Ex-CIA officer first to be sentenced in leaks case

The first Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer to face prison for disclosing classified information, was sentenced Friday to 30 months in prison at the federal courthouse here.

Judge Leonie Brinkema, said in approving the sentence, she would respect the terms of a plea agreement between former CIA agent John C Kiriakou and prosecutors, but "I think 30 months is too light."

The judge said "this is not a case of a whistle-blower." She went on to describe the damage that Kiriakou had created for the intelligence agency and an agent whose cover was disclosed by Kiriakou.

Before issuing the sentence, she asked Kiriakou if he had anything to say. When he declined, Judge Brinkema, said, "Perhaps you have already spoken too much."

The sentencing was the latest chapter in the Obama administration's unprecedented crackdown on government officials who disclose classified information to the press. Since 2009, the administration has charged five other current or former government officials with leaking classified information, more than all previous administrations combined.

In October, Kiriakou pleaded guilty to one charge of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, when he disclosed to a reporter the name of a former agency operative who had been involved in the Bush administration's brutal interrogation of detainees. It is the first time someone has been prosecuted under the law in 27 years.

Kiriakou worked as a CIA operative from 1990 to 2004 and played a significant role in some of CIA's major achievements after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In March of 2002, he led a group of agency and Pakistani security officers in a raid that captured Abu Zubaydah, suspected of being a high-level facilitator for al-Qaeda.

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