CIA Denies Spying on Juan Cole

Spokesman Insists Former Official's Claim 'Simply Wrong'

The CIA has denied allegations that they took part in a Bush Administration-ordered effort to spy on University of Michigan professor Juan Cole, an apparent effort by officials to dig up dirt on the well-known antiwar academic.

Former CIA counterterrorism official Glenn Carle revealed the plot yesterday, saying that officials sought to employ his “counterterrorism team” and that he later confirmed another analyst was recruited to spy on him for being “really hostile to the administration.”

CIA spokesman Preston Golson claimed the agency has “thoroughly research our records, and any allegation that the CIA provided private or derogatory information on Professor Cole to anyone is simply wrong.”

Indeed, Carle revealed that he had gone to a superior about the effort and had derogatory information about Dr. Cole redacted from a memo, so it wasn’t clear if the information ever did get outside of the agency.

Still, the CIA spying on an American citizen, even if it turns out that they never told anyone, would be a serious crime, and Dr. Cole’s call yesterday for a Congressional investigation is unlikely to change.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.