Defense Department official sentenced in spy case

A pickup is submerged in silt after the Agua Fria River flooded during a storm in Black Canyon City, Ariz.
A pickup is submerged in silt after the Agua Fria River flooded during a storm in Black Canyon City, Ariz. (Rob Schumacher/associated Press)

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Saturday, January 23, 2010


Official sentenced to 3 years in spy case

A Defense Department official convicted on espionage-related charges was sentenced Friday to three years in prison.

James W. Fondren Jr., 62, was convicted in September in U.S. District Court in Alexandria of unlawful communication of classified information by a government employee and lying to the FBI. He was accused of giving classified Defense Department documents to a Chinese government agent, including a report on Chinese military power.

Fondren worked at the Pentagon and until February 2008 was deputy director for the Washington Liaison Office of the U.S. Pacific Command.

-- Jerry Markon


ACLU sues to obtain ethics reports

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Justice Department on Friday to obtain internal ethics reports about lawyers who produced Bush administration-era memos authorizing aggressive interrogation methods.

The department's Office of Professional Responsibility produced the reports while examining possible ethics violations by the memos' authors, Steven Bradbury, John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the ACLU said. All were lawyers in the department's influential Office of Legal Counsel at the time.

The ACLU said in a news release that the public should be told whether the lawyers violated ethics rules in crafting the controversial memos. The Justice Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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