CIA whistleblower’s memo on Peru declassified after eight years

V.L. Montesinos

V.L. Montesinos

A memorandum drafted in 2001 by a CIA officer, detailing assistance illegally provided by the CIA to the former chief of Peruvian intelligence, has been declassified following an eight-year court battle. In the memorandum, CIA employee Franz Boening argued that the Agency violated US law by providing material and political assistance to Vladimiro Ilich Montesinos Torres, a graduate of the US Army’s School of the Americas and longtime CIA operative, who headed Peru’s Servicio de Inteligencia Nacional (SIN) under the corrupt administration of President Alberto Fujimori. Fujimori is now in prison, as is Montesinos himself. But in 2001, the CIA Inspector General, to whom Boening’s memorandum was addressed, took no action in response to the officer’s allegations. What is more, the CIA proceeded to classify Boening’s memorandum, claiming that its disclosure “reasonably could be expected to cause damage to national security”. This was despite the fact that the CIA’s support to Montesinos had been amply documented through Peruvian government reports and numerous of declassified documents from a host of US government agencies. The CIA officer then took the Agency to court, claiming that his memorandum was completely based on open sources. Now, eight years after he drafted the memorandum, the CIA has finally agreed to declassify it, and has permitted its release with minor reductions. The memorandum is now available here (.pdf). Interestingly, the name “Montesinos” is among the few remaining redactions in the document, apparently because the CIA refuses to publicly reveal the name of an informant.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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