Wasn’t there something of a brouhaha about the leak of information on Valerie Plame? I seem to remember a peep or two about in the national media. Maybe even a criminal prosecution or something.
So when someone pleads to identifying a covert agent to a reporter, you can bet the L.A. Times is going to publish a major story about it. And they will tell you whether the person responsible is a Democrat or a Republican. Because dammit! The public has a right to know.
I think fair use, in this context, allows me to reprint the entirety of this L.A. Times piece. I’m not stealing their market share, and I’m making a valid criticism. Please read this story and see if any questions occur to you:
A former U.S. intelligence officer with a long history at CIA headquarters and the agency’s Counterterrorism Center pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., to a single count of disclosing information identifying a covert agent.
He faces a 30-month federal prison sentence and $250,000 fine under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.
John C. Kiriakou, a CIA officer from 1990 to 2004, was charged in April with unmasking the 20-year covert agent to a Washington journalist who then shared that information with defense lawyers for terrorist detainees at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
He had also been awaiting trial on separate charges that he disclosed to two journalists the name and contact information for a CIA analyst and his undercover work in capturing Al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah. Those charges were dropped in return for the guilty plea.
The 47-year old Kiriakou had served as both an intelligence officer at CIA headquarters as well as in various classified overseas assignments. He held a top secret security clearance and had regular access to national defense information. Years ago he signed a secrecy agreement and acknowledged that should he reveal certain sensitive information it could “constitute a criminal offense.”
James W. McJunkin, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, called Kiriakou’s actions “a clear violation of the law.”
In an 11-page statement of facts signed by Kiriakou, he confessed that he also lied to FBI agents trying to track down the leaks, and feigned surprise when told that defense lawyers for the detainees now knew the identity of the CIA covert officer.
“Oh, my God. No,” he told the FBI. “Once they get names, I mean, this is scary.”
Eight paragraphs. No mention that the guy was a Senate staffer. More significantly, no mention of whose Senate staffer he was.
Who was the Senator who employed someone who leaked national security secrets to a reporter?
Why, somehow, that doesn’t appear in the story. And by now, with the help of the headline of this post, I’ll bet you’ve guessed why. For the dunce cap crowd, here’s The Hill:
Kiriakou, who worked for more than a year as an investigator for Sen. John Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 25, 2013.
I never would have guessed!
Of course, disclosing details about covert CIA missions is no big deal to the L.A. Times. They have done it themselves.
Thanks to Robert C.J. Parry.
UPDATE: Thanks to Uppercase Matt, who corrected me on whether the L.A. Times even mentioned that the culprit was a Senate staffer at all. The post has been rewritten accordingly.