CIA Agent Sues Random House: Alleges Exposure to Possible ‘Fatwa’

Did Random House and author Gary Schroen expose a CIA operative to mortal danger? Covert agent John Peppe thinks so. Peppe has sued Schroen and Random House for printing Schroen’s book First In, An Insider’s Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan. According to Peppe’s complaint filed last June in Alexandria, VA, author Schroen (also a CIA man) and the publisher undercut efforts to obscure Peppe’s identity with a false name by publishing “clear photographs” of Peppe on pgs. 192-193 of First In.

According to Peppe, the photos constituted “an invasion of privacy.” He had his lawyer get in touch with Schroen and Random House to do something about the pictures right away but by November of 2009 it was too late–First In had been published, say court papers, “on the internet,” causing “irreparable damage” to Peppe’s career in the CIA. Worse, Peppe and his attorneys believe the photographs put the operative in danger of becoming “subject to a fatwa.”

Peppe is seeking a cool $1 million in fatwa-alleviating damages.