Ex-CIA Officer Indicted for Alleged Leaks, False Statements

John Kiriakou allegedly revealed operative's name.

ByABC News
April 5, 2012, 6:14 PM

April 6, 2012 — -- Former CIA officer John Kiriakou was charged in a five-count indictment Thursday for allegedly disclosing classified information to journalists and lying to the CIA about information he included in his book "The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror."

The indictment charges Kiriakou, a one-time ABC News consultant, with one count of disclosing the identity of a covert CIA officer, three counts of disclosing sensitive national defense information, and one count of making false statements to the CIA's Publications Review Board in an effort to trick the board into allowing him to publish classified information in his book. The information was related to individuals allegedly involved in controversial CIA interrogation techniques that some have termed torture.

Kiriakou, 47, was a CIA intelligence officer between 1990 and 2004, serving at headquarters and in various classified overseas assignments. In March 2002, Kiriakou participated in the CIA's capture of al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan.

According to the indictment, Kiriakou disclosed the name of a covert CIA operative, and classified information about that operative and another employee, to a reporter identified as Journalist A.

The indictment also alleges that Kiriakou confirmed the identity of a CIA employee to a New York Times journalist, who published the name of the officer in a June 2008 article that revealed the officer's role in the Abu Zubaydah interrogation. Kiriakou also allegedly told the journalist that Abu Zubaydah was interrogated using a "magic box," information that appeared in the same New York Times article.

Former CIA agents who write books about their operations must submit drafts of the books to a review board for approval before publication. According to the indictment, Kiriakou told his co-author Michael Ruby about the "magic box," but did not include discussion of the box in two early drafts of the book submitted for approval. Kiriakou then allegedly submitted a third draft of the book for approval that included a reference to the box, but told the review board that the box was fictional.

He allegedly told his coauthor beforehand by email that he planned to lie to the review board about the box. "What I propose telling them is that we've fictionalized much of it (even if we haven't.)," Kiriakou is alleged to have written. After submitting the draft to the review board, he allegedly told his coauthor, "I laid it on thick."The indictment alleges that Kiriakou told his co-author Michael Ruby that he told the CIA review board information in the book had been fictionalized in reference to details about how the CIA tracked Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah.

Kiriakou allegedly illegally revealed that the CIA hunted down Zubaydah with a device referred to as a "Magic Box." He also allegedly leaked information, including the identify of a covert officer to a disclosed information that appeared in a June 2008 New York Times story revealing the identity of a CIA officer involved in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah.

The investigation into Kiriakou was prompted when a January 2009 defense filing from lawyers representing detainees at Guantanamo Bay was found to include information that did not come from official government sources. In spring 2009, investigators also discovered photographs of CIA and U.S. government contractors in the possession of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Attorney General Eric Holder appointed U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in 2010 as a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation in order to avoid a conflict of interest, since officials at the Justice Department in Washington were working on the cases against the Guantanamo detainees.

Kiriakou is free on bond and will scheduled for arraignment on April 13. His attorney, Robert Trout, declined to comment to ABC News.

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