The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

October 23, 2012

Ex-CIA man pleads to leaking operative's identity

— ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (AP) — A former CIA officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to leaking the identity of one of the agency's covert operatives to a reporter and will be sentenced to more than two years in prison.

As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dropped charges for John Kiriakou, 48, that had been filed under the World War I-era Espionage Act. They also dropped a count of making false statements.

The law under which Kiriakou was convicted, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, had not yielded a conviction in 27 years.

Under the plea, all sides agreed to a prison term of 2½ years. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema noted the term was identical to that imposed on Scooter Libby, the chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney. Libby was convicted in a case where he was accused of leaking information that compromised the covert identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, though Libby's sentence was commuted by then-President George W. Bush.

Kiriakou, who wrote a book detailing his CIA career, initially tried to argue he was a victim of vindictive prosecution by government officials who believed he portrayed the CIA negatively, but the judge rejected those arguments.

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.

Kiriakou declined to comment after the hearing, but his lawyer, Robert Trout, told reporters that Kiriakou "is a loyal American who loves his country ... and served it for many years in classified and often dangerous assignments."

Text Only
State and Nation
Poll

Do you think Athens-Limestone County is better prepared than in April 2011 to provide shelter from a major tornado?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee