A former CIA officer who was among the first to go public with details about the agency’s use of waterboarding and other interrogation techniques was sentenced to 2½ years in prison Friday for disclosing a covert operative’s name to a reporter.
John Kiriakou, 48, of Arlington has portrayed himself as a whistleblower concerned about the use of the harsh tactics, but U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema emphatically rejected that idea in federal court in Alexandria.
“This is not a case of a whistleblower,” Brinkema said. “This is a case of a man who betrayed a solemn trust.”
She added that she would abide by the 30-month sentence Kiriakou and federal prosecutors had reached as part of an October plea deal but said it was “way too light.” Prosecutors said Kiriakou’s action endangered the officer and damaged the CIA’s ability to collect intelligence.
Kiriakou was the first person in 27 years to be convicted of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. His prosecution is part of a broader Obama administration crackdown on the disclosure of national security information. There have been five other leaks-related prosecutions since the president took office — more than every other previous administration combined.