- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
Ex-CIA officials assail ID of agents
They see betrayer, not whistleblower
Former intelligence officials use “reprehensible” and “egregious” to describe the alleged acts of a former CIA officer charged by the government with betraying his own when he revealed the identities of two overseas operatives to the media.
These former officials reject the image of John Kiriakou as a high-minded “whistleblower” who sought to expose official wrongdoing or a botched intelligence operation.
Mr. Kiriakou took his leaking to a more dangerous level, they say, by explicitly telling one reporter the name of a current CIA covert officer and giving the name to three journalists of another CIA hand — the analyst who interrogated Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other top al Qaeda figures, according to Justice Department documents.
Alarming to the intelligence community in the Kiriakou case is that “Journalist A,” as the Justice documents identify the reporter, provided the covert officer’s identity to an investigator for the lawyers defending some of the most senior al Qaeda terrorist suspects detained at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
All the while, the documents say, Mr. Kiriakou played a duplicitous game by leaking the names to the New York Times and other media, then denouncing the practice to one of the men he exposed, according his emails seized by the FBI.
“I consider this egregious and clearly so does the agency,” said Bart Bechtel, a former CIA clandestine officer. “In general, cover or identities, true or alias, falls under sources and methods. It is incumbent on all officers, current or former, to protect these.”
Ask about the outed covert officer’s ability to continue his career, Mr. Bechtel said: “The exposed officer can still do many things, such as being an instructor-mentor to junior officers. The greater concern may be the effect on his family and their safety.”
“I think it’s reprehensible,” said Mr. Klingner, now a national security analyst at the Heritage Foundation think tank. “Any of us who worked in the CIA, we took any number of oaths to protect classified information. … Some whistleblowers will try to wrap themselves in various ‘just causes’ and say they’re doing it for a [greater] good. They can claim that, but it’s still a violation of the law.”
Covert no more
As for the covert officer’s career, Mr. Klingner said: “Certainly the officer would be constricted in what kind of assignments he could have overseas, particularly if he’s working counterterrorism. It’s not only whether his effectiveness or cover is reduced, but it is also a much great danger to his life.”
Mr. Kiriakou’s attorney, Plato Cacheris, did not return phone calls or an email seeking comment.
Mr. Cacheris told reporters after Mr. Kiriakou’s arraignment last week that his client planned to plead not guilty and that the defense might argue that the Justice Department is criminalizing what has become a long-standing practice between reporters and government sources.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- Hillary Clinton all but erased from tragic story of the attack in Benghazi
- Indiana assured that Pakistani firm working to thwart bomb makers
- Doubts on military's sex assault stats as numbers far exceed those for the U.S.
- Political hunt for sex abusers puts military justice in peril, lawyers say
TWT Video Picks
By Joy Overbeck
Redemption by government is futile
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Obama taunts GOP, takes nationally televised victory lap on Obamacare
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Chavez seizes Cargill factory
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.