skip to main content

H.R. 6232 (110th): For the relief of Richard M. Barlow of Bozeman, Montana.

The text of the bill below is as of Jun 10, 2008 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.



2d Session

H. R. 6232


June 10, 2008

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


For the relief of Richard M. Barlow of Bozeman, Montana.


Relief of Richard M. Barlow of Bozeman, Montana



Congress makes the following findings:


Richard Barlow was a counter-proliferation intelligence officer with expertise in Pakistan nuclear issues.


From 1980–82, Mr. Barlow served as the action officer for Pakistan proliferation matters at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.


In 1985, Mr. Barlow joined the Central Intelligence Agency, becoming a recognized issue expert on Pakistan's clandestine nuclear purchasing networks and its weapons programs.


After serving as a Special Agent with the Customs Service, Mr. Barlow then joined the Office of the Secretary of Defense starting in 1989, where he continued to investigate Pakistan's nuclear weapons network headed by A. Q. Khan.


Mr. Barlow was instrumental in the 1987 arrest and later conviction of 2 agents in Pakistan's nuclear weapons development program headed by A. Q. Khan, for which he received an award for exceptional accomplishment from the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and numerous commendations from senior State Department and law enforcement officials.


In addition, Mr. Barlow received a prestigious commendation from the State Department’s Legal Advisor for assistance to President Ronald Reagan and Secretary of State George P. Schultz for triggering the Solarz Amendment relating to termination of military and economic aid to Pakistan for exporting nuclear weapons technology.


In a classified hearing following the arrests of the Pakistani agents, Mr. Barlow, as the Central Intelligence Agency's top expert, testified truthfully to the Subcommittee on Asian Pacific Affairs of the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives, then known as the House Foreign Affairs Committee, that the arrested Pakistanis were agents of the Pakistani government, and revealed that Pakistan had continued to regularly violate United States nuclear export laws.


Mr. Barlow’s actions revealed that certain Executive Branch officials had been withholding this information from the Congressional committees.


In 1989, Mr. Barlow joined the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Office of Non-proliferation where he continued to investigate Pakistani proliferation networks.


In April 1989, Mr. Barlow received an outstanding performance review from his Department of Defense supervisors, and in June 1989 he was promoted.


During the spring and early summer of 1989, Mr. Barlow told his supervisors on a number of occasions that he had serious concerns that Executive Branch officials were concealing intelligence about Pakistan's nuclear program from Congress and were obstructing pending criminal investigations into Pakistan's procurement efforts in order to avoid triggering the Pressler and Solarz Amendments and to obtain approval for a proposed $1,400,000,000 sale of F–16 jets to Pakistan.


On August 2, 1989, Mr. Barlow raised concerns about false testimony given by senior officials to the Congress on Pakistan's nuclear capabilities to the Subcommittee on Asian Pacific Affairs of the Committee on International Relations of the House.


On August 4, 1989, several weeks after being promoted, Richard Barlow was handed a notice of pending termination.


On August 8, 1989, Mr. Barlow’s security clearances were suspended for reasons that were classified and not revealed to him.


On August 26, 1989, Mr. Barlow, under threat of firing, was offered a series of menial, temporary assignments by Department of Defense personnel and security officials concerned about possible retaliation against him as a Congressional whistleblower by senior officials in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.


Mr. Barlow then underwent a 9-month long security investigation involving numerous allegations levied against him by his superiors in the Office of Secretary of Defense, all of which were found to be false.


In March of 1990, Mr. Barlow then had his security clearance restored and remained in a series of temporary assignments until February 1992, when he then resigned under duress.


At the time of his separation from government service, Mr. Barlow had completed 8 years of government service.


Mr. Barlow’s temporary loss of his security clearance and personnel actions against him damaged his reputation and left him unable to find suitable employment inside the Government.


For the next 15 years, Mr. Barlow continued to serve his country as a consultant to the intelligence and law enforcement communities working on complex counterintelligence and counter-proliferation operations without the benefits he would have had if he had continued as a Federal employee.


In 1998, a Private Relief Bill (S. 2274, 105th Congress) was introduced to provide compensation to Mr. Barlow. On October 5, 1998, the Senate passed S. Res. 256, which referred the bill to the Court of Federal Claims instructing the court to advise the Congress as to the nature, extent, and character of the claim for compensation referred to in such bill as a legal or equitable claim against the United States or a gratuity.


With Senate Resolution 256, the Senate recognized the importance of protecting Federal employees who inform Congress of Executive Branch distortions of the truth and other wrongdoing.


On March 6, 2000, the Government filed a protective order under the state secrets privilege for documents requested under discovery by Mr. Barlow relating to the Pakistan nuclear program.


The documents denied under the state secret privilege were documents that Mr. Barlow had official access to prior to the loss of clearance.


The documents denied under the state secrets privilege were subpoenaed by Mr. Barlow to substantiate the allegations he originally made regarding his claim of false testimony of Government officials to Congress on the Pakistan nuclear weapons program and the actions taken against him.


The evidence withheld from the Court as a result of the state secrets privilege included significant, sworn statements from a number of senior intelligence, Department of State, and Department of Defense officials corroborating Mr. Barlow's charges of Executive Branch wrongdoing.


As a result of the use of the state secrets privilege, Mr. Barlow and the United States Court of Federal Claims did not have access to evidence and information necessary to evaluate the key information relating to the merits of Mr. Barlow's case and accurately report its findings to the Senate.


Since Mr. Barlow's separation from government service in 1992, five Senate and five House committees have intervened in support of Mr. Barlow's case on a bipartisan basis, and investigations by the Central Intelligence Agency, State Department Inspectors General, and the Government Accountability Office have corroborated Mr. Barlow's findings or found that personnel actions were taken against him in reprisal.


Richard Barlow is recognized for his patriotism and service to his country.


Compensation of certain losses


In general

The Secretary of the Treasury shall pay, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to Richard M. Barlow of Bozeman, Montana, the sum of $1,900,000 for the losses incurred by Richard M. Barlow relating to and as a direct consequence of personnel and security actions taken by the Department of Defense beginning on August 4th, 1989.


No inference of liability

Nothing in this section shall be construed as an inference of liability on the part of the United States.


No agents and attorneys fees

None of the payment authorized by this section may be paid to or received by any agent or attorney for any services rendered in connection with obtaining such payment. Any person who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine in the amount provided in title 18, United States Code.


Non-taxability of payment

The payment authorized by this section is in partial reimbursement for losses incurred by Richard Barlow as a result of the personnel actions taken by the Department of Defense and is not subject to Federal, State, or local income taxation.