Sandy Berger appointed CIA officer fired for leak

McCarthy served as assistant to Clinton,senior director for intelligence programs

A CIA officer fired for leaking classified information was appointed as special assistant to President Clinton and senior director for intelligence programs by former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, who pleaded guilty to stealing highly classified documents.

Mary O'Neil McCarthy was fired Thursday for reportedly leaking classified information that contributed to a Washington Post report about alleged secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe.

She most recently worked for the CIA inspector general's office and served as a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Public records show McCarthy, a veteran CIA officer, had served as a special assistant to Clinton and, later, President Bush � a tenure that stretched from 1998 to 2001. She testified to the commission that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks.

The CIA acknowledged the dismissal of an officer over a media leak is extremely rare. It resulted from a 3-month investigation.

The Washington Post report in November about secret CIA prisons for terrorism suspects prompted an international controversy over U.S. detainee policies and also won a Pulitzer Prize.

The CIA would not say what the leak involved, and declined to identify the officer or describe the officer's duties at the agency, saying that such disclosures would violate the Privacy Act of 1974.

"This CIA officer acknowledged having unauthorized discussions with the media in which the officer knowingly shared classified intelligence, including operational information," CIA spokeswoman Michele Neff said.

Neff said the officer's actions violated a secrecy agreement that CIA employees sign when they begin working for the agency.

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