Former CIA officer and Huffington Post blogger John Kiriakou was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury for repeatedly providing journalists with classified information, including the name of a covert CIA officer and information revealing the role of another CIA employee in classified activities, Justice Department officials announced. Kiriakou, 47, of Arlington, Va. was a CIA officer from 1990 to 2003.
Kiriakou is charged with one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, a law that makes it a crime for people with access to classified information to disclose identities of covert agents. On multiple occasions between 2007 and 2009, Kiriakou made illegal disclosures of the identities of two CIA agents to two journalists. He was also charged with three counts of violating the Espionage Act and one count of making false statements for lying to the Publications Review Board of the CIA in an unsuccessful attempt to trick the CIA into allowing him to include classified information in a book he was seeking to publish.
“The charges result from an investigation that was triggered by a classified defense filing in January 2009, which contained classified information the defense had not been given through official government channels, and, in part, by the discovery in the spring of 2009 of photographs of certain government employees and contractors in the materials of high-value detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,” according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
An investigation found that one of the journalists Kiriakou was leaking information was in turn leaking the information to a Guantanamo defense team investigator.
The count charging violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, as well as each count of violating the Espionage Act, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, according to the Justice Department. Making false statements carries a maximum prison term of five years. Each count carries a maximum fine of $250,000.
Kiriakou remains free on bond with an April 13 court date at the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va.
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