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ACLU sues CIA for suspected files on University of Michigan professor

University of Michigan professor Juan Cole
New America Foundation
University of Michigan professor Juan Cole

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency on behalf of a University of Michigan Professor. Juan Cole is a critic of the Bush administration and Iraq War. A former CIA official claims the Bush administration asked him to dig up some dirt on Cole in 2005 and 2006 to discredit his analysis of the government. Cole and the ACLU made a Freedom of Information Act request last month for any documents relating to Cole. So far there has been no response.

Zachary Katznelson is an ACLU lawyer. He says it’s illegal for the CIA to investigate Americans for exercising their First Amendment rights.

We really want to get to the bottom of this. Was the CIA or any other government agency spying or gathering information on Juan Cole just because he was speaking out on policies he disagreed with?

Katznelson says if it’s true that the CIA was trying to find dirt on an American citizen, he hopes this is an isolated case.

- Amelia Carpenter - Michigan Radio Newsroom