State Secrets Case Said to Conceal Environmental Damage

The Central Intelligence Agency invoked the state secrets privilege in 2004 to cover up a case of environmental contamination at a CIA facility that caused illnesses to an Agency employee and his family, according to the employee, Kevin Shipp.

The episode was revealed in the Washington Post and the New York Times on February 11 after Mr. Shipp decided to go public with his account of the sealed case.

The story was elaborated yesterday in the Washington Post with the disclosure that the CIA also failed to respond to inquiries from Mr. Shipp’s congressman, Rep. Frank Wolf, and that the congressional intelligence committees refused to respond to Mr. Shipp at all.  See “Intelligence panels ignored CIA officer’s pleas” by Jeff Stein, February 14.

By invoking the state secrets privilege, the government denied Mr. Shipp the basic right to argue his case and to seek a remedy.  Although the Obama Administration’s September 2009 policy on state secrets held out the promise that “credible allegations of government wrongdoing” in state secrets cases facing dismissal would be referred to agency Inspectors General, there is no record of any such referral by the Obama Administration or its predecessor.

Having been refused access to judicial review of his claims and with no response from congressional overseers, Mr. Shipp evidently chose to violate the court order sealing his case and the classification controls restricting its disclosure.  He did not “leak” the information anonymously.  Instead, he publicly revealed at least the outlines of his case.  He may now pay an additional price for these violations.  But he may also have reckoned that the state secrets privilege has no force in the court of public opinion.

No Responses to “State Secrets Case Said to Conceal Environmental Damage”

  1. JASON February 15, 2011 at 2:08 PM #

    The CIA was behind what was being shown as an ARMY DEPOT. Hmmmm. The CIA put a high ranking offical on this base to find breaches in security of the location….WHICH HE DID….his whole families get deathly ill, the government evacuates the family on numerous occasions and starts to cover up what they did to the extend of following the family, threatening the family. Than the kids have to help box up everything they own and all their possessions they ever had to be DESTROYED. This after months of a family of 5 living in a hotel room. They are than evacuated back to DC where vehicles tried to run them off the road, broke into their cars, sat in their driveway. Than they sit with the CIA and negotiate for two days where the CIA offers them letters of apologies, cover roll back and a settlement. The family finally thinks it’s over….it’s not…
    A reporter got wind and called the CIA. They freaked out and than call the family at the last hour of the agreement to back out and told the family that they tak 100,000 or they will be shut down under NATIONAL SECURITY….the family did not bow to the threat and refused. Judge Orlando Garcia caved to the Government and denied the 18 year old son and wife of the husband, who signed no agreements…the right to a jury or a trial…..their constitutional right….This only scratches the surface. NOW THE STORY COMES OUT….AND IT WAS SERIOUS TOXIC CHEMICALS

  2. JASON November 7, 2011 at 10:26 AM #


    Former CIA agent claims the military poisoned his family at Camp Stanley — and used national security to cover it up