U-M professor sues CIA, FBI for information in alleged smear campaign

from The Detroit News:

A University of Michigan professor allegedly targeted in a smear campaign by President George W. Bush's administration sued the CIA and FBI [Wednesday].

U-M Professor Juan Cole, a prominent Middle East expert and critic of the Iraq war, sued to force the agencies to turn over any documents relating to him, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Detroit.

The lawsuit is a bid by Cole to prove whether the CIA illegally spied on him and what actions, if any, were taken by the agency, the Justice Department and Bush White House.

"Americans don't need permission from their government to write and publish their political opinions," Cole said in a prepared statement. "If the Bush White House pettily attempted to use the CIA to destroy my reputation by seeking dirt on my private life in order to punish me for speaking out, that would be a profound violation of my Constitutional rights."

A CIA spokesman declined comment…

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