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CIA fires agent over leak to media

Information used in Pulitzer-winning story on secret prisons

From Pam Benson
CNN

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A source says a CIA official leaked information for a story that earned Dana Priest a Pulitzer Prize.

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Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Justice Department

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The CIA has fired one of its officers for leaking classified information, an agency spokeswoman said Friday.

The officer admitted to "unauthorized discussions with the media in which the officer knowingly and willfully shared classified intelligence including operational information," said spokeswoman Michelle Neff.

Neff declined to divulge the officer's name or position, or what specifically was leaked. (Watch how a failed polygraph test outed a journalist's source -- 1:50)

A U.S. official said the person's name has been turned over to the Justice Department, where a determination will be made on whether to file criminal charges.

A senior government official said the dismissal was related to a story in The Washington Post about the United States holding terror suspects in secret prisons overseas.

Post reporter Dana Priest spearheaded the reporting on the "black site" prisons and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize last week for beat reporting. The Pulitzer board called her reporting on the prisons "persistent" and "painstaking."

A Justice Department investigation is ongoing regarding the story. It is one of several investigations into leaks of classified information, including revelations about the National Security Agency's domestic spying program.

Justice Department officials had no comment.

As for the CIA's investigation, "This is just the beginning," said Neff.

All CIA personnel are required to sign agreements prohibiting them from discussing classified information with anyone who doesn't have clearance.

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