Ex-CIA officer to speak on government whistleblowers


A former counterrorism agent who was the first former CIA officer to publicly acknowledge the use of waterboarding on prisoners will speak Tuesday on the role of whistleblowers in government.

John Kiriakou spent almost 2 years in a federal prison for giving classified information to a reporter. He was released this year.

Kiriakou worked as an analyst and counterrorism officer for the CIA from 1990 to 2004. His 2012 memoir, “The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the C.I.A.’s War on Terror,” tells of his role in the operation that captured Abu Zubaydah, an al-Qaida organizer and leader under Osama bin Laden.

In 2007, Kiriakou publicly expressed concern about the interrogation of some prisoners captured in the war on terror. He told ABC News that Abu Zubaydah had been subjected to waterboarding, a practice that Kiriakou said he later came to consider torture.

Kiriakou in 2012 was charged with disclosing classified information and admitted in a plea deal to revealing the name of an undercover CIA officer to a journalist.

Kiriakou’s address, “Keeping Government Honest: Whistleblowers, Torture, and America’s War on Terror,” will be at 7:15 p.m. at the Freedom Forum Conference Center at Carroll Hall on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

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