CIA torture advocate gets 30 months in prison for naming covert agent
By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, January 25, 2013 15:09 EST
A former CIA agent who pleaded guilty in October to revealing the identity of a covert agent was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Friday, a sentence secured by a plea deal, and much lighter than the 20 years he could have faced.
John Kiriakou, 48, worked for the CIA for 14 years, from 1990 through 2004, and led the team that captured alleged terrorist Abu Zubida in 2002. He later confessed to ABC News in 2007 that he witnessed U.S. personnel repeatedly subject Zubaida to a torture technique known as waterboarding, where the victim is made to feel they are drowning.
It was in follow-up emails with reporters regarding the topic of Zubida that he included the name of a former colleague who allegedly participated in his torture ó an act that violated a federal law that nobody has been prosecuted under 27 years. However, since he was not charged until 2012, that gave him time to leverage his big revelations into some consulting work for ABC, according to the BBC.
While most torture whistleblowers come forward because they feel the need to expose government wrongdoing, Kiriakouís emergence was unique in that he was actually advocating for the technique, saying that one of the 83 times Zubida was allegedly waterboarded, it worked and convinced him to cooperate.