"This is not new," Kiriakou, who also served as a senior analyst for the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Monday. "It's the dirty little secret of diplomacy. It's just life in the 21st century."
Kiriakou was commenting on the report by the German national news magazine Der Spiegel that the BND was spying major US institutions, especially the Department of State, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the US Air Force.
"All countries spy on each other. They always have," Kiriakou pointed out. "It doesn't matter if the spying is between friends or enemies. It's not a case of good guys versus bad guys."
The BND was also closely watching Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense, the Der Spiegel report added.
Kiriakou gained international recognition as the only person the US government sent to prison for exposing the George W. Bush administration's torture program.