RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Kiriakou writes: "Last week I made an appearance on Fox News's Tucker Carlson Show. The question from Tucker was whether this [CIA] 'whistleblower' really was a whistleblower."

John Kiriakou. (photo: WP)
John Kiriakou. (photo: WP)

The CIA Is Worse Than Trump

By John Kiriakou, Reader Supported News

15 October 19


ast week I made an appearance on Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Show. A producer had asked me to come onto the show to talk about the CIA “whistleblower” who reported that President Trump had had an inappropriate phone conversation with the Ukranian president about former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The question from Tucker was whether this “whistleblower” really was a whistleblower. My answer was “no,” and I was happy to go on the show and discuss it. It was my sixth appearance on Tucker’s show this year. And in every one of those appearances, Tucker has introduced me as “a real whistleblower” who is deserving of a pardon. It’s no secret that Donald Trump watches the show nearly every night, and it’s always an opportunity for me to speak directly to the president. It’s a generous thing for Tucker to do.

Early the previous week I had gotten a call from Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine. He wanted to interview me about the “whistleblower,” and he said that he had already interviewed NSA whistleblowers Tom Drake and Bill Binney, and former CIA officer Bob Baer. In the end, we all agreed that the CIA whistleblower was not a real whistleblower. That article caught Tucker Carlson’s eye, and he asked me to talk about it.

I told him that I didn’t buy the whole CIA whistleblower narrative for several reasons. First, the National Security Whistleblower Protection Act is clear about what an Intelligence Community employee is supposed to do if he has evidence of waste, fraud, abuse, illegality, or threats to public health or public safety. He is supposed to go to his superior and then to the Inspector General (IG). The IG, then, is supposed to go to the oversight committees on Capitol Hill. But that’s not what happened in this case. What we now know happened is that the whistleblower went to his supervisor, who then went to the IG. So far, so good. But then the IG went to the CIA’s general counsel and informed the lawyers there. The lawyers then went to the CIA leadership to have them weigh in, and they then drafted a new whistleblower complaint. And that’s what was sent to the Inspector General in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

How do I know this? The “whistleblower” is an analyst. I spent the first eight years of my 15-year CIA career as analyst. Every analyst is sent to “the Farm,” the CIA’s training facility in the southeastern US to learn how to write in the CIA’s unique writing style. The purpose is so that, no matter who writes an article for the President’s Daily Brief, it looks exactly the same. But this whistleblower complaint clearly wasn’t written by an analyst. It was written by a team of lawyers. It reads like a legal document. It’s not the complaints of a whistleblower. It’s the approved account of CIA Director Gina Haspel.

The other reason that I don’t believe it is simple. The CIA told us that there was no torture program. That was a lie. The CIA told us that there was no rendition program, where people are kidnapped around the world and sent to other countries to be tortured. That was a lie. The CIA told us that it had no system of secret prisons around the world. That was a lie. The CIA told us that it had not broken into the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computer system. That was a lie. So why in the world should we believe the CIA now?

I was clear in my analysis on Tucker’s show. I said, “I don’t think it’s a whistleblower at all. I think this is an anonymous source for the Democratic staff in the House of Representatives. This is an insult to real whistleblowers. Actual whistleblowers go on to have their whole lives upended.” Donald Trump was indeed watching. And he tweeted this quote, along with my name and Tucker Carlson’s. Then all hell broke loose.

I was called a traitor – repeatedly – a liar, and a stooge, among other things. And not just by whackos. I also took it on the chin from The Washington Post, Vice News, and other outlets. Several people asked when I was going to pull my head out of Donald Trump’s rectum, in not so nice language, and still more asked when I would take my own anatomy out of his rectum.

I’m used to people attacking me. I’ve had lots of time to get used to it in the 12 years since I blew the whistle on the CIA’s torture program. What I don’t understand, though, is why people feel the need to choose between either Donald Trump or the CIA. Why does this have to be a zero-sum game? Why is it one or the other? If you don’t like Donald Trump, that’s fine. The House of Representatives will likely impeach him soon. And there’s probably a decent chance that he’ll continue to lose support in the Senate, perhaps leading to conviction. Meanwhile, pretty much every poll in America shows him losing the 2020 election to every Tom, Dick, and Harry running against him. Why should we – why should anybody – throw his or her lot in with the CIA to expedite things? Why not just be patient? I, for one, haven’t forgotten the CIA’s crimes against humanity. I saw some of them unfold with my own eyes. I don’t care how bad Donald Trump is. The CIA is worse and I won’t partner with it under any circumstances. Neither should you.

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
Email This Page


THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.