There are indications that in addition to aggressively pursuing leakers inside the CIA, Director Goss is also looking at retired agency personnel who may be facilitating the leaks to reporters:
The Agency has issued warnings to former employees that they are still bound by secrecy rules regarding classified information and that violating their oaths may lead to unfortunate consequences:
The attempt to silence former employees extends beyond those who still have consulting contracts. Larry Johnson, a former CIA official who blogs at www.TPMCafe.com, said he recently received a “threatening” letter reminding him about his confidentiality agreements.
Mr Johnson â€“ who has criticised the White House for not aggressively investigating the outing of Valerie Plame, a former covert operative, said it was the first such letter he had received despite regularly commenting in the media on intelligence matters since his retirement in 1989. He said other former employees also received letters.
He said the CIA was also “very forceful” in intimidating a retired official who maintains ties to the agency after he signed a letter criticising the administration over the Plame leak.
One can only guess which “retired official” Johnson is talking about but there is little question as to what letter is being referenced. The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) sent this “open letter” to the President regarding the outing of Valerie Plame signed by several VIPS members. Of course, the point wasn’t that it was critical of the Bush Administration but rather that VIPS has proved itself a partisan organization.
Our favorite ex-spook at In From the Cold gives us some background on what Goss is trying to accomplish:
But in today’s “leak culture,” the retention of former staffers as contractors and consultants has a clear downside. Consider this e-mail that I just received from a staffer on Capitol Hill, who spoke with an employee at an unnamed “three-letter” intelligence agency. It seems that some of the anti-Bush cabal are using contractor or consultant positions to stir up more trouble on the inside. My contact on the Hill reports:
“I got a call from inside the government. Someone wanted me to let people know that the people who were fired by Goss and/or have left the government to write books have gone to work for intel outside contractors where they have just put on their badges and go right back into the agency and hang around just like before. I am told that they are in the lunch room talking to GS-10s and11s, and 12s to stir up a revolt.”
If this report is accurate—and I have no reason to doubt its validity—then Mr. Goss needs to redouble his house-cleaning efforts at Langley, and his fellow agency directors might want to start hanging around the cafeteria as well. No one would deny any employee their right to free speech; but this sounds like an effort to foment rebellion within the agency, and that is not a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. There are clear prohibitions on certain types of political activity by federal employees, and the reported actions of these former officers would appear to fall under that category. I think it’s time to start firing some contractors and cancelling consultant deals. These former spooks were hired to do intelligence work—not instigate a palace revolt.
That’s pretty amazing. Mac has been getting pretty much the same thing from his sources as well:
Since last year when I got into the Plame Game and began to contact people back at the farm about what in the heck was going on I was told that this whole thing was much more than met the eyes. Again, supporting the Iraq regime made a lot of people very wealthy. Small wonder that so many “ideologs” have been in opposition, less of a wonder why they are running so scared now.
I can’t tire of telling you how important it is that Mary Loose Lips has been brought down. More than just a random ‘discovery’ – she is the key to the lock. Guys at the agency and the DOJ knew exactly where to target – and they hit it dead on. In the coming days you will see why Senator Rockefeller HAD to make such an emergency visit to Syria in 2002. For a little tip, read here.
Mac may be referencing a connection with Saddam’s Oil for Food program and Rockefeller’s jaw dropping visit to Syria where he bragged on national television to have tipped off the Syrians about George Bush’s determination to go to war. The inference is that networks related to OIF would start rolling up, tying off loose ends, and destroying evidence. The Russians went to work immediately in this regard evidently not only destroying thousands of OIF documents but also evidence that they were supplying Saddam with banned weapons. (See Bill Gertz’s book Treachery for the whole sickening story).
With the DCIA now targeting leakers both inside and outside the agency, might he also stumble across a connection between the two? And given the friendliness of many in the media to several VIPS members such as Ray McGovern and Larry Johnson – including some of the most influential national security correspondents in the business – might there come a time when a possible circle of deceit that runs from Langley, to VIPS, and to the press is revealed and the nest of partisans given their just desserts?
I didn’t include any links to AJ Strata’s stuff because frankly, he’s got so many goodies it was hard to choose. Start here and keep scrolling.