Former CIA officer John Kiriakou on Friday was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for leaking the name of a secret agent implicated in harsh interrogations of Al-Qaeda suspects.
Kiriakou, 47, pleaded guilty in October before a federal court as part of a plea bargain to avoid trial, acknowledging he had knowingly disclosed the name of the agent, who was working under cover at the time, to a freelance writer.
In handing down the sentence, Judge Leonie Brinkema said sternly: "Thirty months is way too light."
"This is not a case of a whistleblower. It is about a person who betrayed a very solid trust," Brinkema said.
Had the sentence not been recommended by the prosecution, the judge said she would have given Kiriakou a heavier sentence. The 30-month prison term is to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Kiriakou worked for the CIA from 1990 to 2004, and made headlines in a 2007 ABC television interview in which he confirmed for the first time that Abu Zubaydah, a top Al-Qaeda detainee, had been subjected to waterboarding.
The interrogation technique, a form of simulated drowning, has been widely denounced as torture.