Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A spy in The White House!?! (UPDATED)

That's what ABC News is reporting on their website (via Drudge). I haven't seen this ANYWHERE else yet, and I don't think genie junkie has either, since he just sent me the same link, (AP story here) but apparently a Marine working in Dick Cheney's and Al Gore's office has been using his position to spy for factions in the Philippines.

Federal investigators say Aragoncillo, a naturalized citizen from the Philippines, used his top secret clearance to steal classified intelligence documents from White House computers.
Officials say the classified material, which Aragoncillo stole from the vice president's office, included damaging dossiers on the president of the Philippines. He then passed those on to opposition politicians planning a coup in the Pacific nation.
Both the FBI and CIA are calling it the first case of espionage in the White House in modern history.
Last year, after leaving the Marines, Aragoncillo was caught by the FBI while he worked for the Bureau at an intelligence center at Fort Monmouth, N.J. According to a criminal complaint, Aragoncillo was arrested last month and accused of downloading more than 100 classified documents from FBI computers.

Some crazy stuff. I'm not sure as to the specifics of the vetting process, or even what his specific role within Cheney's office was, although I would imagine it was on the NSC/Pentagon intelligence briefing side of the house. That's just speculation though. Hopefully some more/better information comes out about this. At this time, not even the blogosphere has much additional information; just repeats of the same ABC article. . . kinda like this entry.

We'll have more later, hopefully.

UPDATE: Check out PunditGuy for some background on Aragoncillo. That's also where I found a link to the PDF version of the criminal complaint against him. Heads-up work by Bill, and I'm going to use it:

Background – Leandro Aragoncillo, 46

Home: Woodbury, NJ
Birthplace: Philippines, came to US in 1984
Citizenship: US, in 1991
Family: Wife and two children
Occupation: FBI Intelligence Analyst
Hired July 2004, suspended 12 Sept 2005

  • Retired US Marine with 21 years service, 1983-2004. Gunnery Sergeant. Stationed in Japan, Guantanamo Bay, Quantico, VA, Assignment to the White House between 1999 and 2002 as "administration chief" of the security detail assigned to Vice President Cheney.
  • Six Good Conduct Medals and a Humanitarian Service Medal

Arrested: Saturday, 10 September 2005


  • Knowingly communicating classified information by a government employee to an agent or representative of a foreign country (i.e. receiving classified information).
  • Acting as an agent of a foreign official without notification of the Attorney General in violation of Title 18 of the US Code, Section 951
  • Unauthorized use of a government computer to obtain and transmit classified information
  • Conspiracy to commit all of the above offenses in violation of Title 18 of the US Code Section 371.

Dates of Spying: January 2005 to August 2005

Possible Motivations: $500,000 in debts, mostly mortgages on rental properties

US Dept. of Justice News Release (09/12/05)

Again, we'll update when new information comes to our attention.

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