John Kiriakou, former CIA analyst and case officer. He was jailed for 23 months after he became the first CIA official to confirm publicly the Bush administration’s use of waterboarding. His memoir, which has just been published, is titled Doing Time Like a Spy: How the CIA Taught Me to Survive and Thrive in Prison.
JOHN KIRIAKOU: Right. This is—this is really a serious issue. The fact that he’s president aside and that he’s allowed to declassify information, there’s a process that you go through to declassify that information. You can’t just blurt it out to the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador. What happens is, the information goes back to the CIA, to the originating office. The CIA will pull the relevant information out of the report, put it on a new blank sheet of paper and then type at the top, “Secret releasable to Russia.” That way, nobody gets in trouble, no sources and methods are revealed, everybody’s happy, and we can establish something of a liaison relationship to the Russians. That’s not what the president did.
Now, General McMaster said something very important yesterday. He said that the president was not aware of the source. Well, if that’s true, then shame on General McMaster, because that’s his job to make sure that the president is informed. Now, if he briefed the president on this information and didn’t tell him the source or didn’t convey to the president the clandestinity of this source, then maybe we should be talking today about General McMaster resigning.
McMaster’s former staff officer in Iraq: A general must not just stand by while a lie is being promulgated
I asked several officers who know Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, how they would advise McMaster about his current plight, working for a president who may in fact present a clear and present danger to the nation’s security.
Here is the response I received from retired Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, who was McMaster’s “effects coordinator” in Iraq, and later became deputy commander of their regiment: