Lynnae Williams: The CIA Spy Who Tweets
Lynnae Williams has a beef with the CIA—and she’s using her Twitter account to tell the world about it. In the process, Eli Lake reports, she may be disclosing a few details the agency would rather not publicize.
The Twitter feed belonging to Lynnae Williams at first glance looks like most Twitter feeds. There are tweets about what she is reading (Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Madame Bovary); tweets about politics (leans toward the Occupy movement); and tweets about food (tuna casserole, carrot-cake muffins).
But on closer inspection, the feed features something rare for Twitter and even the Internet: detailed disclosures about the CIA. On Tuesday for example, Williams tweeted, “The #Farm is #CIA’s training center near #Williamsburg, Virginia. I think it’s the Kisevalter Center or something.”
In other tweets, Williams, who in 2009 spent nearly four months training to be a CIA spy, details her own experiences with CIA case officers, psychiatrists, and the special security division of the agency that serves as the CIA’s police force. In short, Williams since late February has been disclosing details of her brief CIA career in 140 characters or less.
I caught up with the 35-year-old would-be spy on Wednesday at the Washington mission for the Palestine Liberation Organization. She was interviewing for a job there in government and press relations. “The interview went well,” she said, even though “I don’t have substantial knowledge in the area. I don’t speak the language.” Williams, who does speak Japanese, added, “I don’t know enough about the [Arab-Israeli] conflict, but I hope they resolve it.”
Williams says she began tweeting because she wanted an outlet to tell the world about her disputes with the CIA and what she calls a pattern of corruption at the agency. She also publishes a blog called CIA corrupt. “I wanted to start the Twitter account with my blog to get out my message,” she says.
A spokesman for the CIA declined to comment for this story. Another U.S. intelligence officer, who was not authorized to speak to the press, told The Daily Beast that the agency is aware of the Twitter feed and that Williams is a hot topic on classified social networking, such as the classified intelligence community version of Facebook known as A-Space. Williams has disclosed her official medical records on her blog and other personal documents related to her time in the intelligence community.
Williams’s main grievance with the agency revolves around her termination. Williams says that as a trainee in the agency’s national clandestine service, she was sent to Dominion Hospital, a public mental-health facility in northern Virginia. Williams referred to the hospital in the interview and her Twitter feed as the CIA’s “psychological prison.” She said the place had white walls and inedible food, and that doctors there urged her to take Risperdal, a drug commonly prescribed to schizophrenics and Lithium, a drug prescribed to manic depressives.
Williams says she refused and eventually her parents drove up from Atlanta and discharged her. “They wanted to keep me for observation,” she said. “It’s not a nice place, it’s dilapidated. It’s called a hospital, but it’s a prison, you can’t get out unless they let you out.”