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Judge Rules Ex-Agent’s Lawsuit Against CIA Can Proceed January 16, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Judiciary, US News.
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WASHINGTON (AP)–A fired CIA employee, who collected prewar intelligence that Iraq wasn’t developing weapons of mass destruction, can continue with a lawsuit challenging his dismissal, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler decided on technical grounds that the lawsuit couldn’t be dismissed. But she didn’t rule on the covert agent’s contention that he was fired because he refused to alter intelligence that contradicted Bush administration policies.

Kessler said in the ruling Friday that the covert agent, identified only as Doe, had the right to argue his firing was based on allegedly false information placed in his personnel file.

The agent said he collected intelligence from several countries in the Near East. “Obviously, Iraq was one of them,” said the plaintiff’s Washington attorney, Roy Krieger. The lawsuit doesn’t name any of the countries.

The intelligence was collected as the U.S. prepared for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and President George W. Bush justified the war on grounds that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons have been found.

The lawsuit said Doe’s CIA superiors either refused to disseminate the intelligence or demanded he falsify his report to indicate several countries were developing the weapons.

The agent said he was told by superiors that Bush would be informed of the intelligence, but the lawsuit contended the briefing never occurred.

The plaintiff said the CIA launched two sham investigations of him before his termination in September, 2004, accusing him of having sex with a female intelligence asset and diverting money designated for informers to his own use.

Kessler’s ruling centered on Doe’s assertion that his firing was based on inaccurate information in his personnel file.

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