from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2012, Issue No. 24
March 15, 2012
Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/
- AUTHOR OF UNAUTHORIZED CIA BOOK GAVE PROCEEDS TO CHARITY
- INCOME INEQUALITY AND ECONOMIC MOBILITY, AND MORE FROM CRS
AUTHOR OF UNAUTHORIZED CIA BOOK GAVE PROCEEDS TO CHARITY
After former CIA officer Ishmael Jones wrote a book about the CIA without gaining prior approval from the Agency, the government sought and won a judicial ruling that Jones had acted in violation of his CIA secrecy agreement, and that he could be held liable for the breach.
But the government's current efforts to seize the financial proceeds from Jones' 2010 book, "The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture," have been frustrated by the fact that the author has already given the proceeds away to charity.
In responses to interrogatories that were presented in a government motion last week, Mr. Jones (a pseudonym) said that he had received $29,750 from the publication of his book. But when he got the money, he placed it in custodial accounts for children of American soldiers who died in combat.
"Once Mr. Jones received the Payments, he created accounts that he manages but does not own," his attorney explained to the government. "All Accounts are located at Vanguard. The accounts are Uniform Gift to Minors Accounts at Vanguard for four children and [another] Vanguard LLC jointly owned by five children."
"Of the total of nine children, eight are children of American soldiers killed in action. The ninth is not a U.S. citizen and is the daughter of an Iraqi agent with whom Ishmael Jones worked and was later murdered. The amount of author profits deposited into these accounts is 100%. The children that own these accounts will be able to take possession of them when they reach the age of 18."
The government acknowledged that "there is no evidence that Jones retained any proceeds from the sale of 'The Human Factor'; instead, he appears to have given his profits away."
Under the circumstances, the government is not seeking to recover those proceeds. "The United States is not seeking to impose a constructive trust over proceeds over which Jones lacks possession or control."
Instead, the government asked the court to rule that in the future Jones should not be allowed to retain any additional proceeds that he may receive.
"The United States is entitled to a constructive trust over any future revenues, gains, profits, royalties, or other financial advantages from 'The Human Factor' that Jones derives," the government motion said.
In the responses to interrogatories, Jones' attorney said "Mr. Jones may receive additional payments from future book sales, but [he does] not expect such payments to occur."
Meanwhile, "the accounts [Jones] set up for minor children are taxable accounts and therefore contributions to them are not eligible for tax deductions. Mr. Jones pays the taxes on those accounts."
INCOME INEQUALITY AND ECONOMIC MOBILITY, AND MORE FROM CRS
Income inequality in the United States is more pronounced than in other developed countries, a new report from the Congressional Research Service finds, while the possibility of economic mobility is more constrained than commonly believed.
"Based on the limited data that are comparable across nations, the U.S. income distribution appears to be among the most uneven of all major industrialized countries and the United States appears to be among the nations experiencing the greatest increases in measures of inequality."
"Americans may be less concerned about inequality in the distribution of income at any given point in time partly because of a belief that everyone has an equal opportunity to move up the income ladder. A review of the literature suggests that Americans' perceptions about their likelihood of changing position in the income distribution may be exaggerated," the CRS report said.
"It... appears that going from rags to riches is relatively rare; that is, where one starts in the income distribution greatly influences where one ends up." See "The U.S. Income Distribution and Mobility: Trends and International Comparisons," March 7, 2012:
Other new and updated CRS reports that Congress has withheld from direct public access include the following.
Changing the Federal Reserve's Mandate: An Economic Analysis, March 13, 2012:
Cybersecurity: Cyber Crime Protection Security Act (S.2111) -- A Legal Analysis, March 12, 2012:
Change in the Middle East: Implications for U.S. Policy, March 7, 2012:
U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel, March 12, 2012:
Cuba: Issues for the 112th Congress, February 24, 2012:
Europe's Energy Security: Options and Challenges to Natural Gas Supply Diversification, March 13, 2012:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.
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