CIA agent gives last TV interview before starting prison sentence

ExaminerDuring a television interview on BBC’s World Update on Friday, a former CIA officer already sentenced to 30 months in federal prison claimed he has made peace with his decision to leak a covert officer’s name to the American press and his alleged leaks to defense attorneys for terrorism suspects.

Defense attorneys argued that John Kiriakou’s actions — leaking the name of a former CIA officer alleged to have taken part in waterboarding — make him a whistleblower, not a criminal.

But whistleblower or criminal, Kiriakou is slated to begin his prison term of less that 3-years on Thursday, March 7.

“I feel oddly optimistic about the coming two years,” he said in the BBC interview. “I feel very much at peace with my decision to go public on the torture issue.”

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Kiriakou pled guilty to one count of intentionally disclosing information identifying a covert agent. As part of the plea agreement, the United States and Kiriakou agreed that a sentence of 30 months in prison was the appropriate disposition of this case.

The presiding jurist, Judge Leonie Brinkema, told the media she would have given him much more time if she could.

“John Kiriakou betrayed the trust bestowed upon him by the United States, and he betrayed his colleagues whose secrecy is their only safety,” said U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride.



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