Former CIA Director stripped of security clearance asked to join panel

John Deutch

John Deutch

John M. Deutch was Director of Central Intelligence (CIA) from 1995 to 1996, under US President Bill Clinton. In 1997, the CIA initiated an internal security investigation over Deutch’s handling of classified material and discovered that he routinely stored and worked on hundreds of CIA top-secret files on his unprotected home laptop computer. This was allegedly the same computer that Deutch’s wife and children used to view their email and browse the Internet. Following the results of the CIA investigation, Deutch was stripped of his top-secret security clearances by George Tenet, who in 1996 had succeeded him as DCI. In January 2001, shortly before leaving office, President Clinton pardoned Deutch, sparing him from prosecution by the Justice Department. It has now emerged, however, that the Obama Administration’s new National Intelligence Director, Admiral Dennis Blair, has asked the former DCI to join a National Reconnaissance Office advisory panel on surveillance satellites. President Barack Obama’s CIA Director nominee, Leon Panetta, was asked about this during his Congressional hearing earlier today, but refused to comment before having an opportunity to “sit down and talk with Admiral Blair about just exactly what he had in mind” when he asked Deutch to join the panel.

Analysis: Why Did Bush Not Pardon Israeli Spy?

In his latest article for The Santa Barbara News Press, Robert Eringer, the former FBI counterintelligence agent who now works for Prince Albert II of Monaco, reminds intelligence observers of the case of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Jay Pollard. Pollard, who has so far served 24 years of a life sentence, was found guilty in 1987 of spying on the US on behalf of Israel, while working as a US Navy intelligence analyst. Since his arrest and conviction, Pollard has been considered something of a national hero in Israel, and an enormous effort has been launched to secure his release. Israeli newspapers, whose articles routinely liken Pollard to Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, who was captured by Hamas in 2006,  disclosed earlier this month that a “massive campaign was conducted behind the scenes in Washington to persuade US president George W. Bush to commute Pollard’s sentence”. The effort, which included “tens of thousands of phone calls” that “flooded the White House”, was so enormous that several Israeli insiders considered Pollard’s release almost certain. Pollard remained imprisoned after all, and the question is, why did George W. Bush not succumb to these lobbying pressures? Read article →

Waxman sides with CIA on Iraq intelligence dispute

For several years, disgraced former US Attorney-General, Alberto Gonzales, and Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, have maintained that the CIA approved the routine use in Presidential speeches of dubious intelligence on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Recently, George W. Bush upheld to these claims by blaming the US intelligence community for the false information on Iraqi WMD. Now the chair of the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), has written a memo [pdf] containing the results of his investigation on the matter. In it, Rep. Waxman explains that “the CIA had warned at least four National Security Council officials not to allow Bush, in three speeches in 2002, to cite questionable intelligence that Iraq had attempted to obtain uranium”. Read more of this post