Former CIA official John Kiriakou was today released after two and a half years in prison. He exposed the Bush-era war-on-terror torture program, and for that act of bravery became the only American to serve time in connection with it.
He was sentenced to 30 months in prison in 2013, after he pled guilty to confirming the identity of a covert officer to a reporter. The reporter did not publish the leaked information.
His supporters say the Obama administration sought to make Kiriakou an example in its crackdown on whistleblowers, and that the father of five children was unfairly punished.
Kiriakou was the first CIA official to publicly confirm the Bush administration's use of waterboarding.
He posted the news of his release today in the form of a tweet that shows the 50 year old family man hugging his kids.
"Free at last, free at least, thank God almighty, I'm free at last," he wrote, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King. He will remain under house arrest until May, 2015.
"Even if torture works, it cannot be tolerated–not in one case or a thousand or a million," Kiriakou previously wrote. "If their efficacy becomes the measure of abhorrent acts, all sorts of unspeakable crimes somehow become acceptable."
"I may have found myself on the wrong side of government on torture. But I'm on the right side of history. There are things we should not do, even in the name of national security. One of them, I now firmly believe, is torture."