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CIA Torture Whistle-Blower Pleads Guilty in Naming Colleague

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Posted on Oct 23, 2012
AP/Jacquelyn Martin

John Kiriakou.

Former CIA officer and whistle-blower John Kiriakou pleaded guilty Tuesday to leaking the name of a fellow agent involved in the agency’s post-9/11 rendition and torture program to a reporter. He faces two and a half years in prison.

Kiriakou was initially charged under the World War I-era Espionage Act, but those charges were dropped. Critics of the case, as well as Kiriakou’s lawyers, say the former agent was selectively prosecuted for revealing wrongdoing by the CIA. In 2007, Kiriakou told journalists that waterboarding was sanctioned by the White House.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Washington Post:

Kiriakou was a CIA veteran who played a role in the agency’s capture of al-Qaida terrorist Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002. Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded by government interrogators and eventually 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. Kiriakou, who did not participate in the waterboarding, expressed ambivalence in news media interviews about waterboarding, but ultimately declared it was torture.

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