CIA sued over 'WMD-linked sacking'

A sacked CIA official has said he was fired for refusing to fake reports supporting the White House position that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

    The agency has attracted heavy criticism over Iraq intelligence

    The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the senior official

    , who is suing the agency,

    was sacked in August "for

    unspecified reasons".

    The lawsuit appears to be the first public

    instance of a CIA agent charging he was pressured to concoct

    intelligence on Iraq.

    It claims the unidentified former agent was urged to produce

    reports in line with President George Bush's contention that Iraq

    had illegal chemical or biological weapons which threatened US and

    international security.

    "Their official dogma was contradicted by his reporting and they

    did not want to hear it," attorney Roy Krieger told the

    Post of his client.

    Faulty intelligence

    CIA spokeswoman Anya Guilsher told the daily she could not

    comment on the lawsuit, adding: "The notion that CIA managers order

    officers to falsify reports is flat wrong. Our mission is to call it

    like we see it and report the facts."

    "Their official dogma was contradicted by his reporting and they

    did not want to hear it"

    Roy Krieger,
    The ex-CIA agent's attorney

    Krieger wrote a letter requesting a meeting with CIA Director

    Porter Goss due to "the serious nature of the allegations in this

    case, including deliberately misleading the president on

    intelligence concerning weapons of mass destruction", said the daily

    .

    The US overthrew Saddam

    Hussein in April 2003, but has found no weapons of mass destruction

    in Iraq.

    Washington has acknowledged some of its

    pre-war intelligence may have been faulty.

    The plaintiff, whose identity is blacked out in the version of

    the lawsuit seen by the Post along with any reference to Iraq, is

    of Middle Eastern descent and

     worked 23 years in the CIA.

    Many of those years were spent

    in covert operations collecting intelligence on weapons of mass

    destruction.

    Allegations

    The lawsuit

    alleges the CIA investigated alleged sexual and

    financial improprieties by the agent "for the sole purpose of

    discrediting him and retaliating against him for questioning the

    integrity of the WMD reporting ... and for refusing to falsify his

    intelligence reporting to support the politically mandated

    conclusion" of matters that were blacked out"

    .

     

    Bush's team has been accused of
    politicising intelligence on Iraq

    Krieger told CNN that

    such accusations were common practice at the agency.

    "In the past seven or eight years, I've represented probably in

    excess of 100 employees of the Central Intelligence Agency and in

    our experience when [someone] at the agency gets into disfavour or

    gets himself in a position of opposition to the agency, one of two

    things - sometimes both of them - happen," he said.

    "Either he's subjected to a counterintelligence investigation

    based upon trumped-up allegations or he's referred to the office of i

    nspector-general for investigation of his travel expenses, his

    finances and, in this case, payments made to an asset," Kreiger

    added.

    SOURCE: AFP


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