John Kiriakou is, or I guess I should say was, a CIA agent. He is going to go to prison for 30 months (which is 30 months longer than anyone went to jail for outing Valerie Plame), because he gave the name of a CIA agent to a journalist.
He didn’t do it to blow the guy’s cover. He did it because the reporter was doing a story on waterboarding, Kiriakou was on the record as having reservations about it, and the reporter was looking for other CIA agents who might want to talk about it. The other agent was under no obligation to talk to a reporter and the reporter, in fact, did not reveal the other agent’s name so it was really a no-harm, no-foul situation. National security was never in danger, or even in danger of being in danger.
But he’s going to do 30 months, because the one thing the CIA doesn’t want any of their agents having, it’s any opinion short of “We are allowed to do whatever we want because we are the CIA. Torture, assassination, mass murders of civilian populations, it’s all just part of the job.”
Mr. Kiriakou is lucky. Bradley Manning has been in jail longer than 30 months already, and he hasn’t even had his trial. Kiriakou will probably be out of prison before Julian Assange gets out of the Ecuadorian embassy. He didn’t actually release any information.
30 months is about right just for disagreeing with torture. It should discourage future agents from having such views or, at any rate, expressing them publicly. It’s sort of Mr. Kiriakou’s own fault, really. Who did he think he was working for, the Boy Scouts?
These are the people who did 9/11.* These are the people who shot Kennedy.** These are the people who overthrew Allende and Mosadegh, actions which cost thousands of lives and generations of turmoil in regions that were not previously hostile to the U.S.***
Not only should he have known they were perfectly capable, conscience-wise, of crushing him like a bug, but they had the means to do it. Probably they were listening in on every conversation he had. It’s entirely possible that half of the CIA’s time and manpower is spent spying on their own agents.
Quis custodiet custodiandem? It’s a vicious fucking circle, ain’t it?
*I’m convinced of it
** Although I suspect large business interests, the CIA certainly might have played a part
*** They’ve admitted that shit