WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Kiriakou gained international recognition as the only person the US government sent to prison for exposing the torture program against terrorism suspects devised by George W. Bush’s administration. After revealing classified information to ABC News in 2007, Kiriakou was sentenced to 30 months in prison, of which he served 23 months ending in February 2015.
"The US squandered the goodwill of the world when, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, we transitioned from counterterrorism to unending wars of choice and an ill-advised promotion of ‘democracy’ in the region [the Middle East]," according to Kiriakou, whose 14-year CIA career included service in Syria.
"Now, 15 years later, we are bogged down in fights in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere," he said.
However, these conflicts have left the United States more hated across the region and undermined its long-term standing there, Kiriakou asserted.
"We are not trusted by most inhabitants of the Middle East," he stated.
Instead of addressing the underlying conditions that gave terrorist groups an opportunity to recruit supporters and grow stronger, US strategy has degenerated into the reckless killing of people deemed as threats, Kiriakou maintained.
"Our counterterrorism policy has boiled down to killing people who may someday pose a threat," he explained.