John Kiriakou is a former CIA analyst and case officer, former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and former counterterrorism consultant. While employed by the CIA, he was involved in critical counterterrorism missions following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but refused to be trained in so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.” and Kiriakou never authorized or engaged in these techniques:
After leaving the CIA, Kiriakou appeared on ABC News in an interview with Brian Ross, during which he became the first former CIA officer to confirm that the agency waterboarded detainees and label waterboarding as torture. Kiriakou’s interview revealed that this practice was not just the result of a few rogue agents, but was official U.S. policy approved at the highest levels of the government.
The government started investigating Kiriakou immediately after his media appearance. Five years later, the government finally succeeded in piecing together enough information to criminally prosecute him. He became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act – a law designed to punish spies, not whistleblowers.