FORMER CIA OFFICER LATEST SUSPECT CHARGED UNDER ESPIONAGE ACT IN UNRIVALED GOVERNMENT CLAMPDOWN ON NATIONAL SECURITY LEAKS

John Kiriakou, an ex CIA officer, was charged last week under the Espionage Act with passing on classified information to journalists. The Obama administration has made unparalleled use of the aforementioned legislation in its crackdown on current or onetime government officials turning over information to reporters, according to Steven Aftergood, who monitors the intelligence community for the American Federation of Scientists. Kiriakou’s fellow ex CIA officer, Jeffrey Sterling, stands accused of disclosing information to a New York Times journalist, while Stephen Kim, an official of the State Department, is suspected of divulging secrets about North Korea to Fox News. A translator with the FBI, Shamai Leibowitz, was charged with leaking information to a blogger, and his subsequent guilty plea in 2010 drew a 20 month prison term. Bradley Manning is purported to have provided documents to Wikileaks.
The federal complaint filed against Mr. Kiriakou encompassed a number of different allegations, including the claim that he supplied New York Times reporter Scott Shane with information incorporated in the 2008 article naming CIA analyst Deuce Martinez as a central figure in the waterboarding interrogation of al Qaeda logistics head Abu Zubaydah. Waterboarding refers to the simulation of drowning. Martinez was not an undercover operative, nevertheless, his assignment was classified. The New York Times refused comment on the supposed Kiriakou connection. Cited in the complaint are Kiriakou emails to reporters that purportedly disseminated secret information, such as the identity of a CIA agent known as “Covert Officer A.” During recorded FBI questioning on the 12th of this month, he refuted said activity. An additional charge leveled against Kiriakou pertains to false statements he allegedly made to the Publication Review Board of the CIA, which oversees anything authored by a onetime CIA officer, in an effort to inject classified data into The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror, his 2010 memoir. Conviction could bring a lengthy prison stay stretching over decades. After being charged in an Alexandria, Virginia federal court, Kiriakou’s release was procured via an unsecured bond in the amount of $250,000.


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