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

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

John Kiriakou Michael Ruby Bruce Riedel / Jul 19, 2019

Reluctant Spy My Secret Life in the CIA s War on Terror Waterboarding terrorist suspects CIA raids in Pakistan and the truth about the invasion of Iraq one CIA agent s shocking true story Long before the waterboarding controversy exploded in the media o

  • Title: Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror
  • Author: John Kiriakou Michael Ruby Bruce Riedel
  • ISBN: 9781616086282
  • Page: 281
  • Format: Paperback
  • Waterboarding terrorist suspects, CIA raids in Pakistan, and the truth about the invasion of Iraq one CIA agent s shocking true story Long before the waterboarding controversy exploded in the media, one CIA agent had already gone public In a groundbreaking 2007 interview with ABC News, John Kiriakou defined waterboarding as torture but still admitted that it probably wasWaterboarding terrorist suspects, CIA raids in Pakistan, and the truth about the invasion of Iraq one CIA agent s shocking true story Long before the waterboarding controversy exploded in the media, one CIA agent had already gone public In a groundbreaking 2007 interview with ABC News, John Kiriakou defined waterboarding as torture but still admitted that it probably was effective This book, at once a confessional, an adventure story, and a chronicle of Kiriakou s life in the CIA, stands as an important, eloquent piece of testimony from a committed American patriot Kiriakou takes us into the fight against an enemy fueled by fanaticism, chillingly recounting what it was like inside the CIA headquarters on the morning of 9 11, the agency leaders who stepped up and those who protected their careers, and, in what may be the book s most shocking revelation, how the White House made plans to invade Iraq a full year before the CIA knew about it or could attempt to stop it Chronicling both mind boggling mistakes and heroic acts of individual courage, The Reluctant Spy is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the inner workings of the U.S intelligence apparatus, the truth behind the torture debate, and the incredible dedication of ordinary men and women doing one of the most extraordinary jobs on earth.

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      Posted by:John Kiriakou Michael Ruby Bruce Riedel
      Published :2018-010-07T19:36:18+00:00

    About "John Kiriakou Michael Ruby Bruce Riedel"

      • John Kiriakou Michael Ruby Bruce Riedel

        John served in the Central Intelligence Agency first as an analyst, and later as a counterterrorism operations officer, from 1990 2004 He spent much of his career working on Iraq and the Persian Gulf In 1997 he changed career tracks from analysis to operations and moved to Athens, Greece, where he worked against the notorious terrorist group Revolutionary Organization 17 November He became chief of counterterrorist operations in Pakistan following the September 11 attacks, and his tour climaxed in the March 2002 capture of Abu Zubaydah, then believed to be al Qa ida s third ranking official.John 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 John eventually was charged with three counts of espionage, one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and one count of making a false statement as a result of the 2007 ABC News interview Even though he had no criminal intent, and there was no harm to the national security, accepting the plea resulted in a sentence of 30 months in prison.


    826 Comments

    1. The CIA is more than a job - it's a lifestyle choice, but one mired in secrecy and misunderstanding for decades. This book provides a window, intentionally or unintentionally, into the agency to show you how they operate, why the people that work there can get so passionate, and what failings can arise from such passion.John Kiriakou, who practically stumbled into the spy game (as the title suggests), shows, intentionally and occasionally unintentionally, the strains and stresses the job provide [...]


    2. Couldn't get past Kiriakou's enormous ego. He's like a used car salesman; slick and smarmy, and explosive at inappropriate times. I was interested in the operational and policy issues, but could have done without the custody battles and self-aggrandizement.


    3. Read this review and other articles from me on TheNearbyFutureMany people don't know what they want to do in life. John Kiriakou never guessed he'd end up a spy after college.He was a man with a love of politics and world history. He would sneak into Consulate Dinner Parties with his friends to meet and take photos with the senators he'd read about. His dogged determination, quick thinking and strong feelings of patriotism would steer him towards a career in the CIA.But he never wanted to be a s [...]


    4. Totally not my type of thing, but I liked it anyway Interesting story from a "six degrees of separation" person I laid eyes on once and may even had said hello to which made it all the more interesting. I feel like I have a much better idea of what goes into protecting our country and the dedication (aka obsessions) of the people doing it. Also confirms how crazy Dick Chaney really is lol


    5. The title is a misnomer in my opinion. The author does not seem reluctant and the only reason I can see that he called it this was because he started as an analyst and moved into operations. Otherwise, he seemed like a very capable and ready case officer. John discusses his time in Greece, working in the Middle East and his time at headquarters. While all of this was good and included a nice overview of the issues of Greek terrorism, one of the things I really liked about this book was that he t [...]


