John Kiriakou CIA whistleblower

Former CIA agent, John Kiriakou
A former CIA official who exposed waterboarding practices on war on terror detainees isn't a fan of the anonymous whistleblower in the Ukraine case undergirding the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

"I don't think he's a whistleblower. I think he's an anonymous source and there's a big difference," said John Kiriakou, who served two years in prison over the revelations from the Bush administration, becoming the first CIA officer to be convicted of disclosing classified information to a reporter.

"If this whistleblower were truly a whistleblower, he would be happy to testify in open session before the [House] Intelligence Committee or whatever other committee wanted his testimony," Kiriakou told the Washington Examiner. "He is not an undercover officer. Therefore there is no reason to hide his identity from the White House or further from the American people."

Trying to discern the Ukraine whistleblower's identity has become a parlor game of sorts in Washington. The individual's whistleblower complaint brought to Congress concerns over Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky about the American president leaning on his counterpart to dig up dirt against former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 Democrat.

If the individual had information on "waste, fraud, abuse, illegality, or threats to the public health or public safety," he should have reported it directly to the Intelligence Community's inspector general. From there, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence would have forwarded the complaint to the House and Senate intelligence committees.

The person instead first went to a House Intelligence Committee aide, on Chairman Adam Schiff's staff, with his claims about the telephone call. The individual had only told the CIA's legal counsel's office, instead of proper channels, said Kiriakou, 55.

"What happened here is he went through the chain of command to a supervisor then to the OIG, but then the OIG went to the leadership," Kiriakou said. "The leadership went to the attorneys and the attorneys went to the IG and next thing you know, you have an entire committee of CIA senior officials coming up with this whistleblower complaint that looks like a legal document. It doesn't look like a whistleblower complaint."
Kerry Picket is a Senior Campaign Reporter for the Washington Examiner