nazis were.

The present day Nazis and/or fascists are the "Fourth Reich", and the continuation of all the previous Reichs in their steps toward global domination. They knew they couldn't conquer the entire world all at once, so they carried out Nazi Germany as a trial run, and have been steadily working ever since towards where we are today, with their almost having finished taking over and dominating the whole world, starting with the West, using U.N. collectivism, aka left-wing fascism.

0 # John S. Browne 2016-10-29 08:52

(Continued from above)

Would you argue that the U.N. is right-wing? Of course you wouldn't. You would say it's left-wing. Well, you evidently just didn't realize that it is fascist. The left-wing "heroes", the Roosevelts and "their" U.N., were in-truth not the beneficiaries of good for the world that they were fraudulently made out to be, but national socialist global conquerers, dominators and enslavers in the false guise of "saving humankind and the planet". They were nothing but a disguised continuation of the Third Reich putting on a false show of bettering the world, just as Hitler claimed he wanted to do, and he was supported by these sorts of people, the Bush family and the rest of what became known as the neocons, really neoliberal, national socialist fascists.

(Continued below)
0 # John S. Browne 2016-10-29 09:04

Why do you think Operation Paperclip was carried out, bringing at least a thousand Nazis to the U.S. after World War 2, to infest our government and scientific circles? It wasn't just to better our national defense, really aggression, though that was of course part of it. It was also to intentionally and by design infiltrate and eventually dominate our government with Nazi fascists, who educated, trained, influenced and produced the present-day neocon-neoliber al fascists to run and continue on the "al CIAduh(!)" deep state shadow government, and come to hold complete sway in the operation(s) of the U.S. and global government that we have today, and eventually conquer and dominate the entire West, and then the world. And, clearly, they have been quite successful in doing so, and are on schedule and have almost completed it.


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