Niqnaq

the adam ciralsky saga continues

with 5 comments

Ex-Chief: CIA Investigation Could Be Construed as Anti-Semitic
Eli Lake, Daily Beast, Apr 23 2012

Former CIA director George Tenet has acknowledged that elements of the counter-intelligence investigation against a former Jewish attorney at the agency in the 1990s could be construed as anti-Semitic. Tenet acknowledged this in a previously undisclosed sworn deposition, part of a privacy act lawsuit filed by the former attorney, Adam Ciralsky. In 1999, Ciralsky’s security clearance was revoked because of his alleged lack of candor about contact with Israelis and USraelis, effectively ending his brief career with the CIA. For the last dozen years Ciralsky has sued the CIA to bring to light how he believes a few agency officials motivated by anti-Semitism targeted him unfairly. On Friday he dropped his case. Ciralsky said in a statement:

I am proud of my service with the CIA and have a deep and abiding respect for the organization and its mission. I am equally proud that by highlighting and confronting the misconduct of a few, I spurred positive change.

While Tenet acknowledged in a 1999 letter to the ADL that some of the conduct of CIA investigators in the Ciralsky case was inappropriate, Tenet goes further and into more detail in the new deposition. Tenet authorized sensitivity training for the CIA on anti-Semitism following allegations of misconduct in the Ciralsky investigation. At the time the CIA said Ciralsky’s dismissal was not the result of anti-Jewish prejudice. According to the transcript of a 2010 deposition viewed exclusively by The Daily Beast, Tenet said statements attributed to an officer who administered a polygraph to Ciralsky were “insensitive, inappropriate and unprofessional,” and could be construed as anti-Semitic. The statement in question was from a polygraph administrator identified as Charles B in the court transcripts. In a sworn declaration, another CIA polygraph administrator, John Sullivan said:

I was in B’s office when he came and I asked him how the test was going. B’s response was to refer to Ciralsky as ‘that little Jew bastard.’ I don’t recall what B said after that but I believe that he said something to the effect that he, B, ‘knew Ciralsky was hiding something.’

When Tenet was asked about Sullivan’s affidavit, he said:

Well, it’s insensitive, inappropriate and unprofessional, and I would want and I would have wanted to talk to this guy to find out what the context was and whether he said it or not.

Tenet was then asked if the polygraph administrator’s comments were anti-Semitic. Tenet responded:

I don’t know the individual in question. It could be construed that way.

The comments from the CIA polygraph administrator were not the only elements of the investigation into Ciralsky that appeared inappropriate. His internal CIA file, for example, notes that he failed to disclose how he is related to former Israeli president Chaim Weizmann and speculated that his parents gave money to pro-Israel causes. The file also described Ciralsky as a “rich Jewish employee with a wealthy daddy.” When Tenet was asked whether it was appropriate to describe Ciralsky that way, Tenet answered:

No.

The fact that Ciralsky’s lawyers were able to depose Tenet for the court is nearly unprecedented. CIA directors rarely offer depositions in civil cases brought by former employees. Victoria Toensing, a former chief counsel for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and an attorney who has taken high profile cases against the agency in the past, said:

I think it’s unprecedented. I have never heard of anything like this before. Usually the agency tries to circle the wagons and protect the director from ever having to provide facts. The fact that he was privy to the gross violations that occurred here is what is significant. That he was aware of the abuse that occurred is significant. And you have to give him credit for acknowledging it.

In the course of his deposition, Tenet was asked about whether he said in a senior staff meeting that because Ciralsky was not candid he was “outta here.” The only problem was that Tenet made those remarks two weeks before the actual polygraph test. When asked about the remarks, Tenet said he never said it and suggested the note taker in the meeting got it wrong. Since a Navy analyst named Jonathan Pollard was discovered spying for Israel in 1985, Jewish USAians working in the intelligence and defense bureaucracy have complained of increased scrutiny by counter-intelligence officers. The FBI has also in recent years warned that Israel is one of the most aggressive recruiters of agents in the US. In 2008 at a speech at the ADL, Tenet acknowledged that there were elements of the agency that had an anti-Jewish prejudice. He said in that speech:

We had a problem once at CIA. There is no doubt that there was anti-Semitism at stake. With the help of ADL trainers we educated an entire bureaucracy and taught people about how their words could be misinterpreted in a manner that was detrimental to the interests of the country.

