Former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who is charged with unauthorized disclosure of a covert officer’s identity and other classified information, says that the case against him is driven by government animosity, and that he is a target of selective prosecution.
“When White House aides leaked stories about the heroes who killed Osama Bin Laden, they were not prosecuted. When the Washington Post was granted access to the covert director of the CTC for a profile of those directing America’s ‘war on terror,’ no one was prosecuted,” his attorneys wrote in a newly disclosed motion for dismissal.
“But when John Kiriakou gave an interview where he admitted the United States used waterboarding and when he further opined that waterboarding was ineffective, the government went after him,” the motion stated.
“The United States has improperly selected him for prosecution based on his exercise of his constitutional rights and on the animus the United States holds toward him” while “the government has tolerated other disclosures because they resulted in press favorable to the government.”
A copy of the June 12 defense motion was cleared for public release yesterday.
In a separate motion for dismissal, Mr. Kiriakou’s attorneys challenged the constitutionality of the statutes under which he is being prosecuted, including the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and section 793(d) of the Espionage Act, which they argued are “unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.”
Furthermore, because overclassification is rampant, they said, the classification status of any particular information is not a reliable index of its sensitivity.
“The government’s acknowledged practice of over-classification means that not all classified information actually has the potential to damage national security if released…. The fact that information is classified does not actually clarify whether its disclosure… could cause any injury to the United States.”
A government response to the defense motions is due by July 2.