Former CIA operative John Kiriakou is given a verdict after pleading guilty to disclosing the name of a former colleague to a reporter, thereby violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
Kiriakou, who worked for the CIA between 1990 and 2004 and stood at the head of a successful bid to capture Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah, is one of six former CIA employees charged with leaking classified information.
The former CIA analyst admits to having disclosed the name of a covert official who had been present during several interrogation sessions of Guantanamo Bay detainees. Defense lawyers wanted to know the identities of witnesses to prove their clients were being tortured.
According to his lawyer, Kiriakou is "a loyal American who deeply loves his country" and acted "without malice to others".
Nonetheless, others applaud the conviction. "The government has a vital interest in protecting the identities of those involved in cover operations", US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil H MacBride said, adding that leaks could "compromise national security and can put individual lives in danger".
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