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CIA vanishes from list of federal agencies with fictitious Wash. IDs

Washington’s Department of Licensing has released a list of federal agencies that have received fictitious driver’s licenses for undercover operations. But the list made public Friday does not include the Central Intelligence Agency even though the state agency previously acknowledged its work with CIA.

The list of federal agencies with so-called confidential driver’s licenses from the state of Washington includes: the U.S. Department of Justice, Homeland Security, IRS, and the Postal Service.

Altogether, 14 federal agencies have obtained nearly 600 of these valid Washington driver’s licenses issued in fictitious names. But the CIA is not on the list.

Back in March, I was shown a different list of agencies with confidential driver’s licenses—one that included the CIA. The list showed the CIA had received nearly 300 of these licenses—far more than any other federal, state or local government agency.

Since then, the Department of Licensing has said it can’t comment on its relationship with the federal government. The U.S. Attorney for Western Washington, in a recent letter to the state, said this is a matter of classified national security information.

Gov. Jay Inslee is scheduled to sign a bill into law next week to officially authorize the confidential driver’s license program to continue, but only for undercover law enforcement purposes. The CIA is not considered a traditional law enforcement agency.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.