U.S. Agrees to Pay $3 Million to Ex-DEA Agent in 15-Year-Old CIA Spying Case

Saturday, November 07, 2009

It took former DEA agent Richard Horn 15 years to finally win his case against the CIA for spying on him, in part because intelligence officials lied about the covert status of one of their operatives. Horn, who was stationed in Burma in the early 1990s, claimed CIA officer and Rangoon station chief Arthur M. Brown conspired with diplomat Franklin Huddle Jr. to plant a listening device in Horn’s residence and relay information back to superiors in Washington. The case was held up in federal court until this week, when U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth approved a settlement that requires the U.S. government to pay Horn $3 million.

 
Previously, Lamberth ruled the CIA had committed a fraud on the court when it was discovered the agency had lied about Brown’s covert status, which intelligence officials had used to delay the case on grounds it would expose the agent’s identity. It turned out Brown’s secret identity was rolled back six years ago, a fact that was not revealed to the court by the CIA.
 
It is not completely clear why the government spied on Horn in the first place. Horn claimed that Burma’s military dictatorship, as bad as it was, was cooperating in a program to eradicate opium poppies, and that this countered the attempts of Brown and Huddle to portray the Burmese military junta as 100% venal.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
 
Richard A. Horn v. Franklin Huddle Jr. and Arthur Brown (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia)

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