Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CIA Sues Former Agent Over Book Charging Corruption

From The Washington Times:
Ishmael Jones, pen name for the 20-year CIA veteran and Arabic speaker who said he sought to expose corruption in the agency, is facing a civil lawsuit over his 2008 book, "The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture."

The book is a detailed account of his career inside the CIA's clandestine service and his work as a "nonofficial cover" operative in the Middle East and Europe.

"The book contains no classified information and I do not profit from it," Mr. Jones told The Washington Times. "CIA censors attack this book because it exposes the CIA as a place to get rich, with billions of taxpayer dollars wasted or stolen in espionage programs that produce nothing."

The CIA said in a statement to The Times that the legal action was filed against the former officer for "breaking his secrecy agreement."
Here's the problem in a nutshell: Established U.S. law does not permit secrecy clauses to be used to hide illegal acts. But courts traditionally defer to the CIA. So, if there were corruption at the CIA, no one would be able to root it out through publicity, because Justice Brandeis' best disinfectant could not be used to do so. If the premise holds, then, a culture of complete secrecy must enable corruption--which in turn must endanger US national security.

Conclusion: Current CIA secrecy policy is a threat to US national security.

You can buy the 2008 book from Amazon.com, here: