ShareThis Page
News

Ex-CIA man, New Castle native Kiriakou gets 2 1/2 years for leaks

| Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, 11:36 a.m.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Former CIA officer John Kiriakou was sentenced on Friday to more than two years in prison by a federal judge who rejected arguments that he was acting as a whistle-blower when he leaked a covert officer's name to a reporter.

A plea deal required the judge to impose a sentence of 2 12 years. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said she would have given Kiriakou much more time if she could.

Kiriakou's supporters describe him as a whistle-blower who exposed aspects of the CIA's use of torture against detained terrorists. Prosecutors said Kiriakou was merely seeking to increase his fame and public stature by trading on his insider knowledge.

The Arlington resident, a native of New Castle, pleaded guilty last year to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. No one had been convicted under the law in 27 years.

Kiriakou, 48, was an intelligence officer with the CIA from 1990 until 2004. He served overseas and at headquarters in Langley.

In 2002, Kiriakou played a key role in the agency's capture of al-Qaida terrorist Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan. Abu Zubaydah, who was waterboarded by government interrogators, revealed information that led to the arrest of “dirty bomb” plotter Jose Padilla and exposed Khalid Sheikh Mohamed as the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Accounts conflict, though, over whether the waterboarding was helpful in gleaning intelligence from Zubaydah, who was also interrogated conventionally.

Kiriakou, who did not participate in the waterboarding, expressed ambivalence in news media interviews about waterboarding, but ultimately declared it was torture. His 2007 interviews about the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah were among the first by a CIA insider confirming reports that several detainees, including Abu Zubaydah, had been waterboarded.

In court papers, prosecutors said the investigation of Kiriakou began in 2009 when authorities became alarmed after discovering that detainees at Guantanamo Bay possessed photographs of CIA and FBI personnel who had interrogated them. The investigation eventually led back to Kiriakou, according to a government affidavit.

Prosecutors said Kiriakou leaked the name of a covert operative to a journalist, who subsequently disclosed it to an investigator working for the lawyer of a Guantanamo detainee.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me