Former CIA agent John Kiriakou pleaded guilty on Tuesday to crimes related to exposing the Bush administration's illegal torture of suspected terrorists. Kiriakou was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Kiriakou agreed to admit to one count of disclosing information identifying a covert agent, early Tuesday, just hours after his attorney entered a change of plea in an Alexandria, Virginia courtroom.
Kiriakou was originally charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 after he went public with the CIA's use of waterboarding on terrorist suspects after September 11, 2001 attack.
If Kiriakou been convicted under the initial charges filed in court by the Bush Justice Department, he could have been sentenced to upwards of five decades in jail, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The CIA agents who particpated in torture of suspects were not charged with any crimes.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a former government official told the activist website Firedoglake.com recently that the CIA was “totally ticked at Kiriakou for acknowledging the use of torture as state policy."
President Bush often publicly denied that torture took place during his administration, which turned out not to be the case.