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  CIA agent fired over secret prisons leak denies culpability

AFP | April 25, 2006

WASHINGTON - A lawyer for the CIA agent fired last week over charges that she leaked information about secret CIA-run prisons in Eastern Europe for suspected terrorists has denied she is the source of the information, US news media reported Tuesday.

On Friday, the Central Intelligence Agency announced that it had fired an unidentified officer whom agency spokesman Tom Crispell said acknowledged leaking classified information to members of the media.

The firing arose from an internal investigation into media leaks that centered on officers who were "involved in or exposed to certain intelligence programs," Crispell said.

"During the course of these investigations, the CIA officer acknowledged having unauthorized discussions with members of the media in which the officer knowingly and willfully shared classified intelligence, including operational information," he said.

But the Washington Post and the New York Times reported Tuesday that a lawyer representing the fired agent, identified as Mary McCarthy, said his client leaked no classified information and did not disclose to the Washington Post the existence of secret CIA-run prisons.

Post reporter Dana Priest won a prestigious Pulitzer Prize on April 17 for a series of articles she wrote on the CIA that included an account of the secret prisons.

Attorney Ty Cobb told the newspapers that McCarthy met with reporters and failed to report the meetings to superiors but never admitted to leaking any information.

According to US media, McCarthy, 61, an attorney and career analyst working for the inspector general's office, was about to retire from the CIA. She has not spoken in public.




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