John Kiriakou, ex-CIA employee, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison. His crime? Violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA). This act was passed in reaction to the outing of Athens CIA Station Chief Richard Welch in 1975 – and whose exposure is believed to have contributed to his murder later that year.
Kiriakou was the first individual ever convicted for violating the IIPA. Although allegations were made against various parties regarding the Plame non-outing, no one was convicted of an IIPA violation in that case. (Libby’s conviction in conjunction with the Plame investigation was not for a violation of the IIPA or for the disclosure of any classified information. Hell, it appears that if anyone “outed” Plame – who was working openly at CIA HQ at the time of her alleged “outing” – it was her own husband Joe Wilson. While Wilson was writing op-eds and doing the talk show circuit to undercut the Bush administration and curry favor with the Kerry campaign in early and mid 2003, he was apparently also telling pretty much anyone who would listen that his wife worked for the CIA for weeks before that fact was publicized by Novak.)
However, unlike the Plame case, someone working undercover actually was exposed by Kiriakou, Or to be more accurate: it appears a number of persons working covertly for the CIA were outed by Kiriakou. He gave the identities of at least 2 CIA agents whose identities were protected under the IIPA to members of the press. Prosecutors say evidence collected during the case indicates Kiriakou likely divulged the identities of “dozens” of personnel working for the agency.
The sentence of 30 months was agreed to in a plea bargain, in which Kiriakou admitted to identifying one CIA operative whose identity and covert employment by the CIA was covered under the IIPA. Not all persons working for the CIA are covered by the IIPA, but at least some of those individuals exposed by Kiriakou were.
Why haven’t we heard a great “hue and cry” from the media about Kiriakou, like we did virtually nonstop about the Plame non-outing years ago? Well, I can’t say for sure – but I have my own opinion. Kiriakou also made public the details of al Zubaida’s enhanced interrogation, including the fact that he’d been waterboarded. When Kiriakou did that, the political left and media lapped it up like cats drinking milk – just like they did the bogus allegations that Plame was intentionally exposed by the Bush administration.
Predictably, Kiriakou sought to portray himself as a “whistleblower” exposing government wrongdoing. While reluctantly accepting the plea bargain, the judge emphatically rejected Kiriakou’s claim to be any kind of whistleblower. Instead, the judge said: “This is a case of a man who betrayed a solemn trust” and added later that she felt the 30-month sentence in the plea bargain was “way too light”.
Why would Kiriakou sell out his brothers and sisters still working at the CIA? Like the prosecution, my guess would be cold hard cash. Specifically: he did it to get publicity and increase his chances of getting consulting work. The consulting work would put money in his pocket; both consulting and publicity would help sell the book he was writing about his 14 years with the CIA (1990-2004). Money talks – so Kiriakou did, too.
In a perfect world, Kiriakou’s cellmate will be about 6’4”, weigh about 230 lbs, and will have lost a buddy on 9/11 or to the Taliban. IMO the judge was right – this asshole deserves way more than 30 months.
Hope you enjoy your stay at the crossbar hotel, Johnny-boy.