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CIA Agent Says Bosses Ordered Him To Falsify WMD Reports

StoryDecember 16, 2004
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An undercover intelligence officer, who is suing the CIA, says his managers asked him to falsify his reporting on weapons of mass destruction and retaliated against him when he refused. We speak with his attorney. [includes rush transcript]

We turn now to the story of how a senior intelligence officer was targeted by the CIA after he refused orders from his superiors to falsify his reports on weapons of mass destruction.

The senior CIA operative charges in a lawsuit made public last week that a co-worker warned him three years ago that ”CIA management planned to 'get him' for his role in reporting intelligence contrary to official CIA dogma.”

Although the word “Iraq” does not appear in the heavily redacted version of the suit, the Washington Post reports that “the remaining language and context make clear that the officer’s work related to prewar intelligence on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.”

Accusations of intelligence officers being pressured on their Iraq findings in the lead-up to the war has long been alleged, but no CIA official has come public before with such claims.

According to the undercover agent, the CIA management retaliated against him by launching investigations of allegations that he had a sexual affair with a female asset and that he stole money meant to be pay off for sources.

  • Roy Krieger, DC-based lawyer representing the undercover CIA operative filing the lawsuit. He specializes in national security cases and has represented scores of people in the CIA.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Roy Krieger is with us. He’s a D.C.-based lawyer representing the undercover CIA operative who’s filing the lawsuit. Welcome to Democracy Now!

ROY KRIEGER: Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, can you explain exactly what happened?

ROY KRIEGER: Well, actually, I’m very limited in what I can say because, as you can see, and as you said from the — rather on the complaint, it is heavily redacted. I can only comment on the unclassified or un-redacted portions of the complaint. The CIA has pulled down the veil of secrecy on this case and classified the enormous amount of information that in my experience in the past seven years of dealing with the CIA, I have never filed a lawsuit in which they have redacted this much of the material out of it. They took out over 400 words from a 2,400-word document. I’m quite limited in what I can say. I cannot even confirm or deny that we’re talking about Iraq or any other country other than to say that it involves weapons of mass destruction in the Near East during the pre-war period. And our client, as you commented was retaliated against after he refused a request from his supervisors in the counter-proliferation division on several different occasions to falsify or misstate intelligence that had been collected by him.

AMY GOODMAN: Is he still employed by the CIA?

ROY KRIEGER: No, he is not. He was in September of 2003, he was placed on paid administrative leave after these two investigations of him were launched. He was kept on paid administrative leave for one year, and then he received a letter notifying him that his services were being terminated. One of the investigations, the inspector general investigation, we know, is still ongoing. We met with investigators from CIA’s inspector general’s office just last week in my office with my client for nearly — probably about 30 or 45 minutes. They asked him a series of questions related to the financial fraud investigation. The counterintelligence investigation that was launched of him for allegedly having a sexual affair with an asset, I think has probably been terminated simply because his employment has been terminated, and we have received no information that the investigation was handed off to the FBI, which would be normal procedure in this case. But he is no longer employed at the CIA, and he is still the subject, or I should say the target, of a criminal investigation.

AMY GOODMAN: Why did the lawsuit go forward now? We’re talking about something that took place three years ago?

ROY KRIEGER: Well, we’re talking about events that occurred three years ago, but the harm really occurred just a few months ago. That’s in fact when he was fired from the CIA, and the lawsuit is actually — we filed it fairly quickly after he had been officially notified of his termination. First we had to submit it to the CIA so they could make all of their redactions that you see in it. And then as soon as we got it back, we filed it with the federal court here in Washington D.C., and we had to file it along with a motion seeking permission to proceed in pseudo, that is, not in true name because ordinarily when you file a suit in federal court, you can only sue in your true name and true address, and here his true name is classified. Ordinarily, what we do in order to protect someone’s true identity is we use their true first name, which is fairly ubiquitous, of course, and then either Doe for a last name or the first initial of their true last name. In this case, if you have got the complaint before you, you can see that the CIA was so sensitive about this case that they even redacted out the true first name of our client. So, he is proceeding simply as Mr. Doe. The chief judge issued the order last week, and as soon as the order was issued, the suit became officially filed. That’s when the media got a hold of it.

AMY GOODMAN: Roy Krieger, I want to thank you very much for being with us, representing the undercover CIA operative who has filed the lawsuit marking the first public instance in which a CIA employee has charged directly that agency officials pressured him to produce intelligence to support the administration’s prewar position that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and suppressing information that ran counter to that view. Roy Krieger has represented scores of people in the Central Intelligence Agency.

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