WASHINGTON, March 8 (UPI) -- A new lawsuit alleges the CIA blocked a former employee from releasing information about the relationship of the CIA with a suspect foreign national.
Franz Boening, who was employed by CIA from 1980 to 2005, claims that "the CIA maintained a special relationship with a foreign individual who committed unlawful human rights violations and criminal acts with the knowledge of the CIA." Boening filed the lawsuit against the CIA this week in a district court in Washington, D.C.
Boening also alleged that he has faced retaliation for attempting to express his concerns about the relationship.
The CIA may have violated U.S. laws during its more than 10-year year relationship with the foreign national, Boening stated in the complaint.
The name of the foreign national was redacted in the complaint.
As required by the non-disclosure agreement governing former CIA employees, Boening presented his proposed disclosures to the CIA Publication Review Board. Although the material Boening cited in his assessment of the agency's relationship with the individual was available in the public domain, the board refused to approve the disclosure and classified much the information that Boening sought to use.
An unidentified official cited in a report by Secrecy News blogger Steve Aftergood said that the CIA's treatment of the Boening matter reflects a trend over the past few years, whereby the CIA Publication Review Board is increasingly controlled by agency Information Review Officers. The source added that the board might regain its autonomy under new CIA Director Michael Hayden.
The CIA counters that Boening is not an "authorized holder" of the information and therefore cannot contest the classification decisions of the Publication Review Board.