CIA Contractor's Online Book Brings Suit
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CN) - Former CIA contractor Jonathan Scherck published a book "containing intelligence-related information" without the CIA's permission and in violation of his secrecy agreements, the United States claims in Federal Court.
Scherck's self-published book, "Patriot Lost," claims China gave nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia during George W. Bush's presidency, according to an excerpt from the book available on the Amazon.com Internet page this morning. The book contains other harsh criticisms of the G.W. Bush presidency.
Federal prosecutors say in their complaint that Scherck signed secrecy agreements with the CIA in 2004 and 2007, and agreed to let the agency review any materials he planned to publish, including works of fiction, which mention intelligence activities.
In an email to the Courthouse News Service, Scherck said in fact he's done that twice, the first time being his submission of a fictional screenplay entitled "Tilting At Windmills" to the agency in 2008, which he says was "reviewed and approved by the CIA's PRB."
Scherck submitted his non-fiction memoir, "Patriot Lost," to the CIA for review in 2010, and the CIA did not approve its publication, but Scherck published it online a few months later, according to the complaint.
"In his contractor position with the CIA, defendant Scherck was granted regular access to classified information, including information regarding intelligence sources and methods," the complaint states. "In granting defendant Scherck access to such information, the CIA relied on the expectation that defendant Scherck would respect the rights and obligations created by the secrecy agreements and his fiduciary duties, including the prepublication review requirement."
In the excerpt from his book, Scherck writes: "As I will lay out in much greater detail, I believe the People's Republic of China delivered a turn-key nuclear ballistic missile system to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the course of several years beginning no later than December 2003. This illicit transfer, a flagrant violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, occurred while Dick Cheney was managing both the intelligence and foreign policy portfolios of the George W. Bush administration."
Scherck says in the book that he worked as a collection management officer in the CIA from mid-January 2005 to April 3, 2007.
"I was one of only a few individuals in Washington with access to what was being said overseas at the time about Saudi Arabia's procurement of a new ballistic missile system from China," according to the book. "I read things, I heard things, I saw things. Admittedly, I did not see all - but I saw enough."
Uncle Sam claims Scherck violated his fiduciary duty to the agency. It wants all the money he's made from the book, and an injunction preventing further distribution.