By Brian Sonestein
Former CIA agent John Kiriakou, who blew the whistle on the US government’s use of torture under the Bush administration, is currently serving a 30 month sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania.
Below is a letter he recently sent his attorney Jesselyn Radack, who shared it (with John’s permission) with Firedoglake based on a pre-existing arrangement. The letter details his life in prison, including an incident in which prison officials attempted setup a confrontation between Kiriakou and a Muslim prisoner, telling Kiriakou he was the uncle of the Times Square bomber, when in reality the imam was in prison for refusing to testify in the Lackawanna Six case. Prison officials also lied to the Muslim prisoner, telling him that Kiriakou had called Washington after they met and had been ordered to kill him.
This letter is the first part in a series inspired by dinner table discussions between Jane Hamsher, Jesselyn Radack and John Kiriakou (and others) before he went to prison. John wanted to have his letters published so that he could still communicate and share his story with the outside world.
“Letter From Loretto”
Greetings from the Federal Correctional Institution at Loretto, Pennsylvania. I arrived here on February 28, 2013 to serve a 30 month sentence for violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. At least that’s what the government wants people to believe. In truth, this is my punishment for blowing the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program and for telling the public that torture was official US government policy. But that’s a different story. The purpose of this letter is to tell you about prison life.
At my formal sentencing hearing in January, the judge, the prosecutors, and my attorneys all agreed that I would serve my sentence in Loretto’s Federal Work Camp. When I arrived, however, much to my surprise, the Corrections Officer (CO, or “hack”) who processed me said that the Justice Department Bureau of Prisons had deemed me a “threat to the public safety” and so I would do serve the entire sentence in the actual prison, rather than the camp.
Processing took about an hour and included fingerprinting, a mug shot (my third after FBI and the Marshals), my fourth DNA sample, and a quite comprehensive strip search. …