CIA, State Department accused of sanitizing report into alleged misconduct
Federal investigator claims he faced retaliation for failing to play ball with a cover-up
What can best be described as a bombshell revelation has surfaced in a long-running state-secrets case filed by a former DEA agent, Richard Horn, against past high-level employees of the CIA and State Department.
A court pleading filed in the litigation indicates that a former supervisory agent with the State Department Inspector General’s Office (OIG) has agreed to testify under oath that an investigative report he prepared in the Horn matter “was rewritten without his knowledge or permission, and his signature forged, and his intended conclusions changed.”
In addition, the former State Department investigative agent, Paul E. Forster, according to the court filing, plans to testify that his “counterpart” at the CIA’s Office of Inspector General (an individual named Michael E. Grivsky) also was subjected to similar treatment.
From the court pleading:
Forster knows his counterpart at the CIA [Grivsky] also wrote a report concerning Horn’s allegations and that his report sustained Horn’s allegations, which essentially was that the CIA undermined Horn’s and DEA’s counter-drug operations in Burma, but Forster knows Grivsky’s report was re-written and the original copies recovered and then were ordered to be destroyed by an Agency supervisor.
Forster knows that the conclusions in Grivsky’s report were changed to protect and better support the CIA and [CIA Station Chief in Burma at the time, Arthur] Brown, who had undermined Horn and the DEA in Burma.
… Forster will testify that his counterpart at the CIA, Grivsky, stated that he and Forster were expected by their respective agencies to bury the allegations made by Horn and that they were expected to prepare a joint report that erroneously concluded that Horn’s claims were unfounded and untrue.
And in another interesting revelation contained in the court filing, Forster reveals that the State Department, like the CIA, controls and operates its own spying equipment.
From the pleading:
Forster knows that the Department of State also has eavesdropping devices similar to those at issue in this case. Forster knows this because it was revealed to him by a high-level Senior Foreign Service Officer who has considerable first-hand knowledge. This ranking executive shared much relevant and very specific information with Forster. Forster also spoke independently with two DS agents who confirmed the existence of the DOS [Department of State] capabilities.
Narco News has previously reported at length on the Horn case in a 2004 story that was based on leaked court pleadings. That story can be found at this link.
Horn’s lawsuit was filed in 1994 against the CIA’s Brown and State Department Chief of Mission in Burma Franklin Huddle Jr. — who were both stationed in Burma in the early 1990s at the same time Horn served as DEA’s country attaché.
In the litigation, both Brown and Huddle are accused of violating Horn’s constitutional rights by conspiring to plant an eavesdropping bug in his government-leased quarters in Burma. Horn also alleges in the lawsuit that the eavesdropping was part of a larger effort by Brown and Huddle to undermine DEA’s anti-narcotics mission in Burma.
From Horn’s lawsuit:
While stationed in Burma [in Southeast Asia], Horn made substantial progress working in concert with the Burmese government to improve its performance to address major drug issues, and Burma is and was the leading opium producing country in the world and is a major source country for the heroin that enters the United States. Even though the country of Burma was making substantial progress in its drug law enforcement efforts, Defendant Charge Huddle was sending reports to the Department of State stating that the government of Burma was not making any progress. Horn strongly encouraged Defendant Huddle to more accurately report on the drug situation in Burma to policy makers in Washington.
Horn alleges further that as a result of his efforts to expose Brown and Huddle’s dishonest agenda, the two launched a campaign to discredit him — which included illegally eavesdropping on his conversations in order to, among other motivations, dig up some dirt. The eavesdropping effort failed to produce any damaging information against Horn, yet in September 1993, Horn alleges, Huddle used his State Department authority to expel the DEA agent from Burma.
Brown, Huddle and the CIA itself have denied any role in setting up surveillance on Horn while he was stationed in Burma, according to court pleadings.
Horn, prior to filing his lawsuit, reported the alleged misconduct on the part of Brown and Huddle to the State Department Inspector General’s Office, resulting in a joint investigation by State’s Forster and CIA’s Grivsky. The report of that investigation was completed in 1996 but not made available to Horn and his attorney, in redacted form, until this year.
In July of this year, Horn’s case, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., finally made it onto the radar of the mainstream media. The federal judge in the case, Royce Lamberth, clearly upset with a pattern of CIA dishonesty, ordered the court pleadings in Horn’s case to be unsealed and made available for public viewing. (The case, until that point, had been cloaked under a “state-secrets privilege” ruling due to alleged “national security” concerns and all of the pleadings filed under seal.)
In another recent development in Horn’s case, the Washington Post reported last week that Horn and the government had ironed out a “tentative settlement” in the litigation — with a final agreement on that front anticipated by the end of October.
The Forster pleading likely has to be among the considerations in the government’s decision to move toward a settlement, given the devastating impact the OIG agent’s revelations have on the case filed against Huddle and Brown — which is being defended by Justice Department attorneys.
Forster also plans to testify once deposed under oath, according to the court pleading, that both he and Grivsky were subjected to retaliation due to their decision to pursue the investigation into Horn’s allegations with “honesty and integrity.’
From the court pleading:
Robert K. Terjesen, Assistant Inspector General for Investigation at the Department of State’s Office of Inspector General, told Forster that Forster’s career would suffer if Forster failed to do what was expected of him with respect to the Horn investigation, and what was expected of Forster was to “dump” the case and cover-up many of the true and substantial facts.
… Forster can testify that his counterpart at the CIA, Mr. Grivsky, was ostracized and otherwise punished by his superiors in the CIA in retribution for his efforts to conduct the investigation of Horn’s allegations with honesty and integrity.
Forster will state that his counterpart at the CIA asked him to go to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and complain to them about how Forster and Grivsky’s investigations were being undermined by their own respective agencies, among other grievances. Forster personally made those complaints as Grivsky requested. Grivsky advised Forster that Grivsky’s career would immediately suffer if he, Grivsky, made the presentation to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee.
… Forster can testify that Robert Terjesen … and another CIA employee, whose identity Forster knows, would regularly meet and discuss how they could manipulate the investigation and ensure that the Agencies’ desired outcome (i.e., no findings in favor of Horn) was achieved.
The court pleading, filed in late August, indicates that Forster, who is suffering from health problems, was slated to be deposed for the Horn case in Jacksonville, Fla., at some future date and time to be scheduled. It is not clear, at this time, whether the deposition has yet taken place.
However, the court pleading, filed by Horn’s attorney, Brian Leighton, provides a general overview of what Forster would say under oath at the deposition — and also alludes to the fact that additional information damaging to the government is likely to surface during his testimony.
From the pleading:
While the gist of Forster’s information is stated above, he knows of much additional information, that if deposed, it would be information to which he would testify, but it is additional information that has not been disclosed herein, because of possible classification [national security] issues.
And stay tuned….
Prior stories on Horn’s case