James Spione

What happened to the man who exposed waterboarding? And what are the consequences of making public such illegal intelligence-gathering techniques by the US government? In this revealing documentary, three prominent whistle-blowers, among them John Kiriakou (former CIA) explain how everything changed radically after 9/11.

John Kiriakou (former CIA), Thomas Drake (former NSA) and Jesselyn Radack (lawyer and former ethics consultant to the American Department of Justice) talk candidly to filmmaker James Spione about their ‘leaks’: how they made public the illegal, even criminal practices of their own government, facing a choice between career and conscience that put them at great risk. Following their revelations they were fired, isolated, cast into a financial abyss or even tried and incarcerated.

The stories of these whistle-blowers are told through interviews, excerpts from appearances in the media, official documents and re-enacted scenes. Tense as a John le Carré thriller, this documentary by Oscar nominee Spione (Incident in New Baghdad, 2011) shows how the world view of this courageous trio changed forever. In the words of John Kiriakou, ‘I’m not sure anymore who the good guys are.’


James Spione
United States
102 minutes
courts & tribunals, transitional justice, police & security forces, politics & democracy, terrorism