The Persecution of Nada Prouty


On Sunday, 60 Minutes ran a piece on the investigation of Nada Prouty, a former CIA and FBI operative accused of espionage and supporting terrorism. Prouty was a naturalized citizen from Lebanon who traveled all over the world investigating terrorist attacks against U.S. interests, including, she says, enduring gunfire while pregnant and investigating terror plots in Iraq. She apparently came under investigation because her brother-in-law has ties to Hezbollah, and she was eventually accused of passing on classified information about the investigation of him and her sister.

Prouty was eventually cleared of the espionage charges. An internal CIA investigation completely exonerated her. But while investigating her, federal officials found that she had arranged a sham marriage at the age of 19 to stay in the country. She agreed to waive the 10-year statute of limitations to plead guilty to two felony counts of immigration fraud, and one count of illegally accessing an FBI computer (a charge she now denies).

But pleading guilty wouldn't be the end of it: prosecutors didn't have the evidence to make a terrorism case in court so they made one in the media.

In a November 2007 press release the prosecutors said, "It's hard to imagine a greater threat" than someone like Nada Prouty. They said that she had "exploit[ed] her access to sensitive counter-terrorism intelligence."

And, later, the Detroit office boasted it had uncovered "the only known case of an illegal alien infiltrating U.S. intelligence agencies with potential espionage implications," as if Prouty had plotted from the age of 19 to infiltrate the CIA. All the worse, there it was, a word never uttered in court—"espionage."

Prouty was branded a traitor in the national news media.

At her sentencing, a number of colleagues at both the FBI and the CIA vouched for Prouty. Federal Judge Avern Cohn chastised the Justice Department for convicting Prouty in the media and praised her for her service. He fined her $975 for her crimes. But Prouty was stripped of her citizenship. The government then attempted to have her deported back to Lebanon, where she'd almost certainly have been killed. A federal judge blocked the deportation, but Prouty is now barred from holding a job or traveling 50 miles beyond her home in Virgina.

The U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted Prouty managed to gin up quite a bit of right wing rage. In the New York Post, conservative commentator Debbie Schlussel dubbed Prouty the first "Jihadi Jane" (and for the record, Schlussel's sticking with her story). The U.S. Attorneys who pursued Prouty didn't manage to win a conviction on anything remotely resembling espionage, but they did manage to win awards for their investigation.

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  1. Makes ya proud to be an American, don’t it?

      1. Tak, are you towing the lion?

  2. Lunatic shrieker Debbie Schlussel’s predictable squawking counts as “quite a bit of right wing rage”?

  3. Nobody gives a shit what Debbie Schlussel says or writes.

    1. Apparently the rabid commenters do. Now I understand why lefties think conservatives are racist lunatics. That bunch sure is. Of course there are equally rabid lunatics on the left (the curious symmetry that makes the communist rump and the John Birchers nearly identical mirror images of each other), but all the smart lefties know that they ignore them while taking the right lunatics as exemplary of all conservatives… I don’t know how many lefty friends I’ve had tell me that it was wrong for Code Pink types to compare Bush to Hitler but the Tea Party is totally different and wrong for making the same kind of comparison and that there is no parity between the two.

    2. Seriously, Debbie Schlussel is kinda the poster child for Moral-Majority-style stupidity (as distinct, for example, from instance cited earlier of Obama-hagiography stupidity). I’ve never seen anything she’s written that wasn’t dumb as dirt.

      1. It’s amazing that (people dumb enough to enjoy reading Debbie Schlussel) ? (literate people) is large enough for Schlussel to maintain a job.

      2. I’m smarter than you think.

        1. Nice. (to Mo and Dirt)

  4. She agreed to waive the 10-year statute of limitations to plead guilty to two felony counts of immigration fraud, and one count of illegally accessing an FBI computer (a charge she now denies).

    I don’t know what’s more disturbing, the fact that our national secuirty agencies missed the sham marriage when doing background checks on a naturalized citizen, or that she claims she waived an absolute defense to the only two felonies against her because she couldn’t afford the attorneys fees.

    Honey, a public defender has the resources for a fucking calendar.

    1. If this country had any rational immigration policy, nobody would have to fuck the sanctimony of marriage to become a citizen.

    2. What I want to know is how it is even legally possible to waive a statute of limitations?

      1. What I want to know is how it is even legally possible to waive a statute of limitations?

        I would assume a defense team waives it by not bringing it up in a trial or agreeing to a plea.

        It’s up to the defendant and their lawyers to bring up the statute of limitations, no?

        And if you cop a plea I would imagine statute of limitations is moot.

        Thats my pulled out of my ass theory.
        Someone in know please correct.

        1. Defendants do purposfully waive the statute of limitations sometimes.
          For example, Tom Delay purposefully waived the statute of limitations when he was charged in campaign finance crimes. Some people suggested that it was part of a deal with the prosecutor to get more time before an indictment in the hopes that the whole thing would blow over.

  5. Nobody gives a shit what Debbie Schlussel says or writes.

    Every respectable political story needs a synecdochic dangerously inflamed righty to stand in for all of them, because all of them don’t exist.


  6. Sham investigation, overzealous prosecutors, authority figures circle the wagons, trumped up charges, lying and cheating authority figure praised for service, draconian punishment, instigators receive citations for upholding justice.

    This is news?

  7. For a website called REASON… um… uh… damn. LINE??!!

  8. Uh…I call BULL, and you apologists are retards. The fact that she copped a plea to two felonies when they (in theory) had nothing on her ought to tell all you so-very-smart people that there is a hell of a lot more to this story nobody knows about. It really isn’t that difficult to believe the girl that was born in Lebanon and has family ties to Hellbolla is playing both sides…and the government let her go to monitor her. Completely believable side of the story nobody wants to talk about.

    1. OH yeah…plus an agent undercover in a war zone doesn’t have enough money to get a lawyer? Again…BULL. There are any number of high-profile liberal outfits that would do this one for free for the publicity. You sheep that buy the 60 Minutes story are highly disturbing…

      1. Thanks for the comments DS. But the sheep that buy the line of prosecutors who are rebuked by judges are even more disturbing…

      2. Unless you know more than those involved in the case (like the judge who told the prosecution off), you’re simply talking out of your butt.

      3. I’m supposing here since that’s all you are doing.

        If I were a betting man, I would gamble that the prosecutors used the threat of interminable investigations into extended family members in order to get a conviction on the immigration charge. It’s a common practice that comes up in plea bargains all the time. “Give us an easy conviction on this lesser charge and we’ll lay off everybody else.”

    2. Stupid fuck, DEK. This is not the yokel county prosecutor. This is the fuckin’ federal prosecutorial machinery working overtime in the post-9-11 hysteria. And looking for blood. To defend against it would require (as Nada said in the interview) hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawyers’ fees, which she did not have. So fuck you, you apologist-for-dictatorship retard.

    3. “”The fact that she copped a plea to two felonies when they (in theory) had nothing on her ought to tell all you so-very-smart people that there is a hell of a lot more to this story nobody knows about””

      If nobody knows about it, smart people don’t pretend they do.

  9. Sadly I am less inclined to believe the Feds after Waco, Ruby Ridge and the invasion of Iraq.

  10. I’m sure our Civil Rights Liberaltarian President or his exquisitely sensitive AG will intervene. Any day now.

  11. “60 Minutes” did a service to this woman and her unjust treatment, just as they did the Duke students fucked over by an overzealous idiot prosecutor. It is sick how they treated — and continue to treat — this woman. Plus, I’d really like to stick my fat cock in her.

      1. Yes, because mug shots are the most flattering portraits possible.

        1. Then you pick one.


        2. Then you pick one


          PS Fuck the server squirrels.

  12. Hey, all she did was commit fraud in order to illegally attain citizenship, so leave her the fuck alone.

    1. I’d commit fraud, and fuck your mother in the ass against her will, to become a U.S. citizen if I lived in that war-torn shithole called Lebanon.

      1. So you’re saying your a necrophilliac? That’s fucked up.

          1. Suspenders at 0:38 win this thread.

        1. Oh, your mother is dead?
          Good. Can she still have a retroactive abortion?

          1. I’m thinking no.

  13. If there was any doubt (and there was not) that Nada Prouty was a liar and a security risk, the Sixty Minutes segment put that doubt to rest — even if 60 Minutes didn’t see it. First, she claims that she did not improperly access the system she pled guilty to improperly accessing. We are supposed to believe that some other FBI agent was looking into this list of Hizballah-supporting criminals and other relatives and associates of Prouty? Or that the computer somehow imagined that these files were accessed? Second, she says that when shown a picture of Grand Ayatollah Fadlallah (standing with her one-time boss and her now-convicted brother-in-law, the man who arranged her and another sister’s fake marriages), she did not recognize him!!!!! WOW. That she would think that the US media would be that ignorant and or gullible is amazing. That she was correct that 60 Minutes, and, apparently, Reason, ACTUALLY ARE that gullible and ignorant is shameful. This is like an American her age claiming not to recognize a picture of Ronald Reagan. For a Lebanese-born American to say she does not recognize Fadlallah is like a Saudi-American (AFTER 911) saying she does not recognize a picture of Osama bin Laden. And ANY FBI or CIA employee — and certainly one who has LIVED in the Middle East, let alone Lebanon, would recognize this guy. And even a person with no involvement in intelligence, terrorism or government policy, who has spent more than a week in Lebanon or taken a passing interest in Lebanese affairs would recognize this picture. And the fact that an in-law shared the stage with Fadlallah is something that would have been discussed extensively in any Lebanese extended family (even if estranged), whether Sunni, Shiah, Christian or Dhruse. 60 Minutes could have asked 100 Lebanese if this answer of Prouty’s was credible and 100 would have said NO. The DOJ could not prove that she was a spy, but they DID prove, and she did admit to behavior that would get any FBI or CIA officer booted out the door. And where an FBI agent or a CIA officer has been PROVEN to have committed crimes of dishonesty and duped a series of background and polygraph examinations, and that same agent or officer has known associations with convicted terrorism supporters, then there is ALWAYS a reasonable suspicion that that person has been involved in espionage. A spy, when caught, admits what is proven, denies what is not provable, and obfuscates on the rest. And the people who she dupes often have trouble admitting it. She was not “cleared”, nor was any espionage proven. But what HAS BEEN PROVEN and what WAS ADMITTED, was serious enough to negate any claim that this admitted, convicted criminal, who indisputably dishonestly infiltrated the FBI and CIA, has in any way been persecuted. Rather, given the leniency shown to her, she is a pretty lucky liar and criminal.

    1. Re: Schlussel.
      People really are that stupid. See above.

      1. Sure Schlussel makes a similar point about Fadlallah. But don’t discount a post because it agrees with Schlussel. Really, go ask ANYONE who knows anything about Lebanon. We will all tell you that our jaws dropped when Prouty said she could not recognize him. Forget about Schlussel. Forget about 60 Minutes. Forget about knee-jerk responses because a story fits some narrative from the left OR the right about what is wrong with America. Look at the facts. Prouty is entitled to the benefit of the bargain she made with prosecutors. She is a free woman. But the bargain goes two ways. She has admitted to and been convicted of serious felonies involving dishonesty and official misconduct, and it was rational for prosecutors to suspect her of something more. I wouldn’t call her “jihad” anything, but I wouldn’t call her “persecuted” either. PS. I applaud and envy the brevity and clarity of your post.

  14. She might have the money for better lawyers after suing for defamation…

  15. Debbie Schlussel may be sticking to her story; but she is deleting comments from her blog. This is the comment I left for her and which was subsequently deleted:

    Ms. Schlussel,

    You make no mention of Robert Grenier’s comment in the 60 Minutes piece where he said that CIA’s investigation exonerated Nada Prouty, attested to her competency as an operations officer, and stated that her work saved American lives. Mr. Grenier has 20+ of experience in SW Asia conducting covert action and counterterrorism operations, and is a man that I hold very high regard; yet you have completely ignored his statement in your besmirching of Nada Prouty.


    Your work is humorous to serious people who follow terrorism and security issues, but is ignored and shrugged off in a sea of yammering pundits. However, in continuing slander a talented operator you have crossed a line and are way out of your element.


  16. Does anyone know were she is in the legal battle of regaining her citizenship? I hope she does get pardoned and decorated by Obama. She may not be a “special agent” anymore, but will always be a “special and amazing human being”. No one can ever take that from her.

  17. Lunatic shrieker Debbie Schlussel’s predictable squawking counts as “quite a bit of right wing rage”?

  18. i agree with what you say in the article.

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