CIA contractor fired over blog post

A software contractor for the CIA was fired this week after she posted her views on the Geneva Conventions and torture at a blog site only accessible to those with a top-secret clearance.

Christine Axsmith had been employed by BAE Systems, a prominent defense contractor, to test software performance at the spy agency, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

On July 13, under her usual alias of "Covert Communications," she posted an entry called "Waterboarding is Torture and Torture is Wrong" to Intelink, the intelligence community's classified intranet. She mentioned in the entry that she had had "the sad occasion to read interrogation transcripts in an assignment that should not be made public," and that's reportedly what set off upper management at the CIA, BAE Systems told her.

In an interview with the Post, Axmith, 42, described herself as an "opinionated loudmouth with a knack for writing a catchy headline." She said she apologized immediately for the posting and expected a scolding or withdrawal of her blogging privileges--but never imagined she'd lose her job.

Her other blog posts, according to the report, had run the gamut from the Middle East conflict to a well-read critique of the food in the CIA's cafeteria.

A CIA spokesman reached by the Post declined to comment directly on Axmith's case. He said the general policy for blogs is that "postings should relate directly to the official business of the author and readers of the site...CIA expects contractors to do the work they are paid to do."

 

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