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 Posted Sunday, April 11, 1999

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Central Intelligence Agency

Charges Anti-Semitism at Agency

Agencies, April 10, 1999 WASHINGTON &emdash; An attorney at the Central Intelligence Agency who was placed on leave from his job has threatened to file a lawsuit charging the CIA with anti-Semitism, his lawyer said Friday. Adam Ciralsky, 27, who was put on leave Oct. 20, 1997, planned to file a lawsuit in federal court by the end of this month, his attorney Neal Sher said.

"He was put on leave because they (CIA officials) were determined for improper reasons to get rid of him because of his legitimate, and his family's legitimate, ties to Israel," Sher said.

"Ties meaning they visited, they support Israel, they support Jewish causes like the UJA (United Jewish Appeal), buying Israel bonds," Sher said.

The CIA said it could not comment on the personnel matter unless Ciralsky waived the Privacy Act.

CIA Director George Tenet sent a message to employees Friday after news of the Ciralsky case aired on National Public Radio. Tenet called anti-Semitism "repugnant" and said he would not tolerate it or any discrimination at the CIA.

"I can tell you that we have taken a number of internal steps to investigate the allegations. Let me assure you that we have found nothing whatsoever to substantiate the charges of anti-Semitism in this case," Tenet said.

Ciralsky was hired in the CIA's office of general counsel in December 1996 and then was to rotate to the National Security Council in December 1997 for one year.

But he was placed on indefinite administrative leave in October 1997 for what the CIA said were counterintelligence concerns, according to Sher.

A draft of the lawsuit, to be filed later this month in federal court here, said the CIA found Ciralsky to be a security risk simply because of his religion and support for Israel.

The lawsuit draft also contends the CIA rigged a polygraph examination and that Ciralsky was subjected to "hostile" interrogations and "unlawful electronic surveillance."

The lawsuit will seek as yet unspecified damages and a clearing of Ciralsky's record, said Sher, a former director of the Justice Department's office of special investigations, which is the Nazi hunting unit.

The anti-Semitism charges center on a CIA document about questioning Ciralsky.

Sher said the document shows anti-Semitic sentiment by describing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "right wing," using the words "rich Jewish friends" and saying Ciralsky had a "wealthy daddy" who probably supported Israeli causes.

"I think that it is important that he state openly he and his family's support for the Likud party," the document says. "He may simply be withholding on this issue because it paints him and his family as extreme supporters of Israel's hard liners in the Likud party, and he wishes to avoid being seen as such a lover of Israel," the document said.

The CIA document also said Ciralsky must be made to admit clearly he and his family were "deep supporters" of Israel and that that would not be misunderstood.

"We are sophisticated and broad-minded enough to understand the unique ties that bind American Jews to their brethren in Israel," the document reads.

The document ends by saying Ciralsky "has to look in the mirror and admit that he (of all people!) was probably used, manipulated and taken advantage of by men who just don't intellectually support the state of Israel but who actively represent its security and economic interests."

"For a guy with an ego as large as his and with such a passionate support for Israel this will be extremely difficult," the document said.

Sher wrote Attorney General Janet Reno on March 22 asking for an investigation of CIA officials for allegedly sharing information from Ciralsky's security and counterintelligence files with other CIA employees not involved with the case.

Former CIA Director John Deutch issued a statement that said: "I am Jewish and during my entire experience with the CIA ... I never encountered any hint of anti-Semitism at any point." © 1999, News America Digital Publishing, Inc. d/b/a Fox News Online. All rights reserved. Fox News is a registered trademark of 20th Century Fox Film Corp. © 1999 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

© Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved

Our opinion
FOR those with short memories: attorney Neal Sher is not just any former head of the Office of Special Investigations; it was his officewhich master-minded the railroading of innocent American citizen John Demjanjuk into Israel's custody, by arranging the concealment and destruction of information which totally exonerated the victim. Demjanjuk was stripped of his citizenship, deported to Israel, sentenced to hang -- and then acquitted of all charges through the efforts of a brave Jewish attorney and even braver judges of the Israeli Supreme Court; their findings, and the scathing words about Sher's office pronounced by the US District Court judge who ordered Demjanjuk's citizenship restored, ought still to ring in newspapermen's ears.

In a later incarnation, Sher pursued much the the same role in Canada, until angry Canadians secured his ouster. As for the unfortunate Mr Ciralsky, the suggestion that Israeli citizens are more predisposed than others to spy on their host nations is a baseless and distasteful slur, as Jonathan Pollard, the late Mr & Mrs Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Klaus Fuchs, George Blake, the Krogers, and innumerable others would doubtless, some of them from beyond their lime-filled prison graves, solemnly agree.

See too AR, 1998: opposition of Neal Sher, former executive director of AIPAC [America-Israel Political Action Committee], to the hiring of Prof. John Roth, who had compared Israel to the Nazis, as director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. | And Radical's Diary, Feb 1993: the day that a fake "OSI" document smearing David Irving fell into his hands.

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