US Senate to review allegations CIA tried to smear professor
June 20, 2011 3 Comments
By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The Intelligence Committee of the United States Senate will review allegations, made on Friday by a former CIA officer, that the spy agency tried to gather derogatory information about an American university professor who is critical of the ‘war on terrorism’. According to its chairwoman, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Committee may “take further action”, depending on its preliminary findings. The allegations surfaced last Friday in an article by New York Times reporter James Risen. Acting on a tip by an unnamed source, Risen spoke to former CIA officer Glenn L. Carle, who confirmed that the Agency “at least twice” displayed an interest in gathering discrediting information about University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole. Dr Cole, who specializes in Middle Eastern history and speaks fluent Arabic, Persian, and Urdu, has been consistently critical of US foreign policy in the Middle East through his writings on his influential blog, Informed Comment. Carle, who made the allegations to The New York Times, retired from the CIA in 2007, after a career that spanned two decades in the Agency’s National Clandestine Service. In the last few years of his public service, Carle was a senior counterterrorism official at the US National Intelligence Council, which operates under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It was in that capacity that, in 2005, Carle was allegedly approached by his immediate supervisor, David Low, and asked to “find out” information about Dr Cole “that could discredit him”, adding that the George W. Bush administration wanted “to get him”. Carle says that he refused to comply with Low’s request, and that he confronted his supervisor several months later, when he learned of another attempt to collect personal information on Cole. Carle told The New York Times that he could not confirm whether any information was actually gathered on professor Cole, or whether it was passed on to the White House. The CIA told inquiring reporters that it had “thoroughly researched” its records and that “any allegation that the CIA provided private or derogatory information on Professor Cole to anyone is simply wrong”.