CIA Commando Hits Agency
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'They have used the allegations of war crimes to ruin his career,' lawyer Mark S. Zaid says.
Says spy agency pursuing false war crimes probe against him
The complaint by the active-duty CIA operative, identified only as "John Doe" in the filing, does not identify where or when the alleged war crimes took place.
It says only that "Doe" was engaged in "offensive operations against individuals designated or viewed as enemies of the United States" when "CIA paramilitary officers were accused of war crimes in an overseas location."
The CIA's paramilitary operatives, typically former U.S. Navy SEALs, Army Rangers and Delta Force commandos assigned to the agency's Special Activities Division, constitute the "tip of the spear" against suspected terrorists in the Middle East, Africa, the Af-Pak border region and elsewhere.
According to John Doe's Washington, DC attorney, Mark S. Zaid, the Justice Department investigated and dismissed the war crimes allegation against his client in 2011-2012 without even having to interview him.
But the CIA's Inspector General's office, Zaid said, launched a "retaliatory and punitive" probe against his client that remains open today.
"They have used the allegations of war crimes to ruin his career," Zaid told SpyTalk.
"We don't believe any war crimes occurred. We believe some within the agency have targeted my client and have been retaliating against him for activities he was engaged in overseas that some believed later should not have taken place."Zaid would not elaborate because the details are classified, he said.
The attorney, a veteran national security litigator, also said he had also filed a complaint with the FBI against the CIA "for illegally surveilling one of its own here in the United States."
John Doe's suit, to be filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, demands that the CIA "expedite" and "complete and close its investigation into John Doe."
He is "not asking for monetary damages or name-clearing," Zaid said. "At least not yet. First we need the investigation to be completed."
Zaid said he could not reveal further details about the alleged events or his client's "activities" because they remain classified. Only the bare-bones text of the suit is unclassified.
There are "tons of classified substance" to back up his client's suit, Zaid maintained. "The identity of the plaintiff is still classified. The country is classified. The events are classified. That's why no one knows of these investigations."
"It is our hope that the lawsuit will increase attention to and scrutiny of these classified issues and bring to light misconduct--indeed, unlawful conduct--that my client believes occurred," Zaid added.?
The CIA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jeff Stein, Intelligence Columnist : [ Click here to
contact Jeff directly ] Bronze Star recipient, author, and investigative reporter, specializing in U.S. intelligence, defense, and foreign policy, Jeff Stein. Stein was born in Philadelphia but grew up in New England, moving with his family to Maine in 1954. After attending school in Providence, Rhode Island, he moved to Hingham, Massachusetts, where he graduated from high school in 1962. Following high school, he... (more...)