CIA Sues Former Agent

human factorThe book publishing world was thoroughly excited at the prospect of the Pentagon buying up entire print runs of books they wanted to suppress when it was revealed that Anthony Shaffer’s book Operation Dark Heart was the first of what the industry laughingly hoped was a trend. It seems the CIA wants to play things a little differently, however: the agency is suing Ishmael Jones for disclosures made in his book The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture, as reported by Bill Gertz for the Washington Times:

The CIA has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against a former deep-cover agent who published a book critical of the agency without allowing CIA censors to remove large portions of the manuscript before publication.

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.”

“CIA officers are duty-bound to observe the terms of their secrecy agreement with the agency,” CIA Director Leon E. Panetta said in the statement. “This lawsuit clearly reinforces that message.”

According to the CIA statement, “prepublication review — an obligation ‘Jones’ freely assumed — is an indispensable tool to protect intelligence sources, methods, and activities. In publishing without authorization, he risked the disclosure of classified information.”…

[continues in the Washington Times]


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