Ex-CIA officer charged with illegal leaks

Investigators charged a former CIA officer Monday with disclosing classified information to journalists.

Story highlights

  • John Kiriakou was a CIA intelligence officer from 1990 to 2004
  • He is charged with several counts related to illegally disclosing information
  • Feds say he identified a CIA employee involved in capturing a top terror suspect
  • That suspect was subjected to waterboarding 83 times, a government memo says
Investigators charged a former CIA officer Monday with disclosing classified information to journalists on several occasions.
John Kiriakou, a CIA intelligence officer from 1990 to 2004, illegally divulged information about two CIA employees and their involvement in classified operations between 2007 and 2009, the Justice Department said in a statement.
In a second case, the Justice Department said, Kiriakou disclosed the name and contact information of a CIA employee who participated in the operation to capture and question Abu Zubayda, who allegedly was al Qaeda's top military strategist until his capture in 2002.
Interrogators used the controversial waterboarding technique on Zubayda 83 times in August 2002, according to a government memo released years later by the administration of President Barack Obama.
Kiriakou is charged with one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act "for allegedly illegally disclosing the identity of a covert officer," the Justice Department statement said.
He also faces two counts of violating the Espionage Act for "allegedly illegally disclosing national defense information" and one count of making false statements to a CIA board that reviews sensitive materials that employees propose to publish publicly. The last charges alleges that he tried "to trick the CIA into allowing him to include classified information in a book he was seeking to publish," the statement said.