Congressman: CIA suspends Benghazi survivor over refusal to sign NDA

posted at 12:41 pm on September 17, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

CIA Director John Brennan assured Congress last week that the agency was not forcing survivors of the Benghazi attack a year ago to sign non-disclosure agreements or take polygraphs.  In a handwritten addendum to a letter sent to the House Intelligence Committee, Brennan assured chair Mike Rogers that “I will not tolerate any effort to prevent our intelligence oversight committee from doing their jobs,” and in the body of the letter stated that “I am unaware of any officer who has been threatened with reprisals.” Rogers announced his plan to proceed with subpoenas for the survivors in order to finally get their testimony — more than a year later.

But did Brennan tell the truth? Rep. Frank Wolf says one survivor claims to have been suspended from the CIA for refusing to sign the NDA (via The Right Scoop):

A CIA employee who refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement barring him from discussing the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, has been suspended as a result and forced to hire legal counsel, according to a top House lawmaker.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) revealed at an event on Monday that his office was anonymously informed about the CIA employee, who is purportedly facing an internal backlash after refusing to sign a legal document barring him from publicly or privately discussing events surrounding the Benghazi attack.

The revelation comes about a month after several media outlets reported that CIA employees with knowledge of the terror attack had been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA) and submit to regular polygraph tests.

“The reports on the NDA are accurate. We’re getting people who call,” Wolf said Monday during an event marking the launch of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, a panel of former military and intelligence officials who are investigating unanswered questions surrounding the Benghazi incident. …

“I called the law firm and spoke with CIA employee’s attorney who confirmed that her client is having an issue with the agency and the firm is trying to address it,” Wolf said. “Based on my past experiences with the CIA, which is headquartered in my congressional district, I am not at all confident that these efforts will be successful.”

The NDA issue is a curious one, in part because it involves CIA agents who already are bound by clearance requirements to keep classified data to themselves.  The clearance doesn’t prevent cleared personnel from briefing Congress in matters of whistleblowing and oversight, but then again, neither would NDAs — once a subpoena is issued, anyway.  An NDA can’t prevent Congress from conducting its constitutional duty for oversight any more than it can keep a witness to a crime from testifying in court.

Assuming that the CIA is doing this — and we’ve heard from multiple sources that they have — why bother?  Apparently they are intent on using every technique to bluster witnesses into silence, no matter how weak those techniques might be.  If that’s the case, what benefit does the CIA have in keeping silent on Benghazi?  The agency has leaked quite a bit of information on the subject already in its immediate aftermath after State tried shifting the blame onto Langley in the aftermath of the attack (after the YouTube video excuse collapsed, anyway).  Most of the focus for the failure has been on State and the White House, with some left over for the Pentagon over the lack of military response to rescue the remnants during the second attack wave.  If that was the whole story, one might expect the CIA to make sure Congress knew it.  What may have changed their minds?


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Putin laughs his thuggish head off.

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2013 at 12:41 PM

“You are not exceptional, as I said” — Putin

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Best photoshop of the times.

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2013 at 12:42 PM

The CIA used to be a grand agency, with oft shady activities…because that’s what they did.

Now they are the CYA, all lawyered up, but a shadow of what they once were…for shame.

Brennan might have converted to Islam a while ago.

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Nothing to hide?

Most open and transparent Administration ever?

A senior Administration official lied to Congress?

Which is worse – the actions of the Administration or the fecklessness of the GOP led House to effectively conduct their oversight role, including holding those of the Administration obstructing investigations, legally accountable for their actions?

Athos on September 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM

CIA Director John Brennan assured Congress last week that the agency was not forcing survivors of the Benghazi attack a year ago to sign non-disclosure agreements or take polygraphs.

“Including changing names, creating aliases. Stop and think what things are most calculated to get at the truth? Talk to people with first-hand knowledge. What creates the appearance and perhaps the reality of a cover-up? Not letting us talk with people who have the most amount of information, dispersing them around the country and changing their names.” -Trey Gowdy

Akzed on September 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM

God bless Frank Wolf. He isn’t letting this one drop. I wish he were still my Congressman.

Happy Nomad on September 17, 2013 at 12:47 PM

An NDA can’t prevent Congress from conducting its constitutional duty for oversight any more than it can keep a witness to a crime from testifying in court.

that is absolutely right. The WH would wish that it wasn’t, however, Congress has a right and a responsibility to do this oversight duty.

ted c on September 17, 2013 at 12:52 PM

where is John Clark when you need him?

ted c on September 17, 2013 at 12:54 PM

where is John Clark when you need him?

ted c on September 17, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Or Mitch Rapp?

