- The Washington Times - Friday, February 4, 2000

A security investigation of former CIA Director John Deutch revealed his home computer containing secrets was used to access pornographic Internet sites, raising concerns that U.S. intelligence data may have been compromised.

Also, the Macintosh computer used by Mr. Deutch at his suburban Maryland home to create highly classified documents received an electronic mail message from a Russian scientist, according to Clinton administration and congressional officials familiar with a report on the security probe.

The findings are contained in a still-classified report by the CIA's inspector general into Mr. Deutch's mishandling of classified information after he resigned as the government's top spy in December 1996.

New disclosures about the security probe have raised questions of whether top agency officials covered up the matter to protect Mr. Deutch from administrative sanctions or possible prosecution, and to prevent Congress from learning about it.

A spokesman for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said the panel is considering a major investigation of the matter. CIA Inspector General L. Britt Snider will testify Tuesday and Mr. Deutch may appear before the committee on Wednesday to answer questions, the spokesman said.

CIA Director George Tenet told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday he would not talk in public about the contents of the inspector general report, although he acknowledged some details had "leaked."

Asked to comment on the latest disclosures, Mr. Tenet said: "I can't and I won't. Much of the report was classified, and I think in fairness to everybody involved, let's just let the facts and the inspector general and the two committees work their way on this issue."

On Wednesday, Mr. Tenet told the Senate intelligence panel that some of the CIA's most sensitive information was at risk on the computer although there is no evidence it was compromised.

"There was enormously sensitive material on this computer," Mr. Tenet said, without elaborating.

Mr. Tenet also stated in the hearing that he failed to notify the House and Senate intelligence oversight committees about the security problem involving Mr. Deutch.

"That should have been done promptly, certainly by the spring of 1997, when internal reviews had been completed …," he said, but gave no reason for the delay.

As a result of the security investigations, Mr. Deutch's access to classified information was suspended in August. The Justice Department declined to prosecute Mr. Deutch for possibly mishandling classified material.

Attorney General Janet Reno Thursday defended the department's decision not to prosecute Mr. Deutch after an investigation by the criminal division, saying decisions in the probe had been based on "the evidence and the law."

Miss Reno added, however, she was "looking forward" to reviewing the CIA report "in detail."

Mr. Tenet said on Wednesday the CIA could not "exclude the possibility" that someone gained access to Mr. Deutch's computer at home improperly and obtained the intelligence data.

Officials said Mr. Deutch's home computer was used to access "high-risk" Internet sites containing pornographic material, and that he had received an e-mail from a Russian scientist.

The New York Times reported on Monday that the CIA officials impeded the investigation of Mr. Deutch. The CIA director denied there was any effort to block the probe.

According to the officials, Mr. Deutch was confronted by CIA security officials who had searched his computer and discovered it has been used to access World Wide Web sites. One official said Mr. Deutch told investigators that someone else in his family used the computer on the high-risk sites while he was not at home.

That response would indicate that people without proper security clearances had access to the classified information on the home computer.

According to the officials, Mr. Deutch also deleted files containing the improperly stored secrets from the computer after he was alerted to the security investigation.

Mr. Deutch could not be reached for comment at his office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is a chemistry professor.

Mr. Deutch, 61, was CIA director from 1995 to 1996 and left the post after he was passed over for the job of defense secretary and energy secretary. He is married to Pat Lyons and has three sons, according to a biography in the current edition of "Who's Who."

The security infractions occurred at Mr. Deutch's residences in suburban Maryland and a vacation home in Massachusetts, as well as on a laptop computer used in the White House office complex.

One intelligence official said classified data recovered from Mr. Deutch's computers included 42 documents that were classified completely and 32 documents containing classified paragraphs.

"The committee is very concerned about looking at what happens when political appointees enter the intelligence community," the Intelligence Committee spokesman said.

Sen. John W. Warner, Virginia Republican and chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said the reports about Mr. Deutch were "disturbing, indeed tragic."

Miss Reno was asked during a weekly press briefing whether there was a double standard involving the investigation of Mr. Deutch and that of fired Los Alamos nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee, a suspected Chinese spy who was charged with improperly downloading secret nuclear codes.

Miss Reno declined to comment specifically on the Lee case but said, "Each case speaks for itself, based on the evidence and the law, and a judgment has to be made, based on the evidence in that particular case."

Mr. Tenet said the case of Mr. Lee is not the same as the security case of Mr. Deutch. "In one instance, there is an intent to do harm to the United States. That's a legal judgment that's been made. In the other instance, a similar legal judgment was not made," he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I don't think the cases are similar."

Although Mr. Deutch's actions in creating classified material on an unsecure computer is "serious," the former CIA chief did not transfer classified material from one computer to an unsecured one.

Miss Reno said only that individual government agencies should adopt procedures that deal with the "whole issue of cyber-tools and how we use them."

"I think one of the things that is important and I think [FBI Director Louis J.] Freeh and others have been focused on this effort is how do we identify risk, and how can we come together to take proactive steps to limit those risks?" she said. "And that would certainly be an effort that should be undertaken."

Jerry Seper contributed to this report.

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