A CIA spokesman when asked for comment Friday said:

Although the CIA does not comment on any specific matters pending before the courts, the agency has, and enforces, a well-publicized zero-tolerance policy on discrimination.

Written by niqnaq

April 25, 2012 at 7:53 am

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. ” In 1999, Ciralsky’s security clearance was revoked because of his alleged lack of candor about contact with Israelis and USraelis, effectively ending his brief career with the CIA. For the last dozen years Ciralsky has sued the CIA to bring to light how he believes a few agency officials motivated by anti-Semitism targeted him unfairly. On Friday he dropped his case.”

    ” On Friday he dropped the case”? That’s it? That’s the story?

    ” The fact that Ciralsky’s lawyers were able to depose Tenet for the court is nearly unprecedented. CIA directors rarely offer depositions in civil cases brought by former employees. … Usually the agency tries to circle the wagons and protect the director from ever having to provide facts. The fact that he was privy to the gross violations that occurred here is what is significant. ”

    And the ‘gross violations’ are of the order of overhearing someone calling him a jew bastard, and his jewishness being noted in his file? And this is enough to get the director of the world’s most powerful intelligence agency flushed out and brought into the glare of public scrutiny? Seems like what’s missing from this story is the story.

    lafayettesennacherib

    April 25, 2012 at 10:48 am

  2. He’s quite a media maven:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Ciralsky

    niqnaq

    April 25, 2012 at 11:05 am

  3. That makes more sense of it.

    lafayettesennacherib

    April 25, 2012 at 2:04 pm

  4. In Jul 1997, Richard Clarke offered Adam Ciralsky a position at the National Security Council, to begin in early 1998. However, in Aug 1997, the CIA’s Counter-Espionage Group blocked it, allegedly citing concerns about Ciralsky’s “Jewish roots.” The agency said it acted against Ciralsky because he did not fully reveal a relationship with two people holding dual USraeli citizenship, both employees of Israeli defense firms with possible ties to Israeli intelligence. Ciralsky is a US Jew by descent and does not himself possess dual USraeli citizenship.

    Ciralsky suggested he had been victimized by a government wide “witch-hunt” for Israeli spies, launched in Mar 1997 after the NSA intercepted an Israeli diplomatic cable that mentioned a secret agent in Washington code-named “Mega.” More than 10 Jewish federal foreign policy and defense specialists were suspended from their jobs in the wake of the “Mega” cable, Ciralsky alleged in an affidavit prepared in anticipation of a suit against officials of both the CIA and the FBI (who jointly run the CIA Counter-Espionage Group as a result of a security shake-up following the Aldrich Ames fiasco).

    http://www1.salon.com/news/1998/06/10news.html

    The Counter-Espionage Group is a subdivision of the CIA National Clandestine Service’s Counter-Intelligence Center. It is headed by a senior FBI official who has full access to CIA’s most sensitive counter-intelligence data and is thus in a position to fully coordinate the joint efforts of both organizations. He is assisted by deputies from both the security and operational disciplines at CIA and has at least one FBI Special Agent on the Counter-Espionage Group staff full-time (I assume that in 1977 this would have been David Szady, on whom see below.) You can read about the origins of the joint CIA-FBI CEG structure here:

    http://articles.latimes.com/1994-06-29/news/mn-9960_1_intelligence-panel

    David Szady of the FBI Counter-Intelligence Division (who I assume was the FBI Special agent attached to the CEG in 1997) got publicly dragged into this only after he infuriated the neocons by using Larry Franklin in his sting operation against Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman of AIPAC. Szady had obtained his leverage over Franklin by monitoring a call between Franklin and Adam Ciralsky at CBS News in May 2004, in which Franklin planted stories about aggressive Iranian policy in Iraq. Ciralsky then (and only then) accused Szady of somehow having been involved in his 1997 CIA problem. His accusation may have been fabricated retrospectively, on behalf of the neocons, to discredit Szady’s AIPAC case.

    http://www.jonathanpollard.org/2004/122104a.htm

    niqnaq

    April 25, 2012 at 2:31 pm

  5. Fascinating. Thanks. Ciralski only gets fishier.

    lafayettesennacherib

    April 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm


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