Juan Cole Wants Investigation Into Claim by Former Official That White House Asked CIA to Smear Him
Friday 17 June 2011
by: Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press | Report
A professor at the University of Michigan said Thursday “it was criminal” that the White House, under President George W. Bush, reportedly asked the CIA at least twice to dig up negative information about his personal life in order to discredit his views on the Iraq war. And he called upon congressional committees to launch an investigation into what he said was illegal spying on an American citizen.
“The Bush White House request that the CIA spy on me to discredit me clearly violated the American constitution, U.S. law, the CIA charter, and my civil and human rights,” Professor Juan Cole told the Free Press. “It was criminal.”
According to Thursday’s New York Times, a CIA official, under pressure from the White House, asked his staff to spy on Cole, a noted history professor from Ann Arbor who writes a popular blog about the Middle East called Informed Comment. Cole started the blog in 2002 to talk about the war against al-Qaida and in Iraq. At times, he is critical of U.S. efforts in the Middle East, but he is not seen as a radical.