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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 April 2006, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
Worker fired over CIA leaks named
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US spies are said to be fuming over recent, compromising leaks
The CIA has sacked an employee for leaking secret information to the media, an agency official said.

Several US media outlets named her as Mary McCarthy, an intelligence analyst who served as a special assistant to Bill Clinton and George W Bush.

The CIA refused to confirm any names, but said a worker had admitted to "the unauthorized sharing of classified information" with the media.

The agency said the employee was fired after a three-month long investigation.

Ms McCarthy was a senior director for intelligence programs on the White House National Security Council staff and testified to the commission that investigated the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

'Secret jails'

In her final position at the CIA, she was assigned to its Office of Inspector General, looking into allegations the CIA was involved in torture at Iraqi prisons, reports the Associated Press.

The CIA was rocked by reports in November that the US was housing terror suspects at "secret jails" abroad.

The information, initially published in US daily The Washington Post, sparked an outcry in several countries whose governments are allied to the US.

The US has never confirmed it is using prisons in allied nations to hold terror suspects.

The damage has been very severe to our capabilities to carry out our mission
Porter Goss
CIA director

Speaking to Congress in February, CIA director Porter Goss called for a federal grand jury to uncover the origin of the leaks.

"The damage has been very severe to our capabilities to carry out our mission," Mr Goss said.

The CIA did not specify whether the firing of its employee was related to the leaks in The Washington Post.

The employee's case has been referred to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution, the CIA said.

Citing the Privacy Act, the CIA would not disclose any details about the officer's identity or what she might have told the news media.

According to the BBC's Washington correspondent, Adam Brookes, the US intelligence community has been infuriated by a series of recent disclosures of material it sought to keep secret.

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