Monday, December 04, 2006

How secrets can be kept forever

I'm so tired of hearing the ridiculous excuse used in so many conspiracy cases - "Someone would have made a million bucks off that information." "The CIA always leaks." "No secret can be kept forever."

Oh yeah?

Well, here's proof positive that secrets can and are being kept. Check out the story of "Wendy Lee," a pseudonym for a person is listed legally as a "former affiliate" of the Central Intelligence Agency. "She" (I'll say she, but for all we know it's a he) sued the CIA for the right to publish material based on her personal experiences with the agency. A court order dismissing her motion does not even reveal her name, another secret we'll probably never know.

What's her beef? Lee claims that the CIA "unlawfully imposed a prior restraint upon her speech by improperly declaring large portions of her memoir to be 'classified' and unpublishable." Of course, Lee begs to differ, and believes there is nothing in her memoir that is not already in the public domain. The kicker? Her lawyer can't even see the book because the CIA says it's all classified, so no third party can even review the contents to test her claims against the CIA. The CIA has unilateral authority to keep information from being published.

That's one way to keep secrets. Prevent them being published.

I have no idea what Wendy wanted to divulge or why the CIA felt the need to keep it secret. But in another case, it's quite obvious what the plaintiff wished to divulge, and why the CIA wouldn't allow it. And it's clear that the mainstream media either is a) completely controlled by the CIA, which is why you haven't heard this story; b) completely lazy, which is why you haven't heard this story; or c) all of the above.

The person in this next suit was given a generic pseudonym that had to be classified as "[Redacted] Doe(P)" with a footnote explaining the "(P)" means this is an "official litigation pseudonym assigned by the Central Intelligence Agency to a covert employee." In other words, someone at the agency was paid to come up with "Doe" as an official litigation pseudonym (among their other equally vital tasks, no doubt. Your tax dollars at work. Or was that your drug money?) "Doe" sued Porter Goss and the CIA alleging he [you'll see it was a "he" in second, making the first name redaction doubly ridiculous] was being retaliated against for refusing to falsify intelligence related to WMD in [redacted].

Gee, let me guess: could that be a four letter word starting with "I" and ending in "q"? Want another clue? The problem started in 2001.

Here's an excerpt from the complaint:
11. Plaintiff is being subjected to retaliation by Defendants for his refusal to falsify intelligence collected by him [redacted].

12. Plaintiff is a male of Near Eastern ancestry who joined the CIA as a contract covert Operations Officer in 1982. During the ensuing twenty-two year period Plaintiff has conducted numerous successful covert operations against a variety of intelligence targets while serving in the CIA Directorate of Operations ("CIA/DO"). This service and his significant contributions resulted in his eventual approval for promotion to the rank of GS-15 and for receipt of the CIA Special Intelligence Medal in recognition of his [redacted] recruitment of an [redacted] penetrating a target country's WMD program [redacted].


14. In 1995 Plaintiff was assigned to the CIA/DO Counter Proliferation Division ("CIA/DO/CPD") where his mission was to collect intelligence on and interdict the proliferation of WMD, [redacted.]


17. Plaintiff was first subjected to a demand that he alter his intelligence reporting in 2000, [redacted] Plaintiff reported this information via formal CIA cable channels. Plaintiff was subsequently advised by CIA management that his report did not support the earlier assessment [redacted] and instructed that if he did not alter his report to support this assessment it would not be received well by the intelligence community. Plaintiff was aware that earlier reporting underlying the assessment was less-than-genuine and refused to alter his report. As a result, CIA/DO/CPD refused to disseminate his report to the intelligence community despite Plaintiff's efforts.

18. In 2001, Plaintiff met with a highly respected human asset [redacted] Plaintiff immediately reported this information to his supervisor who in-turn met with CIA/DO/CPD management. Plaint was later instructed that he should prepare no written report of the matter and that the Deputy Director of Operations ("DDO") together with the Chief of CIA/DO/CPD would personally brief the President. Upon information and belief, Plaintiff avers that no such briefing ever occurred and therefore the President was misled by the withholding of vital intelligence. Subsequently, in 2002, the Chief of CIA/DO/CPD advised Plaintiff that his promotion to GS-15 and receipt of the Special Intelligence Medal had been approved by the DDO but were being withheld until Plaintiff removed himself from further handling of this asset.

