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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/7/13

Ex CIA Operative the First to be Sentenced for Leaks to Reporter

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On January 25 th , John C. Kiriakou, a former CIA analyst and agency operative will be sentenced to 30 months in prison for revealing "the name of a covert CIA officer to a freelance reporter". [1]

At the time he revealed the name to the reporter he believed the officer had retired from the agency, when in fact the officer was working overseas.

To this day Kiriakou insists, "If I'd known the guy was still under cover, I would never have mentioned him.

Some background is in order. Kiriakou had resigned from the CIA in 2004 after 15 years to become a consultant. He had received commendations for service to the agency but had become personally and privately opposed to the CIA's use of waterboarding.

He gained some notoriety in 2007 when in an ABC News interview he openly denounced waterboarding as torture.

This public revelation attracted him to reporters who cover the national security agencies. In an attempt to help a writer find a potential source he "inadvertently" gave a covert officers name to the freelancer who did not publish it.

No matter; last year when the FBI asked him to "help us with a case" he gladly agreed saying, "Anything for the FBI". An hour into the interview he was told by the lead agent, "In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that right now we're executing a search warrant at your house and seizing your electronic devices". He realized then that he was the target of the investigation. He was charged with violating the "Intelligence Identities Protection Act" of 1982, the act which seeks to "prevent publications from disclosing undercover agents, their secret work and endangering lives."

Kiriakou has admitted his error in judgment and recently took a plea bargained 30 months in prison. He had incurred over a half million dollars in legal fees and was facing the possibility of more than 10 years in prison and even greater bankrupting legal fees when took the plea bargain.

Surprisingly, through it all, Kiriakou "still speaks with reverence of the CIA and its mission". [2]

Well Kiriakou may "fall on his own sword" if he wants and still admire the CIA's "mission." But from here he is a dupe and a convenient scapegoat for the Obama administration's intent to intimidate potential government whistle blowers and reporters from divulging the administration's "extra-legalities" i.e., issuing targeted assassination orders, conducting drone attacks in countries we're not at war, carrying out extra-ordinary rendition, indefinite detention of suspects and other sordid crimes against humanity it commits et al under the "legal" cover of Justice Department memos kept secret for reasons of national security.

As for the CIA since it was established in 1947 by then President Harry Truman replacing the wartime OSS (Office of Strategic Services), it has done more to besmirch the U.S. in its various clandestine misadventures while always feigning any knowledge or taking responsibility for its actions.

Whether it's the sorrowful history of instigating coups, initiating targeted assassinations, extra-ordinary rendition, operating secret prisons, torturing detainees and now in the business of operating drones and conducting special ops missions, the only good fate for the CIA is for it to die.

Regretfully, any hope for the demise of the CIA and the "puzzle palace" over in Langley is unlikely to ever happen.

It fits too perfectly into America's endless war on terror, the nations need for "enemies" (even contrived ones) to justify the unnecessary bloated defense budget, broaden the apparatus of the national security state and increase surveillance all to serve the needs of the military/industrial/political complex.  

The last vestiges of our democracy under the Constitution and the rule of law are being eroded by expanding official secrecy under the guise of providing security and protection.

Oliver Stone in a recent television interview on RT news depicted the U.S. as an "Orwellian" state.

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