President Trump’s wiretapping claims have been proven true, according to analysis from John Kiriakou, the first government official to confirm that waterboarding was being utilized to interrogate al Qaeda captives. Kiriakou should know. He’s a former CIA analyst and case officer who spent his first eight years with the Agency as a Middle East analyst specializing in Iraq, with a top secret/sensitive compartmented information security clearance. He’s also a former senior investigator for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, counterterrorism consultant for ABC News, and author of The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror (2009) and Doing Time Like a Spy: How the CIA Taught Me to Survive and Thrive in Prison (due out in May).
By Dave Gahary
When President Donald J. Trump accused—via a series of “tweets” on March 4—Barack Hussein Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower, the fake news media went into overdrive to humiliate the billionaire real-estate developer-turned-president, plastering their papers and websites with vicious and vacuous “articles.” It got so bad that former New Jersey superior court judge, author, syndicated columnist, and senior judicial analyst for Fox News, Andrew Napolitano, was pulled off the air on March 21 over his statements regarding the wiretapping.
Although Napolitano was back in front of the camera by March 29, he stood by his claim that Obama “went outside the chain of command” by using Britain’s security service, GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), “to surveil then-President-elect Trump.” Of course, GCHQ denied Napolitano’s allegations by calling them “nonsense” and “utterly ridiculous.”
The only trouble is—for the surveillance state and the fake news media, that is—the president and the judge were right.
On April 13, the UK’s Guardian admitted that “GCHQ was digitally wiretapping Trump associates, going back to late 2015.” In fact, the U.S. non-profit news media watchdog Accuracy In Media (AIM), which analyzed the Guardian report, stated: “President Trump’s claim of being ‘wire tapped’ has been vindicated. Indeed, the surveillance is far more extensive than even he suspected at the time.
“Based on the new disclosures,” continued AIM, “we can safely conclude that the world’s most advanced and extensive system of computerized espionage was indeed used against him and people he worked with, for political purposes, with the knowledge and approval of top Obama officials,” including Obama’s Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) John O. Brennan and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice.
In order to gain a more complete understanding of this matter, American Free Press conducted an exclusive interview with former CIA analyst and case officer, former senior investigator for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, counterterrorism consultant for ABC News, author, and married father-of-five John Kiriakou, the first government official to confirm that waterboarding was being utilized to interrogate al Qaeda captives.
Listen to AFP’s interview with former CIA analyst John Kirakou by clicking the image below
In waterboarding, water is poured over a cloth that covers the face and breathing passages of an immobilized captive. The water causes the individual to experience the sensation of drowning, which can cause extreme pain, dry drowning, damage to lungs, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, and other physical injuries. That does not include the psychological effects it can have on the individual being tortured.
“I spent 15 years with the CIA; the first half in analysis, the second half in counterterrorism operations,” Kiriakou told AFP, and “left the CIA in 2004 and went into the private sector.”
Kiriakou detailed the blowback from telling the truth.
“In 2007, in an interview on ABC News, I blew the whistle on the CIA’s torture program,” he began. “I was investigated for four years for my revelations, and I ended up going to prison for two years, from 2013 to 2015.”
AFP asked if he thought Brennan and Ms. Rice had orders to surveil Trump.
“I’m not sure that I’m so cynical to say that an order was made to surveil Trump and people associated with the Trump campaign,” he said. “I think that once the CIA and NSA [National Security Agency] realized that the people they were surveilling were in touch with Trump and the Trump campaign, or were senior officials of the Trump campaign, they decided to continue down that road.”
Kiriakou explained how surveillance works in U.S. intelligence and how Ms. Rice may have been involved.
“Let me talk specifically about Susan Rice, because I think this is really the crux of the whole thing,” he said. “Susan Rice is not an analyst at the CIA. Susan Rice was a political figure. She was an important political figure, but she was a political appointee of the Obama White House. It is absolutely unheard of for someone at Susan Rice’s lofty, vaunted position to pick up the phone and call NSA and ask for an unmasking. What possible use would she have for that unmasking? She’s not doing the analysis for the rest of the community. She was just curious. Well, what she did was not necessarily illegal, but it was certainly unethical, absolutely unethical.”
Although the NSA has a wide berth to surveil people outside the U.S., there are allegedly legal barriers to doing the same to U.S. citizens. If, while monitoring a foreign national, NSA picks up communications from a U.S. citizen, its practice is to “mask” the identity of the U.S. person. Hence, “unmasking” means to reveal the identity of the U.S. person.
Kiriakou explained why he believes Trump was surveilled and what the president should do about it.
“I think that it’s part of a bigger problem, and that problem is the overreach of our intelligence services,” Kiriakou told AFP. “So the bottom line for me is: Were the CIA, the NSA, and perhaps other U.S. intelligence services taking what might be an illegally deep look at the Trump campaign? I think actually that the answer is yes, and I think that the president really needs to push this to the next level and appoint a special prosecutor. I think this story is important enough, and goes directly to our own civil liberties, that the president does need to appoint a special prosecutor and let the cards fall where they may.”
Kiriakou pinned the blame squarely on the shoulders of the previous administration.
“We know that Obama was overreaching, and it wasn’t just Obama; it was pretty much everybody that Obama surrounded himself with,” he said. “I think the American people are owed an explanation and that really as a country we need to get to the bottom of this story. I think that if we had a special prosecutor really digging down into the depths of what was going on at the CIA, we would find crimes against the American people and crimes against our own government that we haven’t even begun to discuss, with John Brennan there at the very top of it all.”
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him.