Statement by CIA Spokesman Bill Harlow on DDCI Actions Relating to Deutch Investigation
May 25, 2000
The CIA has taken several actions relating to the Agency's investigation of improper handling of classified information by former DCI John Deutch.
In August 1999, Director Tenet, after a thorough review of the CIA Inspector General's Report on the issue, suspended Dr. Deutch's security clearances.
The IG Report found fault with the way the initial investigation was handled within the Agency. Among the Report's recommendations was that the accountability of current and former Agency personnel be reviewed in connection with their actions and performance in the investigation.
An Agency Accountability Board was subsequently established to address this matter. That Board reported its results to the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, General John Gordon, in February of this year. Because this was a highly unusual matter involving several very senior current and former Agency officials, General Gordon asked former Senator Warren Rudman, Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), to review the findings and give him the benefit of his advice before he proceeded.
Senator Rudman recently provided a very thorough and comprehensive report, and General Gordon has made his determinations. His actions are based on a careful review of the IG Report and the findings of the PFIAB.
The principal shortcoming in the Deutch matter was that normal Agency procedures for handling and reporting a serious security incident were not followed. Among other things, a crimes report should have been submitted sooner to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Congressional oversight committees, the Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB), and other agencies such as the Department of Defense and the National Security Council should have been more promptly notified. More aggressive damage control efforts, such as the immediate removal of the unclassified computers used by Dr. Deutch, should have been initiated following the discovery of the classified information and Dr. Deutch should have been interviewed. Moreover, concerns for Dr. Deutch's privacy at times influenced the proper handling of the security investigation.
General Gordon reached conclusions regarding accountability for six senior officials. He has formally reprimanded in writing three of these officials, two of whom are former employees. He formally admonished in writing two others, one of whom is a former employee. He orally admonished a sixth person who is still employed at the Agency. Additionally, he recognized the positive efforts of several individuals in this difficult matter.
For reasons of personal privacy, we will not publicly identify any of those who received sanctions in this matter.
The PFIAB report, like the CIA IG Report before it, cites the DCI for not involving himself more forcefully in the Deutch matter in order to ensure a proper resolution of it. The President recently discussed the PFIAB Report with the DCI. During that conversation, the Director acknowledged that he shared in the responsibility for shortcomings identified in the Report.
Based on the lessons learned from the Deutch matter, the DCI has taken steps to strengthen and clarify Agency procedures. We are establishing a clear process should a current or former DCI or DDCI be suspected of misconduct or wrongdoing. This process would ensure appropriate notification to the Inspector General, Congress and Department of Justice. We are working to ensure that all security investigations are recorded appropriately in individual security files, and that future security issues sent to senior Agency management for action include all relevant facts from individual security files. The Executive Director is reviewing the Agency's accountability process to determine which procedures, guidelines, and standards will be applied in all future cases. By these actions, we are confident that appropriate efforts have been taken or are underway to redress the shortcomings identified in the Deutch case.