Ex-CIA Chief Had Top
Secret Data On Unsecured
Home Computer ONLINE

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Shortly before his December 1996 retirement, then-CIA Director John Deutch negotiated a no-fee consultant contract that enabled him to keep three agency computers on which he had stored highly classified information, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
The newspaper, citing officials familiar with a report by the CIA's inspector general, said the contract was signed eight days after Deutch asked the CIA's administrative chief to find a way that he could keep a laptop and two desktop computers.
The computers were unsecured and attached to the Internet. But during his 20 months as the nation's top intelligence official, Deutch had composed on them highly classified documents, including memos to President Clinton and reports on trips to CIA stations abroad that mentioned secret operations, according to the Post report.
Deutch, who served as deputy defense secretary between March 1994 and May 1995 and CIA director from May 1995 to December 1996, was stripped of his CIA and high-level defense intelligence clearances last August for mishandling classified information.
After parts of a classified CIA inspector general report into the investigation of Deutch's handling of secret material at home became public this month, Deutch voluntarily asked the Pentagon to remove remaining security clearances that allowed him to advise companies on classified defense projects.
Deutch's home computer with the secret material was used to connect to the Internet, including to pornography sites, by someone in his household, raising security concerns that outside hackers could have accessed the computer files.
Deutch has agreed to appear before a closed Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Feb. 22 to discuss the issue.
The Post said Richard Calder, then CIA deputy director for administration, told Deutch on Dec. 5, 1996, that the only legal way for him to keep government computers after retirement would be under a contract.
Deutch began contract negotiations with attorneys in the agency's general counsel's office, but never told them -- or apparently anyone else at the CIA -- that the computers held top-secret information, the Post said.
Some lawyers in the general counsel's office opposed the contract and initially suggested Deutch buy a computer and return those supplied by the CIA, the Post said, quoting the internal CIA report.
But Deutch insisted and, with support from then-CIA General Counsel Michael O'Neill, changed the contract proposed by the attorneys. Instead of being allowed one computer for six months, he was permitted to keep the three computers for one year, the report said.
The contract restricted their use to unclassified government business, the Post quoted a senior intelligence official as saying.
The contract took effect on Dec. 16, the day after Deutch's resignation. A day later, a CIA technician reported that he found classified information on a computer he was working on at Deutch's Bethesda, Maryland home, the Post said.


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