    6. I really need to stop buying memoirs after reading reviews because the reviewers never accurately reflect the tone or theme of the book. I think anyone really interested in specific CIA initiatives would love this, but I was looking for more of a story, about the guy's work and the guy's personal life and how it all blended together. The review I read spoke a lot about how the rigors of his job caused the demise of his marriage and really affected his family. But in the book the marriage is basi [...]


    7. Interesting account from a Greek-American working for the CIA, with some bits relating to embassy action in Greece.




    8. An account of life in the CIA, covering especially the period from 9/11 to the first years of the Iraq war, but it does not reveal much which is not by now widely known. On the whole, it is fair and moderate. If you want a history book, you can probably do better elsewhere. If your interest is a firsthand account of CIA culture, this book can help.


    9. Hilariously funny -- not in a good way. Kiriakou is a babe in screw-up land as he describes one disastrous operation after another. My favorite was taking the 100 pound overweight guy on the raid of the Taliban Embassy in Pakistan because it would make him feel good. A good role for John Candy.Whenever it starts to get interesting the author tells us that the CIA won't let me tell you about this. He does keep telling us how patriotic and well meaning his colleagues are. Unfortunately, they seem [...]


    10. I picked this book up from my brother-in-law's shelf one day when I needed something to read. It wasn't the type of thing I usually read so maybe that's why I wasn't crazy about it. The author comes across as very self-promoting and you can't blame him too much because he was/is involved in a lot of very important high level government stuff. The main disappointment for me was that the dust cover suggested that there would be a lot about what it was like at the CIA on September 11th and afterwar [...]


    11. Strange title, as he didn't seem very reluctant to me. I chose this primarily because Arthur Morey reads it - he's the best. Secondly because I was interested after reading all of Robert Baer's and Stephen Kinzer's books.I felt a bit put off by his ego, attitude, his 'smarts' & often his poor choices. Yes, it's a rather dirty game the US gov't. enters willingly. It seemed to me he was either very naive or frequently finding fault with others. Overall, an interesting type of tell all, none of [...]


    12. Very interesting inside look (the good, the bad, and the ugly) at the CIA from the perspective of an analyst turned ops director who caught Abu Zubaida. I didn't realize that he is now in prison."Kiriakou is the sole CIA officer to face jail time for any action involving the federal government's torture program. Ironically, Kiriakou, the whistleblower on the program, will go to prison, while the agents who implemented it will not." (whistleblower/press/pr)


    13. Really interesting, particularly where it gave insight into policy decisions and their impact in recent history. However, Kiriakou's strange angle on his family life (and lack of insight into moments where he seemingly unintentionally depicts himself as an enormous asshole but blames everyone else for the situations he finds himself in) sometimes made me wonder how much I should trust his insight generally.


    14. It takes a couple of chapters to get used to the writing style. It was clearly written for people even at the most basic reading level. But once you get past that, the story itself is quite compelling. One man's story of his time as a covert operative in the CIA, and how it touched his personal life as well. It's told with a directness and clarity that makes it an easy read and avoids self-aggrandizing melodrama. Extremely interesting look behind the scenes.


    15. This is more of a 3.5 stars, really. Interesting look behind the scenes of the CIA and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Kiriakou definitely humanizes the people of the CIA and, without shying away from mistakes made, paints an overall positive picture of the people who put themselves at risk for their country. His personal story is also interesting to hear.


    16. Actually I just didn't feel the book deserved 4 stars. I liked it well enough to finish it through, but that's about it. Much of the book is a rant from a unhappy, frustrated CIA operative doing some whisleblowing. I wouldn't waste your money on this one.


    17. Seemed like an honest account however you can tell it is slightly jaded. If you enjoy learning about the inner works of intelligence agencies it's a decent book and worth finishing but it isn't the best book ever either.


    18. Enjoyed this book, but it glazed the surface of what I was expecting. Did not go into much detail except to imply our government condones torture when it is to our benefit. This, we already new. It is not something I would recommend to others as a fact finding read, but it was easy to read.



    19. Parts of it were interesting but I thought it became self-serving. I also didn't like the author's lashing out against his boss and ex-wife.



    20. Not a big fan of this book. The author seems to be trashing the government for EVERYTHING that has effected this mans life.


    21. It wasn't bad but it wasn't exciting either. He talks about how he became a CIA officer, his marriage, his retirement, and his contributions to capturing terror suspects.


    22. A moderately interesting book. The author, John Kiriakou, is a former CIA officer who captured Abu Zubaydah in Faisalabad, Pakistan in 2002.


    23. . Besides being a traitor to his country by disclosing secrets he has sworn not to. This is a very self-serving book


    24. John Kiriakou gives the inside dirt on working for the CIA. He tells lots of interesting stories that happened throughout his career and does lots of namedropping.




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