by WorldTribune Staff, June 21, 2019
A Pentagon analyst who was disciplined for allegedly mishandling classified information has lost his appeal in a case he says was retaliation for his complaining about FBI informant Stefan Halper.
A Defense Department administrative judge denied the appeal of Adam Lovinger, who remains suspended without pay and was stripped of his security clearance.
Related: Inspector general probes retaliation at secret Pentagon think tank, once run by ‘Yoda’, December 1, 2017
The judge decided after a closed-hearing that Lovinger mishandled secrets. The Personnel Security Appeal Board agreed in a final decision.
Lovinger, a supporter of President Donald Trump, “has one last shot” in the case, Washington Times security correspondent Rowan Scarborough noted in a June 20 report.
“He has filed a whistleblower reprisal complaint with the Defense Department inspector general against his then-boss, James Baker, Director of the Office of Net Assessment (ONA). If the IG concludes he was a victim, then the secretary of defense would reinstate his security clearance,” Scarborough wrote.
Supporters of Lovinger were taken aback by the DoD judge’s decision. “They said the judge appeared to ignore all of the analyst’s evidence that he was a victim of reprisal and didn’t breach security rules,” Scarborough wrote.
“For example, he was found to have carried a classified document on an airline flight. But supporters say his accusers have never proven it was in fact classified.”
The Pentagon ONA, where Lovinger worked for 12 years, moved to revoke his clearance while he was detailed to the White House National Security Council in 2017, where he supported Trump’s policies. He returned to the Pentagon and lost his clearance that May.
Related: Andy Marshall, 97, headed Office of Net Assessment, was held in awe by Chinese strategists, April 2, 2019
Lovinger had sent internal emails complaining about how Baker ran ONA . He said it commissioned too many academic-style papers instead of producing classified net assessments of future threats.
One of those he complained about was Halper, the Washington academic who turned out to be an FBI informant in the Trump-Russia probe.
Halper earned more than $1 million in DoD contracts since 2012.
In London, where he is a professor, Halper made contact with two Trump campaign volunteers, George Papadopoulos and Carter Page.
“Whatever Halper reported back to his FBI handlers it must not have been incriminating,” Scarborough noted, adding that neither Papadopoulos or Page were charged and both professed their innocence in any conspiracy.
“As it turns out, one of the two contractors Lovinger explicitly warned his ONA superiors about misusing in 2016 was none other than Halper,” Lovinger’s attorney, Sean Bigley, wrote in an ethics complaint last year. It called the contracts “cronyism and corruption.”