Best of AP — Second Winner


Mustian, Goodman pierce veil of CIA secrecy with exclusive about firing of sexual misconduct whistleblower

This April 13, 2016, file photo shows the seal of the Central Intelligence Agency at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. AP PHOTO / CAROLYN KASTER


Getting a story about what happens behind the walls of the CIA is almost unheard of.

By following up with sources in an investigation of sexual harassment and abuse complaints within the agency, New York-based investigative reporter Jim Mustian and Miami-based Latin America correspondent Joshua Goodman came away with an exclusive.

They were alone in reporting that the CIA fired a woman who publicly accused a male colleague of assaulting her with a scarf and trying to kiss her in a stairwell at CIA headquarters in Virginia in 2022.

That whistleblower account prompted a flood of her colleagues to come forward with their own complaints of sexual misconduct.

The attorney for the woman said the firing was a brazen act of retaliation. The CIA denied that but failed to explain why the 36-year-old woman didn’t make it through the agency’s clandestine officer training program and, unlike many classmates, was not hired into another job.

Mustian and Goodman awaited a full, on-the-record response from the CIA before publishing the story that also included detailed comment from legal experts on whether the action amounted to retaliation.

The story was a true exclusive with no match from competitors. It ranked in the top 10 on APNews the day it published and received prominent play in outlets, including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, NPR and ABC News.

For breaking news about, perhaps, the most secretive agency in the U.S. government, Mustian and Goodman win the Best of AP — Second Winner.

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