[Congressional Record Volume 160, Number 140 (Monday, November 17, 2014)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1601]



                          HON. JAMES P. MORAN

                              of virginia

                    in the house of representatives

                       Monday, November 17, 2014

  Mr. MORAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to ask for a Presidential pardon 
for John Kiriakou. Mr. Kiriakou is an American hero. A 15 year CIA 
veteran, he was decorated and recognized more than a dozen times for 
his outstanding work in the always-demanding intelligence world, served 
in dangerous Middle East posts and helped lead the team in Pakistan 
that captured our first high value Al Qaeda target during the biggest 
coordinated operation in Agency counter-terrorism history.
  John Kiriakou is also a devoted family man to his wife and five 
children, a church-going member of the Greek-American community, a 
best-selling author and a serious-minded former Congressional foreign 
policy aide.
  John Kiriakou is a whistleblower, as well. The first American 
intelligence officer to officially and on-record reveal that the U.S. 
was in the torture business as a matter of White House policy under 
President Bush. In confirming what the American media and policymakers 
were hearing whispered--that waterboarding and other enhanced 
interrogation techniques were a matter of standard military and 
intelligence procedures--he helped begin an intense and overdue debate 
over whether torture violated international law, tarnished our higher 
American principles and undermined the critical need for reliable, 
actionable information.
  And John Kiriakou is a convicted felon, serving a 2\1/2\ year plea 
bargained sentence in a Pennsylvania federal prison. The charge against 
him is violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, whereby 
John answered a question from a U.S. reporter who was duplicitously 
fronting for lawyers defending Al Qaeda prisoners held at Guantanamo 
Bay and in the process unintentionally confirmed the classified 
identity of a CIA colleague. A colleague who, by the way, was being 
erroneously labeled as an enhanced interrogation techniques torturer.
  All four of these realities about John are intertwined. He is not a 
spy nor a turncoat, he did not sell secrets to an enemy or act to hurt 
U.S. national security. But John did shine a critical spotlight on a 
CIA practice that many wanted kept in the shadows and he did challenge 
the authority of those who authorized, oversaw, and encouraged the use 
of waterboarding and other acts of torture. And he did this with the 
moral authority of someone who served inside the intelligence world, 
refused an invitation to be trained in waterboarding and other like 
methods, knew and loved the rank-and-file men and women who sacrifice 
family life, safety, and prosperity for the mission of gathering and 
assessing secrets that might threaten American interests and lives.
  The real issue here is the extremely selective prosecution of John 
and the ongoing efforts to intimidate him from talking about our 
intelligence community's misfires. Even former CIA Director Leon 
Panetta now concedes he accidentally revealed classified information to 
the writer of Zero Dark Thirty, but faces no legal ramifications. Jose 
Rodriguez, the CIA's former head of the Clandestine Service, admits to 
deciding without any legal authorization to erase videotapes of torture 
sessions so they could never be used in U.S. courts, but has never been 
forced to answer for this destruction of evidence.
  Whatever John's misdeeds--and he admits that answering that 
reporter's questions was ill-advised and naive--he has more than paid 
for them. After fifteen years of service to his country, the personal 
risks and costs of a life in the intelligence world, the legal double-
standard applied, and now two years in prison John Kiriakou deserves a 
Presidential pardon so his record can be cleared, just as this country 
is trying to heal from a dark chapter in its history.