John Kiriakou, who had been honored for his work as a CIA analyst, resigned from the agency in 2004. He allegedly gave information to journalists that included leaking the names of CIA agents.
While Kiriakou has been honored as a whistleblower, the judge at his sentencing hearing in Alexandria, Va., described his conduct differently, The Washington Post reported.
"This is not a case of a whistleblower," U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema said in Alexandria. "This is a case of a man who betrayed a solemn trust."
Kiriakou pleaded guilty last year to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
Documents released last year suggested that Kiriakou gave information to The New York Times and other news organizations on the interrogation of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and Abu Zubaidah, who was described as the No. 3 man in al-Qaida when he was arrested, the Post said. Kiriakou also published his own book, "The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror."
Kiriakou said nothing during the hearing. His lawyer said he had no intention of harming the United States or his former colleagues.
"He was concerned about certain practices that were employed in the war against terror," attorney Robert Trout told the court.