Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Friend: Fired CIA Officer Mary McCarthy Was Not Source for Story About Secret Prisons

ABC News
Friend: CIA Officer Not Source on Prisons
Friend: Fired CIA Officer Mary McCarthy Was Not Source for Story About Secret Prisons
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The CIA officer fired last week for unauthorized contacts with the media denies allegations that she provided information leading to The Washington Post's award-winning story on secret CIA detention centers, according to a friend speaking on her behalf.

"She was not the source for that story," said Rand Beers, who has talked with his former colleague, Mary McCarthy, a veteran intelligence analyst.

Beers headed intelligence programs at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. He said McCarthy authorized him to make the brief statement, but he declined to discuss the issue further.

In a message distributed to the agency work force Thursday afternoon, CIA Director Porter Goss expressed his deep concern over the "critical damage being suffered" from media leaks and informed his staff of the firing of an unidentified official.

"A CIA officer has acknowledged having unauthorized discussions with the media, in which the officer knowingly and willfully shared classified intelligence, including operational information. I terminated that officer's employment with the CIA," Goss said, adding that he took no pleasure in reporting the action.

In January, Goss directed the CIA's security office to conduct polygraph examinations on officers involved in certain sensitive intelligence programs. He said criminal reports were also filed with the Justice Department on "the most egregious media leaks that contained classified intelligence and national security information."

McCarthy was days away from retirement. Her statement, through Beers, was first reported by Newsweek magazine.