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Last Updated: Monday, 6 March 2006, 14:04 GMT
CIA sued over 'deletions' in book
The CIA says the review of complex books take more time
A former CIA member is suing the US intelligence agency for allegedly violating his constitutional right to free speech.

In a federal lawsuit, TJ Waters said the CIA ordered dozens of deletions in his book on spy training after initially approving the text.

Current and former agents are allowed to publish books.

But texts should first be cleared by a special review board to ensure they do not contain classified information.

Mr Waters, 40, belonged to the CIA's first post-9/11 class, and worked for the agency between 2002 and 2004.

His 300-page book chronicles his year at a training centre where recruits learn how to use disguises and survive interrogation.

'Classified details'

Mr Waters said he submitted his book "Class 11: Inside the CIA's First Post-9/11 Spy Class" to the agency in May 2004, and that four months later only a few words were blocked from publication.

But he alleged that, last month, the CIA informed him that further deletions would be needed, many of them involving previously cleared material.

Mr Waters believes the CIA director, Porter Goss, opposes agents writing books, and has put the publications review staff under pressure to slow the process.

But the CIA spokeswoman, Jennifer Dyck, denied Mr Goss was seeking delays in the reviews.

"The goal is to clear manuscripts as quickly as possible, but more complex books that get into classified details do take longer," she said.

Correspondents say Mr Goss has recently been highly critical of the damage done by leaks of classified information.

Last month, US media reported that US intelligence agencies have been removing from public access thousands of historical documents they saw as a "hasty release" of sensitive information.

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