Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The former CIA intelligence official who went public on ABC News about the agency's use of waterboarding in interrogations, John Kiriakou, apparently will not be the subject of a Justice Department investigation, even though some CIA officials believe he revealed classified information about the use of waterboarding.
"They were furious at the CIA this morning, but cooler heads have apparently prevailed for the time being," a senior Justice Department official told the Blotter on ABCNews.com.
Gen. Michael Hayden, the CIA director, did sent out a classified memo this morning warning all employees "of the importance of protecting classified information," a CIA spokesperson told ABCNews.com.
Kiriakou was not mentioned by name in the memo, according to the spokesperson, who said he could not make it public because it is classified.
The spokesperson would not comment other than to say that "intelligence officers have a lifelong, moral and legal responsibility to safeguard classified information. This continues even after someone leaves the agency."
In his appearance on ABC News and later with other media outlets, Kiriakou revealed that captured al Qaeda figure Abu Zubaydah had been subjected to waterboarding during his interrogation. It was the first time any current or former CIA employee has revealed the use of the technique in public.
"The CIA has not commented on specific interrogation techniques," its spokesperson said. "Disclosing classified information is a violation of the law."
While the use of waterboarding may be classified, its use by the CIA as an approved interrogation technique has been known publicly for at least two years and has been debated in Congress.
Kiriakou said he did not seek CIA approval to appear on ABC News but said he knew "the rules."