This article is a joint publication of TheNation.com and Foreign Policy In Focus.
John Kiriakou is a former CIA officer. Back in 2007, he became the first US government official to confirm—and condemn—the practice of torture by CIA interrogators.
After a drawn-out legal battle, federal authorities convicted Kiriakou of leaking classified information and handed down a prison sentence. He remains the only US official to serve time following the revelation of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” practices.
In February, after serving two years in a federal prison in Loretto, Pennsylvania, Kiriakou was permitted to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest at his home in Northern Virginia. Under the terms of his release from prison, he was required to check in daily at a local halfway house in Washington, DC, until May 1 of this year. He’s now on federal probation.
Kiriakou documented his experiences in prison in a series of hand-written “Letters from Loretto” published at FireDogLake. In this, his final entry in the series, he recounts the depredations of house arrest and announces his associate fellowship at the Institute for Policy Studies.
Hello from Arlington, Virginia! I thought I’d write a letter to Loretto to tell you about my experience since going home.
I completed my house arrest on May 1 and began three years of probation, or what Ronald Reagan called “supervised release.” (Technically, there is no such thing as “probation” anymore, although the person to whom I report is called a “United States Probation Officer.”)
I left Loretto on February 3 of this year. My last hour there was a little stressful—not because I was anxious to get out (although I was), but because of one final attempt by a trollish prison employee to set me up just as I was leaving.
She taunted me and threatened to put me in solitary because I asked to go to the release office at a time other than a formal “move.” And when I just repeated, “I’m not going to let you set me up. I’m going home and you can’t stop me,” she blew me a cynical kiss. (This secretary, the sister and daughter of corrections officers, has a reputation for sending prisoners to solitary for “leering” at her.)