U.S. Jew Charges CIA with AntiSemitism
By Nitzan Horowitz and Agencies, Ha'aretz Correspondent and Reuters - Sunday, April 11, 1999
WASHINGTON An attorney at the Central Intelligence Agency who was
on leave from his job has threatened to file a lawsuit charging the CIA
antiSemitism and seek damages, his lawyer said on Friday.
Adam Ciralsky, 27, who was put on leave Oct. 20, 1997, planned to file
lawsuit in federal court by the end of this month, said his attorney,
Sher. "He was put on leave because they (CIA officials) were determined
improper reasons to get rid of him because of his legitimate, and his
legitimate, ties to Israel," Sher said. "Ties meaning they visited, they
support Israel, they support Jewish causes like the UJA (United Jewish
buying Israel bonds," Sher added.
Ciralsky apparently did not fully disclose his ties with Israel while
undergoing a polygraph test. He claims that the CIA has taken a
stance against proIsraeli Jews in the agency since the U.S. navy analyst
Jonathan Pollard was convicted of using his position to spy for Israel.
The CIA said it could not comment on the personnel matter unless
waived the Privacy Act but said it had appointed a five member team to
investigate the case of Ciralsky in particularly and more generally to
investigate the broader issue of antiSemitism.
CIA Director George Tenet sent a message to employees Friday after news
Ciralsky case aired on National Public Radio. Tenet called antiSemitism
"repugnant" and said he would not tolerate it or any discrimination at
"I can tell you that we have taken a number of internal steps to
the allegations. Let me assure you that we have found nothing whatsoever
substantiate the charges of antiSemitism in this case," Tenet said.
Ciralsky was hired in the CIA's office of general counsel in December
then was to rotate to the National Security Council in December 1997 for
year. But he was placed on indefinite administrative leave in October
what the CIA said were counterintelligence concerns, according to Sher.
A draft of the lawsuit, to be filed later this month in federal court
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
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
record, said Sher, a former director of the Justice Department's office
special investigations which is the Nazi hunting unit.
The antiSemitism charges center on a CIA document about questioning
Sher said the document shows antiSemitic sentiment. He quoted one agent
writing in the document: "From my experience with rich Jewish friends
college I would fully expect Adam's wealthy Daddy to support Israeli
political/social causes ... I think that it is important that he state
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
family as extreme supporters of Israel's hardliners in the Likud party,
wishes to avoid being seen as such a lover of Israel," the document
The CIA document also said Ciralsky must be made to admit clearly he
family were "deep supporters" of Israel and that that would not be
misunderstood. "We are sophisticated and broadminded enough to
unique ties that bind American Jews to their brethren in Israel," the
The document ends by saying Ciralsky "has to look in the mirror
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
but who actively represent its security and economic interests."
In another internal document, an official who conducted the polygraph
apparently testified: "I got into his face just a little bit ...
say, his chair was backed against the wall in no time at all."
Sher wrote Attorney General Janet Reno on March 22 asking for an
of CIA officials for allegedly sharing information from Ciralsky's
counterintelligence files with other CIA employees not involved with the
The CIA appealed to three former directors John Deutch, Robert Gates
William Webster who issued a joint statement saying that Ciralsky's
allegations went counter to their experience at the CIA.
In addition, Deutch added a personal statement that said: "I am Jewish
during my entire experience with the CIA ... I never encountered any
antiSemitism at any point."
Return to Ciralsky page