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Former CIA officer John Kiriakou sentenced to 30 months in prison for leaks

A former CIA officer who leaked classified information, including the identities of agency operatives involved in the capture and interrogation of alleged terrorists, was sentenced Friday to 30 months in prison.

John Kiriakou, 48, who was among the first to go public with details about the CIA's use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation measures, was charged with disclosing classified information to reporters and lying to the agency about the origin of other sensitive material he published in a book. He pleaded guilty in October to a single charge of leaking the identity of one of the agency's covert operatives to a reporter.

"This is not a case of a whistleblower," U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema said in Alexandria. "This is a case of a man who betrayed a solemn trust."

Kiriakou did not speak at his sentencing hearing. But his lawyer, Robert Trout, said Kiriakou never intended to do harm to the United States or "cause injury to anyone."

"He was concerned about certain practices that were employed in the war against terror," Trout said.

In its original criminal filing, the Justice Department obscured many of the details of Kiriakou's alleged disclosures. But the document suggests that Kiriakou was a source for stories by the New York Times and other news organizations in 2008 and 2009 about some of the agency's most sensitive operations after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. These include the capture of alleged al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaida and the interrogation of the self-proclaimed mastermind of the attacks,Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

The Justice Department said that the information Kiriakou supplied to journalists also contributed to a subsequent security breach at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, enabling defense attorneys there to obtain photographs of CIA operatives suspected of being involved in harsh interrogations. Some of the pictures were subsequently discovered in the cells of high-value detainees.

Kiriakou's pleaded guilty to a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which had not yielded a conviction in 27 years.

Kiriakou worked for the CIA from 1990 to 2004.

[Source: By Justin Jouvenal, The Washington Post, 25Jan13]

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