For immediate release
April 9, 1999
CIA Accused Of Systematic Antisemitism, Reports NPR
Polygraph Test May Have Been Rigged
in Effort to Oust Jewish Employee
WASHINGTON, DC — NPR® has obtained documents written by top CIA officials that suggest that Jewish employees of the CIA are presumed to have a dual loyalty to Israel. According to a report today on NPR's Morning Edition®, the documents also suggest that a polygraph test may have been rigged in order to oust a CIA lawyer because of his religious background.
NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg reports that when Adam Ciralsky, a rising young attorney at the CIA was slated to move to the National Security Council in August of 1997, he found his loyalty and candor questioned. Ciralsky has been suspended without pay ever since and his once promising career in national security is in ruins.
The NPR report discloses that the CIA's own documents demonstrate CIA officials had been suspicious of Ciralsky since his arrival at the agency. The suspicions centered on his religious background, questioning whether his family had donated to Israeli causes through organizations like the United Jewish Appeal. Also, an internal CIA summary of Ciralsky's background lists his Jewish connections, such as his proficiency in Hebrew, trips to Israel, and Judaic studies minor in college. It neglects to list his proficiency in Spanish, trips to China, and international studies major.
Ciralsky was interrogated by CIA investigators on numerous occasions and accused of a lack of candor for not disclosing that his chaperone on a high school trip to Israel at age 15, with whom he had not spoken in years, was an Israeli citizen. He was ordered to take polygraph examinations, which CIA officials say he failed. His lawyers believe that internal CIA memos show the test was rigged. In one, an unidentified CIA official writes, "Tenet (meaning the CIA director) says this guy is out of here because of his lack of candor…subject is scheduled for a poly…Once that's over, it looks like we'll be waving goodbye to our friend." Ciralsky subsequently passed a polygraph test administered by the former chief of the FBI polygraph lab.
The CIA's security apparatus has produced a number of cases similar to Ciralsky's. In one, a counter intelligence agent was suspended after a vacation trip to Israel. In another, a State Department employee's promotion to the National Security Council was blocked because of failed polygraph questions about contacts with Israelis.
Tapes and transcripts of the report are available upon request.