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Feds on Kiriakou: Leaker? Yes. Whistleblower? No.

Thursday - 1/24/2013, 1:40pm  ET

McLEAN, Va. - It is already settled that former CIA officer John Kiriakou (keer-ee-AH'-koo) will be sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison Friday. He agreed to serve that time for leaking the name of a covert operative in the agency to a reporter.

Instead, Friday's sentencing hearing at federal court in Alexandria will focus on the fight over Kiriakou's reputation.

Kiriakou and his supporters portray him as an anti-torture whistleblower who is paying the price for doing the right thing by exposing the worst aspects of the government's so-called enhanced interrogation program.

To federal prosecutors, though, Kiriakou's claims of altruism and martyrdom are galling. In court papers, they say Kiriakou was motivated by fame and money. If anything, they say, his first public statements essentially defended the CIA's use of waterboarding.

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Tags: fbi