A former CIA officer who was charged with repeatedly leaking classified information pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to a single charge of disclosing the identity of an undercover CIA operative.
Under the plea agreement, the former officer, John C. Kiriakou, will be sentenced to prison for up to 30 months. The agreement marks the end of a case that involved the spilling of secrets to reporters and that was part of the Obama administration’s unprecedented crackdown on leaks.
Kiriakou, 47, worked undercover for the CIA for years and took part in multiple operations that led to the capture of al-Qaeda suspects in Pakistan. But he is most widely known for being among the first former CIA officials to speak publicly about the agency’s secret interrogation program, describing in a 2007 television interview the use of waterboarding on al-Qaeda suspects.
As part of the agreement, the Justice Department dropped four other charges against Kiriakou, including allegations that he had illegally shared sensitive national defense information with reporters and had lied to the CIA’s publication review board about the contents of a memoir he published.