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Which Raises the Question…


Andrea Mitchell is reporting that a CIA employee has been fired for leaking to Dana Priest of the Washington Post about their use of secret prisons in Europe to interrogate prisoners.  Evidently the employee failed a polygraph test and they are using the fact that he signed a non-disclosure form to get around protection offered by the whistleblower law.

I have a question.  Is this standard operating procedure within the government?  Are polygraph tests customarily used when someone is suspected of leaking secret information?  And how does a non-disclosure form used at the CIA differ from, say, the Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement signed by White House employees?

From Media Matters, July 2005:

Media coverage of White House senior adviser Karl Rove’s role in leaking the identity of clandestine CIA operative Valerie Plame has focused extensively on whether Rove has committed a crime, but has largely ignored a different possibility that appears increasingly likely — that Rove has violated the confidentiality pledge he made in exchange for access to classified information. The text of the Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement (Standard Form 312) and its accompanying briefing booklet indicate that either Rove’s apparent confirmation of Plame’s identity to syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak or his alleged disclosure of her identity to Time magazine correspondent Matthew Cooper would trigger the "likely loss" of his security clearance.

Mitchell is reporting that the CIA has referred the case to the Justice Department for investigation, but they went ahead and fired the employee anyway.  Is this how it always works?  I’d very much like to know.

Because I have a leak I’d like to report….

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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