John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer who blew the whistle on CIA torture practices, was sentenced to more than two years in prison for leaking the name of a covert officer to a reporter.
US district judge of the court in Alexandria Virginia, Leonie Brinkema, said she would have given Kiraikou a much longer sentence if she could. A plea deal in which Kiriakou pleaded guilty last year required the judge to sentence him to 2 and a half years. The judge rejected arguments that he was acting as a whistleblower when he leaked the officer's name.
In the plea bargain, Kiriakou pleaded guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. He is the first person convicted under the law in 27 years.
While supporters of Kiriakou say he was a whistleblower who exposed the CIA's torture of detained terrorists, prosecutors claim he was trying to increase his fame and public visibility by using his insider knowledge. John Kiriakou worked for the CIA as an intelligence officer from 1990-2004.
Many hoped that officials involved in rendition and torture under the Bush administration would be brought to justice by Obama. But even on his first day in office in January 2009, Obama made it clear that he would as he put it, be looking forward:
Both Obama and Eric Holder, Obama's Attorney General at the time, had condemned water-boarding and other torture methods allowed under the Bush administration. John Brennan, Obama.s chief counter-terrorism advisor whom he has nominated for CIA chief did not. This is not surprising since Brennan was also a key intelligence officialwithin the Bush administration:
Only bad deeds should remain unpunished. Good deeds that embarrassed the government must be punished no matter how long ago they occurred even if they happened under a rival administration and the practices revealed were condemned by Obama and Holder.
"...he said that month that while he did not “believe that anybody is above the law,” he preferred “to look forward as opposed to looking backwards” and that he did not want C.I.A. employees to “suddenly feel like they’ve got to spend all their time looking over their shoulders and lawyering.” "
"In 1999 he was appointed chief of staff to George Tenet, then-Director of the CIA. Brennan became deputy executive director of the CIA in March 2001. He was director of the newly created Terrorist Threat Integration Center from 2003 to 2004, an office that sifted through and compiled information for President Bush's daily top secret intelligence briefings and employed the services of analysts from a dozen U.S. agencies and entities."