Chairman King Statement on Former CIA Officer Charged with Leaking Classified Information
January 23, 2012
Calls for DOJ to Name Journalists and Lawyers Involved in Dangerous Leaks of Undercover CIA Identities
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, also a Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement in response to former CIA officer John Kiriakou being charged with leaking classified information that ended up in the cells of al-Qaeda detainees at Guantanamo:
“If the charges filed against Kiriakou are indeed true, then he is guilty of absolutely despicable crimes. The Justice Department complaint alleges that Kiriakou disclosed to unnamed journalists the classified identities of fellow CIA officers serving undercover. The complaint further alleges that those unnamed journalists, in turn, leaked the identities to the criminal defense teams representing senior al-Qaeda detainees at Guantanamo. The unnamed defense counsel allegedly then showed photos of the undercover CIA officers to the detainees, who kept the photos in their cells at Guantanamo.
“This disclosure clearly placed these officers and their families at great risk of harm.
“While the DOJ complaint argues that no crimes were committed by others, I call upon the Justice Department to identify the journalists and lawyers who were involved in this grave breach of wartime national security. Beyond criminal legal liability, there is the question of moral culpability for these journalists and lawyers.
“The American people deserve to know exactly who has willingly endangered the lives of American intelligence officers. The Department of Justice will not have fully discharged its duties until it publicly identifies the journalists and criminal defense lawyers involved.”