Athos on September 17, 2013 at 12:57 PM

This is all about protecting Obama, not America.

birdwatcher on September 17, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Assuming that the CIA is doing this — and we’ve heard from multiple sources that they have — why bother? Apparently they are intent on using every technique to bluster witnesses into silence, no matter how weak those techniques might be.

It’s their way of informing employees that if they dare to tell the truth about what happened in Benghazi (to Congress or anyone else), there will be retaliation.

A CIA employee who refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement barring him from discussing the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, has been suspended as a result and forced to hire legal counsel, according to a top House lawmaker.

Think the other CIA employees haven’t gotten the message from this? Sure, the NDA’s may not be legally enforceable, but that’s not really the point, is it?

AZCoyote on September 17, 2013 at 12:59 PM

What may have changed their minds?

No stone must be left unturned in order to cover up the incompetence of the clown in the White House and Ms Jester at State.

Screw the fact 4 people are dead. Political lives must be saved!

GarandFan on September 17, 2013 at 1:00 PM

No worries…….Brennan would have to actually have AN OPPOSITION PARTY in Congress to be concerned about the failure to get an NDA.

gop……….just another face of the Progressives.

PappyD61 on September 17, 2013 at 1:04 PM

It certainly is frustrating that Executive branch leaders lie so freely to Congressional oversight committees.

How are the people supposed to govern the Republic if employees get away with this so widely and wantonly?

But for the fact that the Attorney General himself is one of the prime offenders Congress could refer these sorts of instances to the Justice Department for investigation and prosecution (if appropriate), but that is obviously not the case now.

The President and his cabinet are actively undermining the trust of hte people in government. Even lefties must realize this won’t end well.

MTF on September 17, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Or Mitch Rapp?

Athos on September 17, 2013 at 12:57 PM

yep, him too.

ted c on September 17, 2013 at 1:07 PM

You know what?

I wouldn’t give a Yankee’s Dam.n if I were told this by the CIA. I’d tell them to shove their demands up the tube where the sun doesn’t shine. I’ve quit more than one job when I thought my ethics were being violated, such as Medicare fraud and even turned that entity into Medicare.

These guys can find a job elsewhere. If not, I’m thinking they weren’t very good in the first place.

avagreen on September 17, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Hopefully the suspended agent will start outing his bosses and com-padres who had to sign.

Get it out in the open. Stat!

patman77 on September 17, 2013 at 1:10 PM

What did they know and when did they know it. Obviously something big brewing behind the curtain, let’s just hope one of these people comes forward; wouldn’t being fired now free the person to speak openly?

Bishop on September 17, 2013 at 1:10 PM

OT – come to America world…the ruin will be sped up.

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2013 at 1:10 PM

If Brennan is lying, he’s likely violated 18 UCS SS 1001 Statements and Entries Generally:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully —

(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a party to a judicial proceeding, or that party’s counsel, for statements, representations, writings or documents submitted by such party or counsel to a judge or magistrate in that proceeding.

(c) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to—

(1) administrative matters, including a claim for payment, a matter related to the procurement of property or services, personnel or employment practices, or support services, or a document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to the Congress or any office or officer within the legislative branch; or

(2) any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.

In addition, anyone involved in the effort to scheme, conceal or coverup material facts using NDA’s and polygraphs are also likely guilty of the same.

Dusty on September 17, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Eventually the birds will sing. They always do.

Akzed on September 17, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Best photoshop of the times.

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Yep, the REB’s own Brokeback Mountain.

slickwillie2001 on September 17, 2013 at 1:21 PM

John Brennan lying, who would have guessed. I never did understand this dope, he really is a dope but probably fits in quite well, especially lying like that.

rjoco1 on September 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM

But did Brennan tell the truth?

He has lied under oath to Congress on at least one previous occasion. Why wouldn’t he now? Why should we trust him now?

Falsus in Uno, Falsus in Omnibus: ‘False in one thing, false in everything.’

In the law, a judge almost always gives the Falsus in Uno charge to the jury:

‘If the jury believes that a witness’s testimony on a material issue is intentionally deceitful, the jury may disregard all of that witness’s testimony.’

Resist We Much on September 17, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I wish the majority ‘Stupid Party’ (supposedly running the House of Representatives) would locate that subpoena machine that the Gimmedats used so freely back in the early 70′s. Power it up and get it running and get going. Otherwise (and we may have reached the cusp already) the Most Transparent Administration will just overwhelm us with scandal after scandal and diversion after diversion.

Missilengr on September 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM

God bless Frank Wolf. He isn’t letting this one drop. I wish he were still my Congressman.

