WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. intelligence officials bend rules on access to classified data to punish employees who counter prevailing viewpoints, The Washington Times said.
The Pentagon and National Security Agency had no comment on claims by three intelligence officials who say they were unfairly forced out.
Veteran Pentagon security official F. Michael Maloof said his security clearances were revoked by the Defense Intelligence Agency for failing to report contacts with a foreign national he met while working in the former Soviet Union.
He later married the woman, who is now a U.S. government translator, but denied charges he had an intimate relationship with her while working in Soviet Georgia. Maloff said they did not start dating until years later.
The action was taken after Maloof submitted a special-intelligence analysis showing previously undisclosed links between Sunni and Shia extremists, including al Qaida ties to Saddam Hussein's regime.
Maloff said CIA and DIA officials disagreed with his analysis, and one DIA analyst told him, "We don't like people like you looking over our shoulders."
Two NSA officials say they lost their security clearances after officials faulted their intelligence findings.