Civil Service Updates                          


This page consolidates all information on Civil Service Benefits legislation and related association action to include information previously in the Member's section of the website.

August-September 2011 Updates on Civil Service Retirement Benefits

From the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI Report):

Report on the Retirement Benefits for Former Employees of Air America

Commentary from Gary Bisson, Esq., Air America Association Member

Commentary from Bill Merrigan, Esq., Air America Association Member

Letter from William Merrigan, Esq., to Senator James Webb

Media Coverage

Op-Ed in Vancouver Sun

Tampa ABC News

St. Petersburg Times

Gary Bisson response to St. Petersburg Times

Asia Times Commentary


We continue with the process of trying to get our legislation for AAM retirement benefits passed in Congress, and remain optimistic about our forward progress. We are waiting at this point for the overdue DNI Report requested by Senator Feinstein (D-CA), before we can convince a Senator/Congressman to introduce a Bill or an Amendment directly authorizing AAM benefits this year. The letters people have been sending to their Senators are a major part of our effort and we will resume letter writing this spring, once we identify the relevant Bill or Amendment for this year’s legislation. This time we will be asking for direct authorization of benefits, without any future Report requirements, and are optimistic about passage. We are all frustrated with the delay in the completion of the DNI Report, and we have made this clear to Senator Feinstein and to DNI. Unfortunately, we have to be patient, as our remedies for the DNI’s failure to meet the legal deadline (even though it is a law, authorized by Congress and signed by the President) are more time consuming than waiting for the upcoming DNI Report. No Senator is required to introduce legislation on our behalf, so we must work through the system. The good news is that the Report delay was clearly not caused by anyone’s substantive objections to our cause. DNI agrees that the delay is unjust, is very apologetic, and is making every effort at this point to speed up the production of their Report. We keep in contact and on good terms with the staff member at DNI assigned to the AAM Report. They have made progress since our conversation last month, and expect to have their Report finished earlier than they had originally thought. We are optimistic that they will be finished and will have sent their Report to Congress by April 28, 2011, at which point we will go back to Congress to request final legislation. We have agreed with our DNI contact that we will speak again in mid-March, at which point he promises to have further news. We will keep you posted. Keep the faith!

William J. Merrigan; Gary B. Bisson; Maureen Bevans Ebersole; Carolyn Bevans Dowling

Civil Service Documents

The following documents were submitted by Bill Merrigan, former legal counsel for Air America

I suggest that members of the Air America Association send the following papers to their respective Congressional representatives. With the upcoming elections in mind this may get a good result.  It is important that action be taken in Congress this year or most likely none will ever occur. This may well be the reason for the CIA inaction.

Also, please consider contacting local newspapers and TV stations and provide them these documents and ask them to let the public know how the CIA is treating surviving employees as well as widows of deceased members of Air America. We have already notified the LA Times and Chicago Tribune. Smaller local newspapers might take an interest if they receive a request from local subscribers and any publicity may cause your Congressional representatives to take an interest now before the elections.

Please remember that Senator Reid and Congresswoman Berkley have supported us for years as well as Senator Inouye, former Senator Stevens, and Representatives Kanjorski and Viscloskey.

Thanks and good luck. Bill Merrigan

Letter from Bill Merrigan to DNI

Letter from Bill Merrigan to CIA

DNI Response

Summary of Information

The following documents were submitted by Gary Bisson, former legal counsel for Air America.

Letter requesting support from Director of National Intelligence

Letter requesting support from Association of Former Intelligence Officers

Letter to Senator Diane Feinstein (2009)

Letter to Senator Diane Feinstein (2010)

Letter to Representative Shelley Berkley

Letter to David Ignatius (Editor, Washington Post)

2005 Air America Civil Service Credit Information

Senate Bill 651

House Resolution 1276

Vegas Review-Journal Article

Senator Stevens of Alaska Supports AAM Civil Service Bill

Senator Stevens has now signed on as a cosponsor of the AAM bill in the Senate, S.651. This is good news because he is a senior member of the full committee, and of the particular subcommittee, which has the bill for review. Senator Stevens is President pro tempore of the Senate, and presides over the Senate when Vice President Cheney is not present. It is also helpful that he is a Republican and our two sponsors are very senior members of both parties.

Here is a message he recently sent to Jim Keck on July 22, 2005:

Dear Jim:

Thank you for contacting me in regard to civil service retirement for members of Air America.

As you know legislation has been introduced concerning this issue. S.651 would amend title 5, Untied States Code, to make creditable for civil service retirement purposes certain periods of service performed with Air America, among other entities, while those entities were owned or controlled by the Government of the United States and operate or managed by the Central Intelligence Agency. I am a co-sponsor of S.651. Currently this legislation is pending before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

I will work with my colleagues on this Committee in order to advance this bill during the 109th Congress.

With best wishes,


Ted Stevens

Submitted by Jesse Walton 6/22/2005 and 8/15/2005