As I’ve noted, former CIA officer Jon Kiriakou was charged yesterday with leaking classified material–including one covert officer’s identity; the alleged leaks involve three different journalists. Since the complaint focuses on Kiriakou it’s easy to forget that the investigation didn’t start there: rather–it started with a filing submitted in a detainee defense case (almost certainly the 9/11 detainees) and photos found in some detainees’ cells, and went through at least one journalist (called Journalist A) along the way. So how did Patrick Fitzgerald’s team find Kiriakou? Did Fitzgerald obtain journalists’ contacts again?
In the case of Kiriakou, I don’t think so. At least not directly.
The complaint alleges there were two steps from Jon Kiriakou to the filing and the photographs.
Covert Officer A
- On August 19, 2008 Kiriakou gave Journalist A Covert Officer A’s name.
- Later the same day, Journalist A gave Covert Officer A’s name to the defense investigator.
- On January 19, 2009, the defense team submits a filing including Covert Officer A’s name.
- On November 12, 2007, Kiriakou gave Journalist A Deuce Martinez’ personal email address. On May 20, 2008, Kiriakou told Journalist A that Martinez was not trained in torture. On November 17, 2008, Kiriakou told Journalist A some details about how Martinez traveled, presumably to a Black Site.
- On April 10, 2008, Journalist A gave a defense team investigator Martinez’ home phone number.
- The defense team had pictures taken of Martinez and gave them to detainees as part of a double blind identification effort; the pictures were found in “spring 2009.”
Note, the evidence in the complaint that Kiriakou was Journalist A’s source on Martinez is weaker than for Covert Officer A’s identity or that he was Scott Shane’s source for Martinez’ phone number. The complaint shows that Journalist A provided the phone number to the defense investigator, but does not show compellingly that Journalist A’s source of Martinez’ phone number was Kiriakou. That weak spot in their case is one piece of evidence that Fitzgerald’s team has neither interviewed Journalist A nor obtained his or her phone records to rule out other possible sources.
Now, remember, by the time DOJ started investigating this on March 19, 2009 (when the target was detainee lawyers, not their sources), and by the time Fitzgerald started investigating this on March 8, 2010, Scott Shane (who is described as Journalist B in the complaint) had already published this June 22, 2008 story, describing Deuce Martinez’ role in catching Abu Zubaydah and interrogating Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others. It was sourced to,
The two dozen current and former American and foreign intelligence officials interviewed for this article offered a tantalizing but incomplete description of the C.I.A. detention program. [my emphasis]
In addition to Buzzy Krongard, Jon Kiriakou is the only on the record source. The story reveals that Kiriakou spoke with Shane in December 2007–the same month he spoke about waterboarding with ABC. But it also suggests Shane spoke with him after that, when he learned Kiriakou had been “cautioned … not to discuss classified matters.”
John C. Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. counterterrorism officer who was the first to question Abu Zubaydah, expressed such conflicted views when he spoke publicly to ABC News and other news organizations late last year. In a December interview with The Times, before being cautioned by the C.I.A. not to discuss classified matters, Read more