Thursday, February 28 sees CIA whistleblower, John Kiriakou, report to jail to start his 30-month prison term for whistleblowing on the federal government's torture program.
Kiriakou's attorney, GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack, and NSA whistleblower Tom Drake will accompany Kiriakou to the Federal Correctional Institute in Loretto, Pennsylvania. He is expected to report by 12:00 p.m. to begin a 30-month prison term.
Kiriakou was initially charged by the Obama administration with violating the Espionage Act. Six whistleblowers were indicted by the Obama Justice Department under the Act, which is more than all past administrations combined. NSA whistleblower Tom Drake was also charged under the Act.
Late in 2012, Kiriakou pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and in exchange, prosecutors dropped all other charges. Kiriakou is the only CIA officer who will face jail time for any action involving the Federal Government's torture program.
Ironically, the whistleblower on the program is the one who will go to prison, while the agents who actually implemented the torture will not.
As Kiriakou's attorney, Radack stated: "The people who ordered the torture, the lawyers who justified it, the people who carried it out, and those who destroyed the videotapes of it – none of them are being held accountable. The only person going to jail in connection with this is the person who blew the whistle on it. In fact, if John had actually tortured someone, I don't think he would be going to jail."
John Kiriakou, CIA Torture Whistleblower
Video screen capture
Since Kiriakou's ordeal has become public, he has inspired a huge amount of support across the US from civil rights activists and concerned citizens.
Many are contributing to the John Kiriakou Support Fund, which has been established to mitigate the financial hardship his family is currently experiencing.
In November last year, Kiriakou received the 2012 Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage.
As part of a series focused on truth-telling Americans, prominent artist Robert Shetterley honored Kiriakou with a portrait.
On top of this, he is currently one of the subjects of an Academy Award-nominated documentarian Jim Spione's upcoming film "Silenced", on the mistreatment of intelligence whistleblowers. The preview of the documentary can be viewed at the top of this article.
For those who are not aware of his background, John Kiriakou is a CIA veteran who headed counter-terrorism operations in Pakistan after 9/11.
Kiriakou organized the team operation that captured suspected al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah, and refused to be trained in torture interrogation tactics.
In December 2007, Kiriakou gave an on-camera interview to ABC News in which he disclosed that Zubaydah was "waterboarded" and that "waterboarding" was torture – making him the first CIA officer to publicly label the action as torture. His interview also helped expose the CIA's torture program as policy, rather than the actions of a few rogue agents.
Today and throughout Kiriakou’s imprisonment, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) and its supporters will defend his cause on social media with regular updates.
Video: RT News looks back on interviews with Kiriakou: