Flynt Leverett (born March 6, 1958 in Memphis, Tennessee) is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C. and a professor at the Pennsylvania State University School of International Affairs. From March 2002 to March 2003, he served as the senior director for Middle East affairs on the National Security Council. Prior to serving on the NSC, he was a counterterrorism expert on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, and before that he served as a CIA senior analyst for eight years. Since leaving government service, Leverett served as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy before becoming the director of the Geopolitics of Energy Initiative in the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation.

Op-ed controversy[edit | edit source]

As a former national security official granted a security clearance, Leverett is required to seek prior approval of articles from the CIA's Publication Review Board. Such reviews are conducted as a precaution to prevent leaks of classified information.[1]

On December 16, 2006 Leverett was denied permission to publish a 1,000 word opinion piece, co-written with his wife, Hillary Mann and based on his previously approved 35 page paper "Dealing with Tehran: Assessing U.S. Diplomatic Options Toward Iran." The longer paper and its shorter piece are critical of the George W. Bush administration's refusal to engage in "comprehensive" negotiations with the government of Iran.[2][3]

Leverett had intended to publish the shorter article in The New York Times. In a statement to the online publication Talking Points Memo, he disputed the official justification for the decision.

The White House is demanding, before it will consider clearing the op-ed for publication, that I excise entire paragraphs dealing with matters that I have written about (and received clearance from the CIA to do so) in several other pieces, that have been publicly acknowledged by Secretary Rice, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and that have been extensively covered in the media.

—TPM cafe , link

In the same statement, Leverett places the blame for quashing the op-ed piece on "White House staffers... working for Elliott Abrams and Meghan O'Sullivan, both politically appointed deputies to President Bush's National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley."

Publications[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Aftergood, Steven (2006-09-26). "CIA Regulations on Pre-Publication Review Posted". Secrecy News: from the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy. Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 2006-12-18. 
  2. Goldenberg, Suzanne (2006-12-18). "Bush accused of gagging critic of Iran policy". Guardian Unlimited.,,1974216,00.html. Retrieved 2006-12-18. 
  3. "Flynt Leverett Blasts White House National Security Council Censorship of Former White House Officials Critical of Bush Policies". The Washington Note. December 16, 2006. URL accessed December 18, 2006.

External links[edit | edit source]

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