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Did the Bush Administration Illegally Spy on Anti-War Blogger Juan Cole?

Did the Bush administration illegally spy on Middle Eastern studies professor and blogger Juan Cole in an attempt to discredit him?

Glenn L. Carle, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was a top counterterrorism official during the administration of President George W. Bush, said the White House at least twice asked intelligence officials to gather sensitive information on Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor who writes an influential blog that criticized the war.

In an interview, Mr. Carle said his supervisor at the National Intelligence Council told him in 2005 that White House officials wanted “to get” Professor Cole, and made clear that he wanted Mr. Carle to collect information about him, an effort Mr. Carle rebuffed. Months later, Mr. Carle said, he confronted a C.I.A. official after learning of another attempt to collect information about Professor Cole. Mr. Carle said he contended at the time that such actions would have been unlawful. [NYT]

This is the first time Carle has spoken about the incident. He discussed it only after the New York Times heard about the incident somewhere else and sought confirmation from him.

Here’s Cole’s reaction to the story.

[Photo credit: twicepics, Creative Commons.]


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