Former CIA Officer Charged With Disclosing Classified Information to Journalists

January 23, 2012 Updated Jan 23, 2012 at 3:48 PM EDT

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Former CIA Officer Charged With Disclosing Classified Information to Journalists

January 23, 2012 Updated Jan 23, 2012 at 3:48 PM EDT

According to a news release issued Monday by the U.S. Department of Justice, a former CIA officers has been charged after allegedly repeatedly disclosing classified information to journalists.

According to the news release:

John Kiriakou, 47, is charged with one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act for allegedly illegally disclosing the identity of a covert officer and two counts of violating the Espionage Act for allegedly illegally disclosing national defense information to individuals not authorized to receive it. Kiriakou was also charged with one count of making false statements for allegedly 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 four-count criminal complaint, which was filed Monday in the Eastern District of Virginia, alleges that Kiriakou made illegal disclosures about two CIA employees and their involvement in classified operations to two journalists on multiple occasions between 2007 and 2009. In one case, revealing the employee’s name as a CIA officer disclosed classified information as the employee was and remains covert. 

In the second case, Kiriakou allegedly disclosed the name and contact information of an employee, identified in the complaint as “Officer B,” whose participation in an operation to capture and question terrorism subject Abu Zubaydah in 2002 was then classified. Kiriakou’s alleged disclosures occurred prior to a June 2008 front-page story in The New York Times disclosing Officer B’s alleged role in the Abu Zubaydah operation.

“Safeguarding classified information, including the identities of CIA officers involved in sensitive operations, is critical to keeping our intelligence officers safe and protecting our national security,”   said Attorney General Eric Holder.   “Today’s charges reinforce the Justice Department’s commitment to hold accountable anyone who would violate the solemn duty not to disclose such sensitive information.”   

Read the entire DOJ news release HERE.