Employees sue CIA for 'abuse of power'

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The Independent US

A group of CIA officers has brought a class-action suit against the agency, alleging abuse of power against employees – including the cover-up of mistakes leading to the accidental US bombing of China's embassy in Belgrade in 1999, for which several lower-ranking employees were wrongly blamed.

The case, filed by 15 past and present mid-to-upper level CIA employees, claims that the spy agency has used illegal tactics to prevent them pursuing legitimate grievances against the CIA, including altering and destroying documents, and eavesdropping on privileged discussions with their lawyers.

Roy Krieger, a lawyer for the 15, said: "What the agency is trying to hide is not its intelligence sources but its own dirty laundry about internal disputes, kangaroo disciplinary procedures, discrimination and who is to blame for blunders."

Among those blunders was the mistaken bombing of the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia during the Kosovo war. One plaintiff alleges that he and other mid- and low-ranking officers were falsely blamed to cover up a mistake made by a senior officer. The former were disciplined, while the senior officer received only a verbal reprimand, followed by a secret, backdated promotion. He now works at the White House, the lawsuit alleges.