A sacked CIA official is suing the agency for allegedly retaliating against him for refusing to falsify his reports on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to support the White House's pre-war position, The Washington Post said yesterday. \nDescribed as a senior CIA official who was sacked in August "for unspecified reasons," the plaintiff's lawsuit appears to be the first public instance of a CIA official charging that he was pressured to produce intelligence to support the US government's pre-war contention that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were a grave threat to US and international security. \n"Their official dogma was contradicted by his reporting and they did not want to hear it," said Roy Krieger, the officer's attorney. \nCIA spokeswoman Anya Guilsher told the daily she could not comment on the lawsuit, adding: "The notion that CIA managers order officers to falsify reports is flat wrong. Our mission is to call it like we see it and report the facts." \nKrieger wrote a letter requesting a meeting with CIA Director Porter Goss due to "the serious nature of the allegations in this case, including deliberately misleading the president on intelligence concerning weapons of mass destruction," said the daily quoting from the letter. \nThe US overthrew the Iraqi dictatorship of Saddam Hussein in April last year, but has found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq since then. The US government has acnowledged some of its pre-war intelligence may have been faulty. \nThe plaintiff, whose identity is blacked out in the lawsuit as well as any reference to Iraq, is of Middle Eastern descent, worked 23 years in the CIA, much of them in covert operations to collect intelligence on weapons of mass destruction, said the daily. \nThe lawsuit was filed in a US District Court in Washington on Friday and made public Wednesday after it was screened by a judge, said The Washington Post, which obtained a copy. \nIt alleges that the CIA investigated alleged sexual and financial improprieties by the plaintiff "for the sole purpose of discrediting him and retaliating against him for questioning the integrity of the WMD reporting ... and for refusing to falsify his intelligence reporting to support the politically mandated conclusion" of matters that are redacted in the lawsuit. \nThe document states that in 2002 the plaitiff was "thwarted by CIA superiors" from reporting routine intelligence from a contact of his and that later he was approached by a senior officer "who insisted that Plaintiff falsify his reporting." \nWhen the plaintiff refused, the lawsuit said, the CIA's Counterproliferation Division ordered that he "remove himself from any further `handling'" of the contact, referred elsewhere in the document as "a highly respected human asset." \nLast year, the lawsuit goes on to say, the CIA officer learned of the investigations against him and that he was refused a promotion "because of pressure from the DDO [Deputy Director of Operations] James Pavitt." \nIn September last year, the plaintiff was placed on administrative leave without explanation and in August he was sacked also "for unspecified reasons." \nThe lawsuit requests that the plaintiff be restored to his former position in the CIA and received compensatory damages and legal fees.
CALIBRATED RESPONSE: The city-state has learned from its past experiences of dealing with COVID-19 variants to assess the situation and the risks, the transport minister said Singapore will strive to keep its borders open and stay connected to the rest of world even if a new variant of COVID-19 emerges, Singaporean Minister for Transport S. Iswaran said on Wednesday. The city-state has learned from its past experiences of dealing with COVID-19 variants, Iswaran said in an interview with Bloomberg News. When the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 hit, Singapore did not backtrack on its reopening plans, but rather decided to wait and see how things panned out, he said, adding that the response was different versus the Delta outbreak. “We’ve all learned to adapt,” Iswaran said on the sidelines
‘EATING UP SPRING’: Temperatures are 10oC to 15oC above the seasonal average and a city northwest of Madrid experienced its first ‘tropical’ May night on Friday Parts of Spain are experiencing their hottest May since records began, as a mass of hot, dry air blows in from Africa, bringing with it dusty skies and temperatures of more than 40°C. Spain’s state meteorological agency, Aemet, has warned of a weekend heat wave of an “extraordinary intensity,” with temperatures between 10°C and 15°C above the seasonal average and more akin to high summer than mid-May. “The early hours of 21 May have been extraordinarily hot for the time of year across a good part of the center and south of the peninsula,” Aemet said on Saturday. “In many places the
BUSINESS AS USUAL: Thousands of people were forcibly removed from their homes in the dead of night and all mentions of the incident were scrubbed from the Internet Thousands of COVID-19-negative Beijing residents were forcibly relocated to quarantine hotels overnight due to a handful of infections, as the Chinese capital begins to take more extreme control measures resembling virus-hit Shanghai. Beijing has been battling its worst outbreak since the COVID-19 pandemic started. The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has infected more than 1,300 since late last month, leading city restaurants, schools and tourist attractions to be closed indefinitely. China’s strategy to achieve zero COVID-19 cases includes strict border closures, lengthy quarantines, mass testing and rapid, targeted lockdowns. More than 13,000 residents of the locked-down Nanxinyuan residential compound in southeast Beijing were
‘I’M STUNNED’: The disease is not known to be sexually transmitted, but a large outbreak might reveal previously unknown transmission routes, a virologist said Scientists who have monitored numerous outbreaks of monkeypox in Africa say they are baffled by the disease’s recent spread in Europe and North America. Cases of the smallpox-related disease have previously been seen only among people with links to central and West Africa. However, in the past week, Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the US, Sweden, Canada all reported infections, mostly in young men who had not previously traveled to Africa. There are about 80 confirmed cases worldwide and 50 more suspected ones, the WHO said. France, Germany, Belgium and Australia reported their first cases on Friday. “I’m stunned by this. Every day I