John Kiriakou was a CIA agent for 14 years. He had a distinguished record and was instrumental in the capture of the notorious terrorist Abu Zubaidah in Pakistan in 2002. He resigned from the CIA in 2004.

Three years later in an interview, he made the startling revelation that the CIA frequently resorted to Torture of suspects in its custody. This was like a bombshell, and it hurt the CIA image. He also revealed that this policy of the CIA had the official approval of the US president George Bush.

In 2012 the Obama administration filed charges of espionage against John Kiriakou.

The espionage charges were dropped a few months later, but John Kiriakou admitted to having revealed the Identity of a secret agent. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

John was released from prison after serving about two years and is now coming out with a book titled "Doing time as a spy: How CIA taught me to survive and thrive in Prison." It will recount his experience with the CIA, and it's torture methods. The book will soon hit the market.


After release from prison, John Kiriakou gave an interview do the Al Jazeera news magazine. In the interview, he made far-reaching revelations. He brought out the way the CIA tortured its captives and in some cases even killed them.

John Kiriakou feels that this is against the grain of the American constitution. He feels that torture by itself is not an end and invariably it does not lead to the desired results

The amendment

In this connection, it is worth stating that Senators John Mcain and Dianne Feinstein tabled a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense AuthorisationAct for the Fiscal year 2016.Known as the McCain-Feinstein amendment, it forbade torture and enjoined all prisoners to be interrogated as per the Army manual.

This piece of legislation is an important milestone in US constitutional history. The chances are that with this law torture of suspects in custody in the USA will go down. But the CIA has other methods. It has a presence all over the world and can still get torture done by other persons at their behest. Despite this, the amendment is a step forward in the right direction.

McCain himself was a prisoner of war and is very competent to pilot this amendment

Future and the CIA

John is thankful to the CIA for giving him the training that allowed him to pass his time in jail. He concludes by saying that America is a democracy and torture has no place in American culture. Sadly the CIA still continues its torture of suspects in " friendly" prisons all over the world.

This has been beautifully depicted on the screen in the film "Rendition" made in 2007.He hopes spies and agents will follow their conscious and refrain from torturing suspects in their custody or in safe prisons around the world.