Anti-Semitism at Agency
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
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
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
The anti-Semitism charges center on a
CIA document about questioning
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
"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
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