CIA sues ex-employee for publishing book
WASHINGTON — The CIA has sued a former officer who published a book highly critical of the agency without completing the CIA’s lengthy review process.
The lawsuit accuses the officer of breaking his secrecy agreement with the U.S. The former CIA staffer worked under deep cover before publishing the book in July 2008 under the pseudonym “Ishmael Jones.”
The CIA says his book, The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture, was submitted to the agency’s publications review board under a secrecy agreement that covers books written by former CIA officials. Jones ultimately published the book without the CIA’s official blessing.
The lawsuit, filed in July in federal court in Alexandria, Va., seeks an injunction against further violations of Jones’ secrecy obligations and recovery of proceeds from unauthorized publication.
“CIA officers are duty-bound to observe the terms of their secrecy agreement with the Agency,” Director Leon E. Panetta said yesterday in a statement. “This lawsuit clearly reinforces that message.”
In an e-mail to the Associated Press, Jones, who hasn’t revealed his identity, said he did not profit from the book and that it contained no classified information.
“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,” Jones said. “Despite the talented work force, more than 90 percent of employees now live and work entirely within the United States where they are largely ineffective, in violation of the CIA’s founding charter.”
Last month, the Pentagon paid $47,000 to destroy 9,500 copies of a former Army intelligence officer’s war memoir, Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan — and the Path to Victory.
The Defense Department claimed the book contained classified information. A redacted, government-authorized version of the book has since been published.