Date(s) - 10/27/2015
7:15 pm - 8:45 pm
Freedom Forum Conference Center
On October 27, the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy will join with the UNC School of Law Human Rights Policy Lab; UNC Peace, War, and Defense Program; UNC Center for Global Initiatives; and NC Stop Torture Now to host a public address by John Kiriakou, author of The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror. The title of Kiriakou’s talk will be “Keeping Government Honest: Whistleblowers, Torture, and America’s War on Terror.”
A former CIA official and case officer, Kiriakou became an anti-torture whistleblower and activist when he told ABC News 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. In 2012, the federal government charged him with disclosing classified information–he had given the name of a CIA operative to a freelance reporter–and he ultimately served almost two years of a thirty-month sentence under a plea deal with the government. Following his release, Kiriakou said his case was not about leaking information but about exposing torture, continuing, “and I would do it all over again.”
On November 16, 2015, Kiriakou will receive the prestigious First Amendment Award from PEN Center USA. Explaining the reason the PEN Center decided to honor Kiriakou, Marvin Putnam, the organization’s board chair stated: “In accepting his plea deal, one of the things he was doing in accepting that was ensuring that the journalists were not forced to testify. That was just one of the things he was doing to make sure that First Amendment protections were not challenged to the point of breaking.”
Following his public address, Kiriakou will sit down with WRAL’s David Crabtree for a “newsmaker” interview. Crabtree has won 11 Emmy awards and was named North Carolina Journalist of the Year four consecutive years by the Radio-Television News Directors Association of the Carolinas. He has also received the Gabriel Award and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award in 2007 for reporting on living conditions for migrant workers in North Carolina. In 2014, Crabtree was named the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Anchor of the Year and the Radio Television Digital Association of the Carolinas 2014 Anchor of the Year.
This event is free and open to the public.
Video of the event is available on Vimeo