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John Kiriakou Becomes First CIA Officer to Face Prison for Classified Leak
Posted on Jan 5, 2013
The former CIA officer who blew the whistle on waterboarding is preparing to serve a 30-month prison sentence for disclosing to a reporter the name of a covert agent previously involved in the government’s torture program.
John Kiriakou claims he did not realize Deuce Martinez was still undercover when he gave his name to Matthew A. Cole, a freelancer then working on a book about a CIA rendition case in Italy that went wrong. The FBI discovered emails Kiriakou sent to Cole while conducting a warranted search of his personal accounts.
Bruce Riedel, a retired veteran CIA officer who led an Afghan war review and turned down an offer to be considered for the position of CIA director in 2009, said that Kiriakou, who worked for him in the 1990s, was “an exceptionally good intelligence officer” who didn’t deserve the prison term.
“To me the irony of this whole thing is, very simply, that he’s going to be the only CIA officer to go to jail over torture,” even though he publicly denounced torture, Riedel said. “It’s deeply ironic under the Democratic president who ended torture.”
Since his indictment last year, Kiriakou has been unable to keep much steady work. A turn as an investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ended before he was charged, and two hedge funds that had him consulting on international security issues dropped him when the charges were filed. Only Liberty University, the conservative Christian college founded by Jerry Falwell in Lynchburg, Va.—which publicly objected to torture on moral grounds—gave him more work in his post teaching intelligence courses.
Kiriakou will be separated from his wife Heather, and kids Max, 8, Kate, 6, and Charlie, 14 months, during his prison term.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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