WMD Panel Fires FBI Agent for Sharing CIA Document

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Gertz, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A presidential commission examining U.S. intelligence failures related to weapons of mass destruction has fired an FBI agent for improperly supplying a classified CIA report to FBI headquarters, The Washington Times has learned.

The incident was viewed by officials close to the commission as an attempt by the FBI to influence the work of the panel, formed after the start of the Iraq war to look at intelligence related to Iraq and other states involved in illicit weapons acquisition.

Officials said the agent was fired several weeks ago by the White House-sponsored Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, a secretive panel formed by President Bush in February.

The female FBI agent, who was assigned to work for the commission, improperly removed a highly classified CIA report produced for the panel that contained criticism of the FBI for its conduct of weapons-related intelligence gathering, the sources said.

According to the officials, the document was removed from a secure vault and given to FBI headquarters official David Szady, a senior counterintelligence officer. A short time later, FBI officials voiced criticism of the CIA report to the commission, triggering an investigation that led to the female agent, who was not identified by name.

The woman admitted to removing the report and was dismissed with a recommendation from the commission that she also be fired from the FBI. However, FBI officials have protected the agent, and she has been reassigned to another post within the agency, the officials said.

The fact that no action was taken against the agent is an indication that her activities were approved by senior FBI officials, the sources said.

One official said the episode was an attempt by the FBI to influence the outcome of a presidential commission. "The FBI is out of control," said the source familiar with the incident.

Commission spokesman Carl Kropf wouldn't discuss the matter.

"It is our policy not to discuss internal activities, to include administrative and operational matters," Mr. Kropf said.

FBI spokesman Bill Carter declined to comment.

The FBI is charged with investigating illegal arms-proliferation activities in the United States. However, its role in countering weapons proliferation has been largely subordinated to the higher priority of investigating foreign terrorism. …