TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – The US government on Tuesday filed a civil lawsuit against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden over the publication this week of his memoir in order to intimidate others into staying silent, says a fellow whistleblower.

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​“The CIA takes every opportunity to threaten whistleblowers and to warn whistleblowers to just keep their mouths shut,” CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou told RT, explaining how no ex-intelligence agent trying to speak out publicly has ever prevailed against the government in cases where they did not get their books “cleared” with the agency before publication since a precedent-setting case in the 1970s. “They lost every single time.”

In this case, Snowden has already been paid – and both he and his money are safe from Washington’s clutches in Moscow – leaving the whistleblower’s unfortunate publisher to pick up the tab. Macmillan Publishing was named as a co-defendant in the civil lawsuit filed on Tuesday, which accused Snowden of violating his non-disclosure agreements with the CIA and NSA by failing to submit his book, “Permanent Record,” for pre-publication review.

But the government’s determination to “punish” Snowden is actually helping him (and his publisher) by creating a public controversy, Kiriakou pointed out.

“The CIA is saying you shouldn’t read this book because it has secrets in it. That’s going to make everybody go out and buy the book so that they can read the secrets!”

“If the government really was threatened by the information, if the information really was so secret that it needed to be protected, they would have gotten a court order to pulp the book,” the former CIA agent continued. “They didn’t do that, so in reality they’re not threatened by the information in this book.”

“The information is already out there – Snowden is just repeating it – but they’re just trying to punish him and punish the publisher for not following the rules. It’s very petty, actually.”

“The system is clearly broken,” Kiriakou lamented, pointing out that existing channels for whistleblowers to disclose information the legal way are blocked or dysfunctional and the “dangerous precedent” set by the Obama administration’s Espionage Act whistleblower prosecutions has snowballed under Trump.