The AHEPAN - Summer 2010 - (Page 11)

Book review The Reluctant Spy by John Kiriakou with Michael Ruby published by Bantam Books – March 2010 “My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror” Reviewed by Joseph C. Keane, Hellenic Cultural Commission Chairman T he title doesn’t do it justice. This all encompassing show-and-tell book addresses the whole spectrum of terrorism issues facing us today. The competence of our intelligence agencies, a front row seat for the history of terrorism in Greece, the role and value of “enhanced interrogation”, the inside scoop on our invasion of Iraq, testing the merit of rules in large monolithic organizations and the risks and pitfalls of pursuing a career as a covert agent - this book has it all! The Iranian hostage crisis was, for a very young news hound, what sparked John’s interest in the affairs of the Middle East. Recruitment by his favorite professor, who happened to be a former CIA agent, clinched his career path. His starting as an intelligence analyst began innocently enough, but an intensive Arabic course coupled with his Greek fluency made him an invaluable asset, when everyone else in the Agency was still focused on Russia’s decline. When he became a covert agent, it put a lot of strain on his marriage. It is a cautionary tale for anyone seeking a normal life and a CIA career. What can you realistically expect from a young Greek American girl from Warren, Ohio to do with a husband who comes home late at night, disappears for days at a time and can’t talk about where he’s been. His exciting first marriage culminates when he kidnaps one of his children during Sunday Orthodox services. You have to read about it to appreciate it. Fortunately John’s life has a happier sequel. As you would expect with his language skills, John is assigned to Greece as a covert agent. On his first day on the job, he has to interrogate a terrorist, who has had a change of heart. One of his fellow agents pulls a gun on the terrorist and threatens him. This is in violation of Agency rules and John is asked not to report it, which is an even graver violation. Then when moving his possessions into his apartment, he is in his car and threatened with a gun by a motorcyclist next to him. Thief or terrorist, who knows? John pulls his gun and the standoff is broken when the light changes and he speeds away. What an introduction to Greece! There is continual action as he drives around Athens in an armor reinforced limo with his two hand guns. Survival requires his being ever attentive and as a result he is the cause of many rear end collisions which he pays for to prevent their showing up on his record. He narrowly avoids an assassination attempt when terrorists go after a softer target. It’s time to leave Greece. What a job! John received nine Sustained Superior Performance awards during his CIA career. He was in charge of the team that captured Abu Zubaydah, the most senior Al Qa’ida terrorist ever apprehended. His book is a must read for anyone interested in the inside story regarding today’s burning issues, like intra-departmental agency cooperation, rendition (returning terrorist to country of origin), and the “10 techniques for enhanced interrogation”. As an extra treat, John was the talking head on all the networks with the inside story on waterboarding. It reads like a real but bureaucratic James Bond thriller and we doubt that you will consider a CIA career. However, it will definitely give you a more profound understanding of our war on terror. Summer 2010 the ahepan 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The AHEPAN - Summer 2010

The AHEPAN - Summer 2010
Table of Contents
Supreme President’s Message
Daughters of Penelope President’s Message
Sons and Maids Presidents’ Messages
AHEPA Family News
Book Review
Annual Excursion Continues to Build Bridges, Seek Solutions
United We Serve
Chicago’s Regional Salute Banquet Inspires, Honors Many from Midwest
Civic Responsibility
2010 Athletics Calendar
AHEPA Family Chapter News
In Memoriam

The AHEPAN - Summer 2010