Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Undercover Brother Realized Too Late He'd Signed Up With THE Evil Crime Syndicate


theintercept |  Jeffrey Sterling, the former CIA agent convicted under the Espionage Act for talking to a New York Times reporter, has been released from prison after serving more than two years of his 42-month sentence, and is now in a halfway house.

Sterling’s case drew nationwide attention because the Obama-era Department of Justice unsuccessfully tried to force the reporter, James Risen, to divulge the identity of his sources for “State of War,” a book in which he revealed the CIA had botched a covert operation against Iran’s nuclear program. Risen reported that instead of undermining the Iranians, the CIA had provided them with useful information on how to build a nuclear bomb. (Risen is now The Intercept’s senior national security correspondent and directs First Look Media’s Press Freedom Defense Fund.)

The case had a racial dimension, too. Sterling, who had joined the agency in 1993, was one of the few black undercover operatives at the CIA. After several years of what he believed was discriminatory treatment, he filed a complaint against the agency, and then a lawsuit. The CIA fired Sterling in 2002, and his lawsuit was blocked by the courts after the government argued successfully that proceeding with the suit would expose state secrets.

Sterling subsequently met with Senate investigators as a whistleblower about the mismanagement of a classified program he worked on at the agency, the same Iranian program that Risen wrote about in his book. Risen had interviewed Sterling in 2002 for an article about his discrimination lawsuit — but Sterling has denied talking to Risen about the Iranian program. In 2011, when Sterling was arrested, the government’s indictment accused him of leaking about Iran out of “anger and resentment.”

Previously on the Sterling matter at Subrealism: