The New York Times: Ex-analyst says CIA rejected warning on Shah
A former Iran analyst for the central intelligence agency said yesterday that his reports characterizing Shah Pahlevi as thirsty for power and a megalomaniac were repeatedly rejected by the agency as being contrary to official US policy.
Jesse Leaf said in an interview that for five years had had been the chief CIA analyst on Iran before resigning from the agency in 1973.... A spokesman for the CIA confirmed that Mr. Leaf had been an employee there but said, "We will not discuss former employees."
Mr. Leaf also said in the interview that he and his colleagues knew of the torture of Iranian dissenters by Savak, the Iranian secret police set up during the late 1950's by the Shah with help from the CIA. Furthermore, Mr. Leaf said, a senior CIA official was involved in instructing officials in the Savak on torture techniques, although Mr. Leaf said that to his knowledge no americans did any of the torturing. The CIA's torture seminars, Mr. Leaf said, "were based on German torture techniques from World War II."
The Shah himself was "one of our sources" of information, Mr. Leaf said. "He was a regular contact for a case officer."
Mr. Leaf said that because of the CIA's complacency about the Shah, no one considered protesting about the Savak's use of torture. "Why should we protest? We were on their side, remember?"
Although the Iranian use of torture was widely known inside the agency, Mr. Leaf said, he knew of no Americans who admitted that they witnessed such treatment. "I do remember seeing and being told of people who were there seeing the rooms and being told of torture. And I know that the torture rooms were toured and it was all paid for by the USA."
Mr. Leaf said he decided to resign from the CIA after receiving an adverse fitness report in 1973. His basic complaint, he said, was that "policy pretty much determines reporting rather than the other way around."