John Kiriakou, the former Central Intelligence Agency officer currently serving jailtime for leaking the identity of a covert agent, has written an open letter to Edward Snowden, offering advice to the former government contractor who leaked classified information on the National Security Agency's surveillance programs.
The handwritten letter was published by FireDogLake on Tuesday.
Writing from prison in Loretto, Pa., Kiriakou praises Snowden for his "heroic" actions.
"I know that it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders right now, but as Americans begin to realize that we are devolving into a police state, with the loss of civil liberties that entails, they will see your actions for what they are: heroic," he writes.
Kiriakou, who worked as a CIA intelligence officer from 1990 until 2004, spoke out in 2007 about the use of waterboarding as an interrogation technique under the Bush Administration. Last year, he plead guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act for leaking the identity of a covert officer involved in the interrogation program to a freelance reporter, and was sentenced to 32 months in prison.
In the letter, Kiriakou offers Snowden advice from "the benefit of my own whistleblowing experience." In addition to establishing a website, finding a good attorney, and garnering the support of groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, Kiriakou says Snowden should under no circumstance cooperate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"FBI agents will lie, trick, and deceive you," Kiriakou writes. "They will twist your words and play on your patriotism to entrap you. They will pretend to be people they are not – supporters, well-wishers, and friends – all the while wearing wires to record your out-of-context statements to use against you. The FBI is the enemy; it’s a part of the problem, not the solution."
Prior to his sentencing, Kiriakou spoke to The Huffington Post's Ryan J. Reilly about his views on President Barack Obama's Justice Department.
"As bad as the Bush Justice Department was, we didn't see this kind of ... vindictive and selective prosecution of people that we see under Obama," Kiriakou said. "That's really what it is, it's vindictive and it's selective."