No penalty for Obama media leaks, but CIA officer gets prison

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou
former CIA officer John Kiriakou

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court to 30 months in prison for leaking the names of covert operatives involved in water-boarding and other interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists, the Washington Post reported.

Kiriakou’s conviction marks the first time in 27 years that someone has been found guilty of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

Defense lawyers attempted to portray Kiriakou as a “whistleblower concerned about the use of the harsh tactics,” but Judge Leonie M. Brinkema disagreed, saying, “This is a case of a man who betrayed a solemn trust,” according to the article.

As part of the plea deal, the judge accepted the two-and-half-year prison sentence, but said she felt it was “way too light.”

In a related article, a Bloomberg editorial talked about the hypocrisy of Kiriakou’s conviction, saying it showed a lack of accountability for similar leaks and a lack of transparency by the Obama administration.

Bloomberg cites several similar cases where no one faced charges like Kiriakou, the most well-known example being that of former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who was never held accountable for leaking the name of CIA employee Valerie Flame.

In “FOIA lawsuits mount for ‘most transparent administration in history,” BizPac Review detailed the dramatic surge in Freedom of Information Act lawsuits filed under the Obama administration. The Bloomberg editorial also touched on Obama’s lack of transparency, saying, “Six Americans have been indicted for violating the Espionage Act of 1917, twice as many as in the previous 90 years. All were charged with giving secrets not to hostile powers but to journalists.”

“As Kiriakou accepts his guilt, the administration might also show some contrition, taking steps to restore its reputation and help promote an informed public and congressional discussion of what is being done in our name in the fight against terrorism,” the editorial said.

The administration, the editorial suggested, could start by having Attorney General Eric Holder turn over documents in the Fast and Furious case, papers that Obama used executive privilege to keep from Congress.

I might add that another key step would be to give the American public answers on the events in Benghazi, Libya.


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