19. In 2001, Plaintiff, attempted to report "actionable intelligence [large paragraph redacted] Plaintiff reported this information to CIA/DO/CPD via formal cable channels. However, the CIA never disseminated this information in the intelligence community despite Plaintiff's pleas to do so, effectively sequestering intelligence [another long redaction.] Later, a co-worker of Plaintiff warned him that CIA management planned to "get him" for his role in reporting intelligence contrary to official CIA dogma [redacted.]

20. In 2002, Plaintiff attempted to report routine intelligence [redacted] but was thwarted by CIA superiors... Plaintiff reported this information to CIA/DO/CPD via formal cable channels. Plaintiff was subsequently approached by a senior [redacted] desk officer who insisted that Plaintiff falsify his reporting of this matter [redacted.] Plaintiff refused. Subsequently, CIA/DO/CPD management determined that Plaintiff should remove himself from any further "handling" of this asset.
Can you guess what happened next? The employee was accused of having sex with a female asset. Plaintiff says that wasn't true. Plaintiff was then accused of using agency funds for personal use. Plaintiff denied that too. Guess who his accusers were? This isn't rocket science. His accusers were "the same CIA/DO/CPD managers who managed the operations and reporting"-- i.e., the same people dissatisfied by his attachment to the truth. He was fired before the completion of two investigations - one conducted by Counterintelligence (CI) and another by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). According to Doe:
28. ... both the CI and OIG investigations of him were a sham, initiated for the sole purpose of discrediting him and retaliating against him for questioning the integrity of the WMD reporting [redacted] and for refusing to falsify his intelligence reporting to support the politically mandated conclusion [redacted.]

29. On information and belief, Plaintiff avers that the termination of his employment at CIA was in further retaliation for, and to contrive a pretext to discredit, his refusal to falsify his intelligence reporting to support the politically mandated conclusion [redacted].
Of course, it could also be the reviews would have cleared him, so they hurried up and fired him before he could receive that judgment.

Doe sued Goss and the Agency in the United States District Court for DC because he had "available to him no internal administrative remedy at CIA to address the complained of acts and omissions." He complained that his internal employment records had been altered. CIA, of course, says his claims are unjustified, that Plaintiff wasn't able to specify exactly what information in his records had been changed. Could that be because Plaintiff never got to see those records, but could tell by what was being said to and about him that it couldn't accurately reflect his record?

The courts rarely rule against the CIA. That's why the control of judicial appointments is so important in political circles. What if you got a judge who forced the CIA's hand and made them turn over records? That couldn't be allowed. So the CIA supports politicians who will appoint judges who will in turn side with them in such matters.

And that's how secrets can be kept forever.

So can we cut the crap? If the CIA killed either or both of the Kennedy brothers, that's a secret we can approach through documentation and those who have risked the agency's wrath, but the CIA will never, ever, admit to it, or seek to punish any of its own for it. That's the way the story should end. But that's not how the story will end, and anyone who thinks otherwise lives in the United States of Disneyland.

Want to turn that around?

Take money out of politics. Support public campaign financing. That way it’s still one person, one vote – not one dollar, one vote. Find a way to provide security-cleared lawyers who are nonetheless willing to stand up to the CIA if they are lying. Find a way to guarantee their safety from CIA retaliation (i.e., sudden heart attacks.) It's not going to be easy.

Notice I didn't suggest disband the CIA. We'll always need intelligence. But we desperately need better oversight and punishment for officials who would prod an employee to change intelligence to suit a political agenda. We need to be able to hear whistleblowers in some forum that would protect truly vital secrets while not allowing abuses to be hidden under the overprotective veil of "national security."


Blogger BrendaStewart said...

Yup. Lisa, you have made an excellent point.

You have got the cia down pat. They seem to be somewhat criminal in their actions for the most part since creation.

There are always gonna be ppl that are bright and honest. Those ppl will always get the brunt end of things for those charateristics always.

I wished I could have been a fly on the wall for some of those converstations in the law offices of which they discussed things...

Good blog site, btw. You are one smart cookie....hugs

7:40 AM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

Hugs right back at you, Brenda. I appreciate your comments and support!

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off topic.

What are the odds that Tim Johnson is the 59 year-old Senator most likely to die or resign before the next Congress is seated?

He comes from a state with a Republican Governor and a Republican State Legislature. He comes from a state where the Republicans have a very good chance of winning in a special election. Couldn't have happened better if it were planned.

I've got no evidence, of course. But it kind of makes me think of Polonium.


5:39 PM  

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