John Kiriakou, who in February became the first-ever CIA officer to be sent to prison for leaking classified information to a journalist, is having some trouble with his prison’s white supremacists, but is on good terms with a number of other groups, according to an open letter he wrote in prison.
Kiriakou is serving 30 months in the federal prison in Loretto, Pennsylvania for leaking the name of an undercover CIA agent to a freelance reporter in 2008. Kiriakou said he believed that the agent, who was involved in the CIA’s interrogation program, was retired at the time he leaked the agent’s name.
“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,” Kiriakou wrote, confirming that his leak was intended as a political act to criticize the United States government.
Kiriakou reportedly had a number of supporters who agreed with his anti-torture stand and urged President Obama to commute his sentence.
“The Aryans whispered that I was a ‘Muslim hunter,’ but the Muslims, on the strength of my Arabic language skills and a well-timed statement of support from Louis Farrakhan have lauded me as a champion of Muslim human rights,” Kiriakou wrote in his handwritten letter, entitled “Letter from Loretto,” which he shared with the liberal website FireDogLake.
“Meanwhile the Italians have taken a liking to me because I’m patriotic, as they are, and I have a visceral dislike of the FBI, which they do as well,” Kiriakou wrote in the letter. “I have good relations with the blacks because I’ve helped several of them write commutation appeals or letters to judges and I don’t charge anything for it. And the Hispanics respect me because my cellmates, who represent a myriad of Latin drug gangs, have told them to.”
“So far, so good,” he added.