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Ex-CIA Head Deutch Loses Secret Access

By Rima Arnaout

Officials at the Central Intelligence Agency have suspended security clearance for Institute Professor and former CIA Director John M. Deutch, after deciding that Deutch had kept classified material on his personal computer while serving as director.

Deutch declined to comment further than his public statements to the CIA. In his statement, Deutch said that he had used “CIA-issued computers that were not configured for classified work to compose classified documents... Although I accept my responsibility for my mistake, I want to make it clear that I never considered the information to be at risk or never intended to violate security procedures.”

Although Deutch stepped down as head of the CIA in 1996, he has remained active in the government by heading up the Commission on Non-Proliferation and advising current CIA Director George J. Tenet. The suspension bars Deutch from information to which he had access in these roles.

At MIT, Deutch’s career remains unhampered by the suspension. “It will have absolutely no effect on Professor Deutch’s role at MIT,” said President Charles M. Vest. Deutch “always has been and will be a very distinguished member of our community and a dedicated and accomplished public servant,” Vest said.

Officially, MIT did not respond or take action after hearing of the security clearance suspension. “The reported clearance suspension is not cause for any consideration, action or statement by MIT,” Vest said.

The suspension came at the end of August after investigation by the CIA Inspector General. In a statement, Tenet explained that, “while the IG report found no evidence that national security information was lost, the potential for damage to U.S. security existed as a result of the actions described in the report.”

Deutch was sworn in as Director of Central Intelligence in May 1995 and resigned in December 1996. Deutch previously served as the Deputy Secretary of Defense and worked for the Department of Energy, as well as on many educational and government posts.

Deutch became a member of the faculty of the MIT in 1970. Deutch served as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry, Dean of Science, and Provost. He was named an Institute Professor in 1990.