Notes from the Underground: John Kiriakou’s Letter from Prison

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 U.S. government policy.  But that’s a different story.  The purpose of this letter is to tell you about prison life.    

The prison population is much like you might expect.  Loretto has 1,369 prisoners (I never call myself an “inmate.”  I’m a prisoner).  About 50% are black, 30% are Hispanic, and 20% are white.  Of the white prisoners, most are pedophiles with personal stories that would make you sick to your stomach.  The rest of the white prisoners are here for drugs, except for a dozen or so who ran ponzi schemes.  

-John Kiriakou

What follows is a rather brief, but incredibly interesting letter from John Kiriakou, the only person to be jailed in a torture related case in the U.S. Of course, he wasn’t involved in torture, he blew the whistle on it.  For that offense he has been caged, while those actually involved in allowing torture roam free.  I first highlighted John’s plight last year before he was jailed in my piece:  Have You Heard of John Kiriakou?  I suggest reading that post before getting into the letter below.  Enjoy.


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  1. mike you are doing yeoman’s work finding stories that are neglected by the the mainstream, even the off-mainstream. this story in particular is a real find. keep it up, mate. satoshis coming your way. (every time i send some bitcoins to somebody i feel like i’m walking up to a cop harassing somebody and kicking him in the balls. 🙂

    • Michael Krieger

      Thank you so much for reading, caring and the support. I’ll do my best to keep it up! Mike

  2. A hero.

    Thanks, Mike.

  3. Incredible. The only terrorists are the ones running the prisons it seems. What a crazy situation that is. I think we need to get the names of the CO’s at the prison facility and give them a little bit of publicity 🙂 Whose in?

  4. Thank you for sharing this. I once met two former CIA contractors, Bruce Adamson and Larry Baschkin at a security seminar. Both had been involved with some of same post 9/11 missions attested waterboarding was not the best way to acquire intelligence. Both had to go through training which included this technique so they likely know first hand what it’s like. I hope John Kirakou writes another book when he is released.

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