AP Wire Report on the Adam Ciralsky Case
April 9, 1999, By JOHN DIAMOND, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) A lawyer for the CIA suspended for failing to
contacts with Israelis says the agency is hounding him out of a job
bias about his Jewish faith and his family's support for Israel.
The agency vehemently denied the charge today and said it does not
The lawyer, Adam Ciralsky, 27, has been on unpaid leave since October
to concerns within the CIA's counterintelligence office that he had
polygraph examinations about his support for Israel and past contact
Israelis with possible ties to intelligence.
The antiSemitism charge revolves around blunt language contained in
CIA memos, including one in which a senior official writes, "From my
with rich Jewish friends from college, I would fully expect Adam's
daddy to support Israeli political/social causes." In another, a
interrogator writes of questioning Ciralsky that, "I got into his face
little bit. ... Needless to say, his chair was backed against the wall
time at all!"
A third memo, like the others dating from the fall of 1997, indicates
Ciralsky's fate was decided by CIA Director George Tenet even before
took an additional polygraph test.
"Tenet says this guy is outta here because of a lack of candor," the
notes. Pointing to an upcoming lie detector test, the memo concludes,
that's over, it looks like we'll be waving goodbye to our friend."
Copies of the documents were provided to The Associated Press on Friday
Neal Sher, Ciralsky's attorney. The names of the authors of the memos
Details of the case were reported Friday by National Public Radio. After the NPR broadcast, Tenet issued a statement to CIA employees
the CIA has examined the allegations of antiSemitism and found nothing
"I will not tolerate antiSemitism or any other form of discrimination
agency," Tenet said. "AntiSemitism is repugnant to me and to all that
agency and our country stand for."
The CIA also contacted three former CIA directors, John Deutch, Robert
and William Webster, who signed a joint statement calling the Ciralsky
allegations "completely inconsistent with everything we know about the
Deutch attached a personal addendum: "I am Jewish and during my entire
experience with the CIA since the time I first came into contact with
1975 throughout my tenure as (director) which concluded in 1997 I
encountered any hint of antiSemitism at any point."
Through his lawyer, Ciralsky declined to comment, saying he is
speaking publicly since he is still technically employed by the CIA.
has not yet sued, though Sher said he intends to sue for discrimination
weeks. Sher also wrote to Attorney General Janet Reno, alleging that the
handling of the case had violated Ciralsky's privacy rights.
Sher said the case points to lingering resentment within the CIA over
Jonathan Pollard spy case from 1985 in which a civilian analyst for the
gave Israel thousands of highly classified documents. Pollard is serving
The CIA declined to comment on the details of the case. The memos
concern was Ciralsky's apparent evasiveness in acknowledging contacts
CIA had confirmed through other sources.
"It will be very important for you to get him to admit clearly and
unequivocally that he and his family (daddy, David, Mom, etc.) all are
supporters of Israel," a CIA official wrote in the memo that referred to
Ciralsky's "wealthy daddy." The memo said Ciralsky "must be made to
that this will not be misunderstood by CIA, for we are sophisticated and
broadminded enough to understand the unique ties that bind American Jews
their brethren in Israel."
The CIA established a fivemember panel to examine the Ciralsky case and
at antiSemitism issues more broadly. The members were former CIA
Webster, retired Adm. William Crowe, attorney Nicole Seligman, one of
Clinton's attorneys in the impeachment trial, and attorneys Ely Jacobs
Henry Rosovsky. Tenet said none of the CIA's inquiries found evidence to
support the antiSemitism charge.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the AntiDefamation League, said in
telephone interview he was concerned by the language in some of the CIA
but did not believe the CIA was institutionally antiSemitic.
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