New Castle News

TOP STORIES

January 25, 2013

New Castle native Kiriakou gets 30 months in prison in CIA leak sentencing

NEW CASTLE — CIA whistleblower John C. Kiriakou, formerly of New Castle, was sentenced this morning to 30 months for disclosing the name of an intelligence officer to a journalist, who never published it.

The sentence was part of a plea deal Kiriakou entered into on Oct. 23.

He could have been sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Judge Leonie M. Brinkama said she would have given him a stiffer sentence had it gone to trial or if she had discretion.

At the time of his guilty plea, Central Intelligence Agency officials declared victory for the intelligence community, while prosecutors said the government has a vital interest in protecting the identities of covert operatives.

It is the first time in 27 years that the government has successfully prosecuted someone under the Identities Protection Act, which was passed in 1982 to deter radicals from deliberately disclosing identities of undercover agents, endangering their lives.

 Kiriakou, 48, is expected to serve his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution at Loretto, Pa., a minimum-security prison 90 miles east of Pittsburgh where white-collar criminals including former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland have served.

"The decision to plead guilty was the most difficult decision of my life. I am now glad to have the certainty of being home with my children in 30 months," Kiriakou, a father of five, wrote in a statement posted to a website launched as part of friends' efforts to raise money for his defense. "I wish I could thank each and every one of you individually, as your support has meant the world to me."

The criminal charge stems from an email message Kiriakou sent in response a freelance journalist who asked for the name of a covert officer involved in capturing suspected terrorists. Kiriakou later told the New York Times that he thought the officer since retired and that he wouldn't have provided the name if he knew the man was still under cover.

In exchange for a guilty plea to that charge, prosecutors dropped other counts alleging that Kiriakou disclosed information about another operative and that he lied to the CIA's Publications Review Board.

At one point, Judge Brinkema asked Kiriakou if he wanted to say something. He said, "Thank you, no, your honor."

She replied, "Perhaps you've already said too much."

The judge also said during the proceedings, "This case is not a case about a whistleblower. It's a case about a man who betrayed a very solemn trust.. . . I think 30 months is frankly way too light — because the message has to be sent to every covert agent that when you leave the agency you can't just start discussing the names of those with whom you worked."

Prosecutors became aware of the security breach after the freelance journalist passed along Kiriakou's disclosure to attorneys for Guantanamo Bay detainees in order to confirm the information. The journalist never published the name.

Kiriakou had been a highly commended was 15-year veteran of the CIA He is credited with playing a key role in the 2002 capture of Abu Zubaydah, the third-ranking Al-Qaeda leader. He worked as an analyst, counterterrorism operations officer and chief of counterterrorist operations in Pakistan.

He left the agency in 2004 for a consulting job. In 2007 he began talking publically about government interrogation tactics, including waterboarding, and has said his criticism of the government was tied to the charges.

"It sends a very chilling message that if you speak up you are not only risking your career, but your liberty and you could go to jail for years," said Jesselyn Radack, national security and human rights director of the Government Accountability Project, which has represented Mr. Kiriakou in his whistleblower suit. She said he lost his home, had to go on welfare and has been "bankrupted, blacklisted and broken" by the case.

Kiriakou lectured about it at the University of Pittsburgh in 2008, telling 150 students he was always conflicted about waterboarding and that its use should be re-evaluated.

He was born in Sharon, Pa., and raised in New Castle, where he lived until college when he moved to Washington, D.C., to major in Middle Eastern studies and legislative affairs at George Washington University.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
TOP STORIES
  • Barletto.jpg Emotional Closure: Woman sentenced in Jerry McCarthy’s death

    The driver of the car that killed a Shenango Township policeman is heading to prison. Kylee Gwen Barletto, 26, apologized Wednesday to the family of William J. “Jerry” McCarthy and to her family after pleading guilty to eight of 16 charges against her.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • fire.jpg Fire marshal probes cause of blaze

    A city police fire marshal said he hasn’t ruled yet on a blaze that ravaged two Taylor Street houses. Chris Fabian, who was at the fire scene for the duration Monday morning, said the blaze that displaced three families started in the back of a yellow, two-story duplex at 602 Taylor St.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action on quakes

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • 01.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Crowds of anglers still turned out for opening day of trout season

    Saturday morning marked the beginning of the Pennsylvania trout season. Locally, many anglers took to the county’s rivers and streams, eager to get started. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocked lakes and streams with 3.2 million adult brook, brown and rainbow trout.

    April 14, 2014 9 Photos

  • S_Levar1.jpg Levar Ware’s Story, Part 2: After getting his life back on track, senior ready to tackle college next

    Second of two parts: Even when Levar Ware was at his lowest, people recognized the quality of his character.  Some, like Andy Tommelleo, former director of the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center, went the extra mile because of it.
     

    April 12, 2014 3 Photos 1 Story

  • F_Levar1.jpg Levar Ware’s Story, Part 1: ’Canes’ senior finally found his way after enduring difficult living conditions in West Virginia

    First of two parts: His infectious smile can light up a room, but five years ago, Levar Ware was living in darkness. Except for his mother, concerned educators and a local attorney, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound senior who helped New Castle High capture its first state basketball title last month might not even have been on the team.

    April 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • money.jpg Settlement reached in City Rescue Mission lawsuit

    A lawsuit filed against the City Rescue Mission by a vision-impaired man has been settled. The case’s settlement was reported in a filing on the U.S. District Court docket Tuesday.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents want repairs to bridge

    Guardrails are expected to be installed on a Pulaski Township culvert bridge by week’s end because of residents’ safety concerns. The township-owned bridge is on Maple Lane, just west of Hilcorp Energy Co.’s Artman wellpad.

    April 10, 2014

  • N1306P46011C.TIF Agreement reached to restore Cascade Park pool

    United Way of Lawrence County will soon embark on its goal to bring back the Cascade Park swimming pool. The city of New Castle and the United Way tentatively have reached an agreement on leasing the pool to the agency, allowing it to rehabilitate the facility that has been dormant for approximately 14 years.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • razzano-1.jpg New Castle Schools: Razzano resigns in settlement with district

    Robert Razzano has resigned from his position as New Castle Junior High School principal, effective yesterday. The school board in an 8-0 vote ratified an agreement between Razzano and the district that ends his employment and allows him to collect his pay through the end of the year, an amount of $29,610.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

The driver of the car that killed Shenango Township police officer Jerry McCarthy has been sentenced to five to 10 years in prison. You OK with the sentence?

Yes
No. Not long enough.
No. Too long.
Not sure
     View Results