Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Convicted CIA Leaker John Kiriakou’s Got Some Opinions About WikiLeaks and Trump
JOHN KIRIAKOU KNOWS a lot about leaking classified information. He went to prison for it.
A former CIA agent who said too much about the Bush-era torture program, he’s also the first CIA leaker to go to jail for his trouble. Kiriakou served just under two years in federal prison, though before the Department of Justice offered a plea deal, it seemed more likely he’d serve as many as 45.
History has frowned on the “enhanced interrogation techniques” Kiriakou helped expose, but he’s still a controversial guy. Leakers usually are. They operate in gray areas. Kiriakou isn’t a cheering squad for loose-lipped aides and intelligence agents everywhere, but does see whistleblowing as essential. He’s critical of the way the CIA (and the White House, and the Department of Justice) deal with leakers, but holds national security sacrosanct. He’s got beef with President Trump, and with former President Obama as well.
So how does the intelligence community’s current predicament—from the Vault 7 dump to WikiLeaks generally to their fraught relationship with President Trump—look to a guy like Kiriakou? Basically, a mess. One that could nudge the Trump administration’s “deep state” paranoias closer to reality.