The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 21

COMMENTARY & OPINION

has done in moving the Church from a
long-desolate state to its present state of
recognition throughout the world. The
Archons, led by Dr. Anthony Limberakis,
and AHEPA, led by National President
Phillip Frangos, would be present to signify the support of American Orthodoxy.
Who today does not recognize the
Ecumenical Patriarch and his efforts to
liberate a captive church?
The road to Loretto, Pennsylvania,
runs east from Pittsburgh. It is not quite
a two-hour drive, overcast and cold,
with icy rain a threat. I am with Philip
Yamalis and Tom Geanopulos, both residents of Pittsburgh. They show me where
the steel mills were, and point out the
Westinghouse IT research campus; there
is a pit stop at Sheetz; we drive past picturesque Mount Alyosius College, follow
a narrow, winding road, and then the
facility appears - Federal Correctional
Institution, Loretto. There is a chain
link fence, topped with concertina wire.
We fill out some paper work in the
admissions office, and then are led by a
prison officer through an outdoor open
space into a second building and a room
approximately 60 feet by 100 feet, white
walls, fluorescent lights, stark and spare.
There are three rows of chairs, each row
consisting of chairs facing each other.
Prisoners sit across from their visitors
- wives, friends, children - there is a
murmur of conversation. Most prisoners
wear tan shirts and pants, a few are in
bright orange.
John Kiriakou comes in from a side
room and walks to where we are standing, we all sit, he across from the three
of us. We talked for two and a half hours.
There is little conversation on the
way back to Pittsburgh.
John Kiriakou is a Greek American
and former CIA agent who is serving a
30-month sentence in the federal prison
in Loretto. He entered prison in February
of 2013 and is scheduled to be released
in February of 2015 and remain in house
arrest for three more months. His is a complicated story. There are two reasons given
for his arrest and imprisonment; both have

www.ahepa.org

asterisks with qualifications. One is that
he disclosed the name of a covert CIA
officer to a reporter. The other is that he
disclosed to the American public for the
first time that waterboarding was utilized
during interrogation of suspected terrorists
as a matter of government policy. He has
received support across the political spectrum, from Oliver Stone and other leftist
critics of the government, to professors at
Jerry Falwell's Liberty University.
Scott Shane reported in the New York
Times that Bruce Riedel, a retired CIA
officer who turned down an offer to be
considered for CIA director in 2009, said
that Mr. Kiriakou was " 'an exceptionally
good intelligence officer' who did not
deserve to go to prison. 'To me, the irony
of this whole thing is, very simply, that
he's going to be the only CIA officer to
go to jail over torture,' even though he
publicly denounced torture."
Kiriakou has written some thirteen
"Letters from Loretto" during his imprisonment, which have been published by
Firedoglake.com, a progressive-leaning
political group blog. In these he details
his experiences in prison. He has also
written a book which will be published
soon after his release. He has been supported during this time by his family and friends, colleagues, and advocates on both the right and left. He has
been visited by Father Michael Kallaur
of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church
in Pittsburgh and Father John Buschek
of Christ the Savior Cathedral of the
Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Archdiocese
of the USA in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Anthony Kouzounis, National President
of the AHEPA at the time, wrote a letter dated May 1, 2014, to Charles E.
Samuels, Jr., Director Federal Bureau of
Prisons, in Washington, D.C., in which
instances of mistreatment of Kiriakou
by prison officials are enumerated. Gus
Moshos, a member of Kiriakou's parish
of St. Katherine's in Fall Church, Virginia,
has been a strong supporter of Kiriakou
and his family, and has rallied others to
help his family.
On the whole, however, the Greek

American community has been silent
about Kiriakou. His own priest, Father
Costas Pavlakos of St. Katherine's has not
visited him. The Greek American press
has given him little coverage. The myriad
ethnic, political, lobbying, philanthropic
and academic organizations of the Greek
American community have had little if
anything to say about him. No leaders of
the Greek American community, religious
or secular, have said anything about him.
On November 17, Congressman Jim
Moran of Virginia spoke on the floor of
the House of Representatives and decried
the "selective prosecution" of Kiriakou.
He called on President Obama to pardon Kiriakou and he called Kiriakou "an
American hero."
On December 9, the U.S. Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence
released a 525-page portion of its 6,000page report about the CIA's Detention
and Interrogation Program and its uses
of various forms of torture. The debate on
torture as a policy of the U.S. government
has now moved from the blogosphere to
the mainstream media.
The Greek American community took
years to understand the historical and
spiritual significance of the Ecumenical
Patriarchate to its own unique religious
life. The captivity of the Ecumenical
Patriarchate is a burden we all share, it
is a badge we all wear, it is a threnody
we all chant.
Likewise, the intellectual significance of the captivity of John Kiriakou
must not be lost on the Greek American
community. The debate on torture will
be important in redefining what kind
of country the United States is, what
kind of country it should be. Senator
John McCain and former Vice President
Dick Cheney have recently presented
opposing views on this issue. The Greek
American community cannot remain
silent in this debate. The sacrifice one
of its own sons has made in shaping
this discourse must be embraced and
the community must speak its mind. If
nothing else, the community must speak
out for John Kiriakou.

Spring 2015 · THE AHEPAN

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http://www.Firedoglake.com http://www.ahepa.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The AHEPAN - Spring 2015

President’s Message
AHEPA Family News
Saint Nicholas Campaign Off to Promising Start, Grassroots Momentum Builds
AHEPA Supreme Convention Preview
A Tale of One Hellene’s Appreciation for President Truman
Education
Periclean
Literary Corner
Commentary & Opinion
Civic Responsibility
Housing
Athletics
AHEPA Family Chapter News
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 1
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 2
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 3
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - President’s Message
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - AHEPA Family News
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 6
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 7
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - Saint Nicholas Campaign Off to Promising Start, Grassroots Momentum Builds
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 9
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - AHEPA Supreme Convention Preview
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 11
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 12
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 13
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - A Tale of One Hellene’s Appreciation for President Truman
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 15
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 16
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 17
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - Education
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - Periclean
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - Commentary & Opinion
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 21
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - Civic Responsibility
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - Housing
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 24
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 25
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - Athletics
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 27
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - AHEPA Family Chapter News
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 29
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 30
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 31
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 32
The AHEPAN - Spring 2015 - 33
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