A retired CIA agent who publicly confirmed the torture of al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah is set to plead guilty in court today to leaking classified information. John Kiriakou, who served from 1990 to 2004, is best known for a 2007 ABC News interview detailing how Zubaydah was waterboarded in CIA custody.
John Kiriakou: “At the time, I felt that waterboarding was something that we needed to do. And as time has passed, and as September 11th has — you know, has moved farther and farther back into history, I think I’ve changed my mind. And I think that waterboarding is probably something that we shouldn’t be in the business of doing.”
Brian Ross: “Why do you say that now?”
John Kiriakou: “Because we’re Americans, and we’re better than that.”
Under a plea deal, Kiriakou will admit to a single count of revealing the identity of a covert officer, which carries a potential sentence of up to 30 months. Kiriakou’s indictment earlier this year marked the latest in the Obama administration’s crackdown on government whistleblowers.