CIA Leaker Kiriakou Takes 30-Month Plea Deal

     (CN) – Former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who leaked information about the CIA’s harsh interrogation methods, pleaded guilty Tuesday to identifying an undercover agent to The New York Times.
     Kiriakou, 47, agreed to a 30-month prison sentence for the charges, which carried a maximum sentence of 10 years.
     Prosecutors indicted the Arlington, Va., resident in January 2012 on four counts of leaking classified information about the CIA’s capture and interrogation of al-Qaida operative Abu Zubaydah to New York Times reporters.
     Kiriakou worked for the CIA from 1990 to 2004.
     In June 2008, The New York Times published an article titled “Inside the Interrogation of a 9/11 Mastermind,” which publicly identified the name of the CIA officer, Deuce Martinez, who questioned Zubaydah and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.
     In an interview for the article, Kiriakou told the Times that Zubaydah submitted to interrogation after 35 seconds of waterboarding.
     “It was like flipping a switch,” Kiriakou said.
     The intelligence officer had expressed his disapproval of the technique, saying, “We Americans are better than that.”
     The article named Kiriakou as a source, but did not identify who disclosed the interrogating officer’s name.
     Agent Joseph Capitano, who signed the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, had said that “Kiriakou provided Journalist B with personal information regarding Officer B knowing that Journalist B was seeking to identify and locate Officer B in light of Officer B’s role in the Abu Zubaydah operation. In doing so, Kiriakou confirmed that Officer B was involved in the Abu Zubaydah operation and therefore disclosed classified information.”
     The affidavit includes numerous quotes from private email exchanges between Kirakou and reporters.
     It also suggests that the information Kiriakou leaked to journalists enabled defense attorneys of Guantanamo detainees to obtain photographs of CIA interrogators and supply their clients with a photo lineup to determine who questioned them.
     Kirakou’s plea covers one count of intentionally disclosing classified information. In addition to the prison term, he will face three years of supervised release and a $100 fine.
     “The defendant will plead guilty because the defendant is in fact guilty of the charged offense,” according to the agreement. “The defendant admits the facts set forth in the statement of facts filed with this plea agreement and agrees that those facts establish guilt of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt.”
     Kiriakou requested to serve his sentence at the minimum security prison at Federal Correction Institution, Loretto, in Pennsylvania.

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