Show Details for the week of May 4th, 2015

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This is week two of the Pledge Drive for KPFT. The Monitor has a goal of $800 per show for three weeks in a row. Please help us reach that goal by calling in your pledge of support at 713-526-5738 or by pledging online at

Our guest this week is John Kiriakou. He was is a former CIA analyst and case officer, former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and former counterterrorism consultant for ABC News, blogger for Huffington Post, and author. He was the first U.S. government official to confirm in December 2007 that waterboarding was used to interrogate Al Qaeda prisoners, which he described as torture. On October 22, 2012, Kiriakou pleaded guilty to disclosing classified information about a fellow CIA officer that connected the covert operative to a specific operation. He was the first person to pass classified information to a reporter, although the reporter did not publish the name of the operative. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison on January 25, 2013, and served his term from February 28, 2013 until 3 February 2015 at the low-security Federal correctional facility in Loretto, Pennsylvania.

We have John’s book The Reluctant Spy:  My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror, available to you for a pledge of $120. This is John Kiriakou’s first book, co-authored with Michael Ruby. Please show your support by calling 713-526-5738 or donating at

The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror

The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror details his years with the CIA and the beginning of his legal problems when John told ABC News in an interview in December 2007 that the CIA was torturing prisoners, that that torture was official U.S. government policy, and that the policy was approved by the President.  John was driven to ruin by the Justice Department because of these revelations.

The national debate on waterboarding and other forms of torture got a second wind early in Obama’s presidency, and John clearly feels proud to have played a small part in that debate. In a larger sense, this is not an American conversation that has ended. If we have learned anything since 9/11, we have learned anew that a tension exists between protecting our national security and ensuring the human rights guaranteed according to the will of our Founding Fathers when they authored the U.S. Constitution.

Our challenge, in a world of unprecedented threats, is to strike a balance between the polarities—to find that place where the national security and human rights can live reasonably, if not comfortably, side by side. It won’t be easy. But then, it never was.

The Reluctant Spy is a fascinating book, which will give you chills when you realize that what John Kiriakou experienced at the hands of the Justice Department could happen to anyone.  The book rose to #5 on the Washington Post political bestsellers list in March 2010.

We have three other book options for you to pick from at different pledge level:

For a pledge of $50 you can get The Islamist Phoenix by Loretta Napoleoni. She is the bestselling author of Maonomics, Rogue EconomicsTerror Incorporated and Insurgent Iraq. She is an expert on terrorist financing and money laundering, and advises several governments and international organizations on counter-terrorism and money laundering. As Chairman of the countering terrorism financing group for the Club de Madrid, Napoleoni brought heads of state from around the world together to create a new strategy for combating the financing of terror networks.Here is an excerpt

For a pledge of $60 you can get Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit. She is Writer, historian, and activist. She is the author of sixteen books about environment, landscape, community, art, politics, hope, and memory. You can read some of her writing about the topic here

For a pledge of $85 you can get The Battle for Justice in Palestine by Ali Abunimah. He is the author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli Palestinian Impasse, and co-founder and director of the widely acclaimed publication The Electronic Intifada. Based in the United States, he has written hundreds of articles and been an active part of the movement for justice in Palestine for 20 years. He is the recipient of a 2013 Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship. Any of these books will enrich you understanding of the topics they each handle. All three authors are going to be on The Monitor in the upcoming weeks.

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