WASHINGTON (Reuters) – CIA director Porter Goss has launched an internal investigation into leaks of secret information about covert operations to the media, ABC News reported on Tuesday.
In a rare agencywide e-mail last month, Goss blamed "a very small number of people" for leaks about secret CIA operations that he said "do damage to the credibility of the agency," ABC reported.
Goss warned that any CIA officer suspected by internal affairs of leaking classified information could be subjected to an unscheduled lie detector test, ABC said, citing people familiar with his e-mail.
ABC reported that the e-mail informed staff the CIA has asked the Justice Department to prosecute any leakers within the agency.The CIA had no comment on the report. The agency has asked the Justice Department to review a possible leak of classified information to The Washington Post for an article on a secret CIA global prison system.
Top Republicans in Congress have called for a joint investigation by the House of Representatives and Senate intelligence committees to determine whether information given the newspaper was classified, who leaked it and the extent, if any, of national security damage resulting from it. One former intelligence officer called the latest warning a "witch hunt" but others said Goss’s e-mail was narrowly focused and did not suggest agencywide, random lie detector tests, ABC reported.
Goss confirmed the outline of the internal leak probe in an appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee on February 2, ABC said.