Happy Nomad on September 17, 2013 at 12:47 PM

He’s mine. And you’re right – God bless him. He is a good congressman.

Of corse, it is not like you have to do much in order to become a paragon of virtue in that organization.

SubmarineDoc on September 17, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Brennan, a converted moooooooslem.

‘Nuff said

Sir Napsalot on September 17, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Sounds like what the Benghazi survivors experienced, and what the CIA has released and/or leaked about that experience, are at odds.
Why would that be?
We need a Special Prosecutor, with a whole stack of subpoenas, and a Grand Jury – and Brennan needs to go!

Another Drew on September 17, 2013 at 1:53 PM

“…would locate that subpoena machine that the Gimmedats used…”

It’s probably being kept in Henry Waxman’s garage.

Another Drew on September 17, 2013 at 1:55 PM

HOW DARE these selfish, un-patriotic, non-Progressive supporting, nun-Obama/Hillary-arse-protecting ‘spooks’ refuse to sign an agreement proising they will not remain silent in order to protect the Obama administration from even more scandalous and embarrassing revelations about Benghazi!

These people are definitely NOT ‘team players’! Don’t they know that their government has by virtue of totalitarian edict decreed that the American people have NO RIGHT TO KNOW:

o Anything about Obama’s history (prior to an election)…

o Anything about any legislation that is being forced down the throats of the majority of Americans who oppose it – nothing about what is in a bill that will drastically change their lives until if finally becomes law…

o Anything about any cover-up of any on-going, illegal, Un-Constitutional acts perpetrated by the Obama administration, Attorney General, IRS, NSA, or other government agency…

?!?!?!

In the Immortal words of Hillary Clinton, “What does it matter?”

Sometimes sacrifices, especially by or of American citizens, for the greater personal and/or political party good in this nation. If they don’t understand that, they have no business being in the CIA!

easyt65 on September 17, 2013 at 1:57 PM

gop……….just another face of the Progressives.

PappyD61 on September 17, 2013 at 1:04 PM

A truth that many on the right aren’t able to handle and it ain’t about ineptness one bit.

Don L on September 17, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Times like this where Oboobi really wishes he had the same powers as Putin or China where defiant serfs could be dispensed with permanently. Dawn constitution, always getting in the way of progress.

AH_C on September 17, 2013 at 2:01 PM

I wish the majority ‘Stupid Party’ (supposedly running the House of Representatives) would locate that subpoena machine</blockquote>
Be patient. They are waiting for Obama to have it retrofitted with the new green windmill disgronifier (thanks Rush) so those nasty subpoenas don’t do us all in with climate destruction. The GOP cares about the environment and all that stuff.

Don L on September 17, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Now we know why Patreaus had to be destroyed. The “most transparent Administration EVAH” had to have a CIA head that has no trouble lying to congress.

dirtseller on September 17, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Brennan is as dirty as they come.

aquaviva on September 17, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Let’s not jump to conclusions here – I’m sure this suspension had nothing to do with that whole Benghazi bump in the road. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

ghostwalker1 on September 17, 2013 at 2:20 PM

What would have changed their minds?
What could have made Bikl Daley drop out oth the IL Governors race?
This is Chicago man!

SayNo2-O on September 17, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Let’s not jump to conclusions here – I’m sure this suspension had nothing to do with that whole Benghazi bump in the road. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

ghostwalker1 on September 17, 2013 at 2:20 PM

.
Say no more, squire.

listens2glenn on September 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Liars. All of them. Treacherous liars or lickspittle liars. It doesn’t matter — liars, all of them.

Where is the avenging Republican? I’m tired of cordiality from this party. I want rage and action.

rrpjr on September 17, 2013 at 2:59 PM

So, is the suspended CIA employee being suspended with pay like the IRS’s director Lerner? For some reason, and I don’t where this is coming from, but I highly doubt it. I really am beginning to seriously wonder if this country is going to survive the next three years between Obama and the Squishy GOP.

JimmyGee on September 17, 2013 at 3:34 PM

I’m tired of cordiality from this party. I want rage and action.

rrpjr on September 17, 2013 at 2:59 PM

It would be so very nice, in this time of budgets and needing funding for the fiscal year starting Oct 1 – that the GOP majority in House could pass bills defunding the positions of those who are impeding the House’s oversight rights – escalating to defunding entire departments and agencies. They do have the power of the purse-strings.

Unfortunately that would only create yet another stand-off and require some will and fortitude on the part of the GOP House Leadership.

Athos on September 17, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Is brennan a gay pal of bo? He apparently did some clean up for barry soetero.

tim c on September 17, 2013 at 4:42 PM