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Former CIA Agent Accused of Giving Classified Info to Journalists

From the National Journal:

The Justice Department indicted a high-profile former CIA agent, John Kiriakou, on charges that he knowingly provided classified information to journalists and tried to mislead the CIA while trying to get permission to publish a book about his time with the intelligence agency.



The indictment comes after a years-long FBI investigation into Kiriakou, who first gained notoriety in 2007 when he told ABC News that waterboarding had caused a top terror suspect to begin providing useful intelligence within 35 seconds of being subjected to the harsh form of interrogation. The interview implied that Kiriakou had been present for the interrogation, and his claims were used by conservatives like Rush Limbaugh to bolster their assertions that waterboarding worked and was not torture. It later emerged that the suspect, Abu Zubaydah, had in fact been waterboarded at least 83 times before cooperating, and that Kiriakou had no first-hand knowledge because he was thousands of miles away from where the interrogations took place.

Kiriakou’s comments infuriated many within the CIA, who began pushing for an investigation into his activities within hours of the ABC interview. The new interrogation, however, focuses on two other accusations: that he knowingly provided the names of a pair of covert agents to two journalists, one of whom allegedly slipped it to defense lawyers at Guantanamo Bay, and that he tried to mislead the agency “by trick” in the run-up to the publication of a 2010 memoir.

Kiriakou’s comments infuriated many within the CIA, who began pushing for an investigation into his activities within hours of the ABC interview. The new interrogation, however, focuses on two other accusations: that he knowingly provided the names of a pair of covert agents to two journalists, one of whom allegedly slipped it to defense lawyers at Guantanamo Bay, and that he tried to mislead the agency “by trick” in the run-up to the publication of a 2010 memoir.



Kiriakou will appear in federal court at 2 p.m. ET to make an initial pleading in the case.

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