Over the weekend the Daily Beast reported on a leaked draft investigative report that exposed the systemic failures in the flawed intelligence community whistleblower program. According to this report, late last year the Trump Administration put a lid on the finalization of an investigation of the whistleblower program failures by the Inspector General for all intelligence agencies. 
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In April 2009, the Department of Justice (DOJ) served a subpoena on New York Times reporter James Risen. DOJ wants to know his source for a story he published in his book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. The book describes a horribly botched CIA effort to disrupt the Iranian nuclear program. DOJ’s issued an earlier subpoena during the Bush administration. That administration wisely abandoned the subpoena. However, according to Glenn Greenwald (writing in Salon.com), the revitalization of the subpoena by the Obama administration was “but one of many steps taken to dramatically expand the war on whistleblowers being waged by the current President” although he ran on a platform of protecting whistleblowers.


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I previously wrote here about the extraordinary findings of U.S. District Court Chief Judge Royce Lamberth in Horn v. Huddle.  Judge Lamberth found that officials of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), including Director George Tenet and an agency attorney, made material and intentional misrepresentations to the Court.

Yesterday, Judge Lamberth approved a $3 million

The CIA has decided to pay Richard Horn $3 million for a unique settlement of a fifteen (15) year-old spying case. The government not only wants Horn to dismiss the case and release the CIA and State Department officials who spied on him, but the government also wants Horn to promise that he will not oppose the government’s motion to vacate the judge’s prior orders finding that former CIA Director George Tenet committed a "fraud on the court." Having reviewed the settlement agreement, the government’s motion to vacate, and an amicus brief filed in the case, it is now apparent to me that the government jacked up the settlement payment in an attempt to buy an erasure of its liability that it would not be entitled to under law.  Kim Zetter of Wired magazine has written an article that provides helpful background to this most unusual case.


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U.S. District Court Judge Lamberth has ordered the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to grant security clearances to the lawyers on both sides of a case so they can participate in the adjudication of what relevant evidence is properly classified.  As first reported by Josh Gerstein of Politico.com, the order sets a new precedent for the limits on the executive branch’s control over security clearances. The case is Horn v. Huddle, Case No. 94-1756 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Judge Lamberth said at page 12 that, "The state secrets privilege is a judicial doctrine, and when the Court evaluates the privilege, its evaluation is not merely and academic exercise. When the privilege is denied, the Court has the ability to order the information disclosed in litigation. Were the rule otherwise, the Executive Branch could immediately ensure that the ‘state secrets privilege’ was successfully invoked simply by classifying information, and the Executive’s actions would be beyond the purview of the judicial branch. This would of course usurp the judicial branch’s obligation ‘to say what the law is.’"

The order concludes that, "the attorneys need to be involved in the process for the case to move forward while minimizing the risk to national security . . . the deference generally granted the Executive Branch in matters of classification and national security must yield when the Executive attempts to exert control over the courtroom."


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