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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

CIA Leaker Story Update: Have We Got News For You

(Hat-Tip: Michelle Malkin)

Yesterday afternoon this story broke over FOX News. And for reasons the CIA explained regarding anonymity, they refused to divulge the name of the officer. MSNBC went just a tad further in their coverage, and we now have a name.

In a rare occurrence, the CIA fired an officer who acknowledged giving classified information to a reporter, NBC News learned Friday.

The officer flunked a polygraph exam before being fired on Thursday and is now under investigation by the Justice Department, NBC has learned.

Intelligence sources tell NBC News the accused officer, Mary McCarthy, worked in the CIA's inspector general's office and had worked for the National Security Council under the Clinton and and George W. Bush administrations.

The leak pertained to stories on the CIA’s rumored secret prisons in Eastern Europe, sources told NBC. The information was allegedly provided to Dana Priest of the Washington Post, who wrote about CIA prisons in November and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for her reporting.

Sources said the CIA believes McCarthy had more than a dozen unauthorized contacts with Priest. Information about subjects other than the prisons may have been leaked as well.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the firing.

CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise confirmed the dismissal. Millerwise said she was unsure whether there had ever been a firing before at the agency for leaking to the media.

Citing the Privacy Act, the CIA would not provide any details about the officer’s identity or assignments.

All CIA employees are required to sign a secrecy agreement upon being hired stating they are prohibited from discussing classified information with anyone not cleared to receive the material.

Before going public with her name, NBC News reached McCarthy's husband, Michael. He said he could not confirm that his wife had been fired from her career post. He declined further comment.

Priest said she could not comment on the firing, which she said she learned about from NBC News.
The Washington Post report caused an international uproar, and government officials have said it did significant damage to relationships between the U.S. and allied intelligence agencies.

CIA Director Porter Goss told the Senate in February that leaks to the media had damaged national security. Subsequently, Goss ordered an internal investigation on leaks involving classified security data.

The probe led to the fired CIA officer, sources told NBC.

This leak is not linked to the recent scandal in the CIA involving undercover agent Valerie Plame’s identity’s being revealed, NBC reported.

Separately, the Justice Department is investigating New York Times stories about the National Security Agency’s domestic warrantless eavesdropping. Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau won a Pulitzer on Monday for their reporting on the issue.

The NSA and other agencies had requested the probe, sources told NBC.

First, I would like to address the subject of the initial leak. That would be the "secret, black CIA prisons" in Europe. The EU has been investigating this claim, and yesterday they came out with their report. And for Dana Priest who just conned her way into a Pulitzer Prize for this story, this has got to hurt:

Investigations into reports that US agents shipped prisoners through European airports to secret detention centers have produced no evidence of illegal CIA activities, the European Union's antiterrorism coordinator said yesterday.

The investigations also have not turned up any proof of secret renditions of terror suspects on EU territory, Gijs de Vries told a European Parliament committee investigating the allegations.

The European Parliament's probe and a similar one by the continent's leading human rights watchdog are looking into whether US intelligence agents interrogated Al Qaeda suspects at secret prisons in Eastern Europe and transported some on secret flights through Europe.

But so far investigators have not identified any human rights violations, despite more than 50 hours of testimony by human rights activists and individuals who said they were abducted by US intelligence agents, de Vries said.

So, that kills that particular subject that Ms. McCarthy was yapping about.

But there's more on Ms. McCarthy:

Free Republic noticed something interesting about Ms. McCarthy's tenure at CIA:

Mary McCarthy: ... began her government service as an analyst, then manager, in CIA's Directorate of Intelligence, holding positions in both African and Latin American analysis. [I think this was 1984 to 1991]. 1991 to 2001: National Security Council

Joe Wilson: U.S. Ambassador to the [African ]Gabonese Republic 1992 to 1995...Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council from June 1997 until July 1998

This leads Michelle Malkin to ask the same question that I am about to ask: Did Mary McCarthy approve Joe Wilson's Niger trip? it is a compelling question, and enquiring minds would like to know the answer to that question. But, what is even more telling is her direct involvement with the Clinton administration when came to Osama bin Laden. It seems the 9/11 Commission report has an interesting note about her and Richard Clarke.

The report of the 9/11 Commission notes that the National Security staff reviewed the intelligence in April 2000 and concluded that the CIA's assessment of its intelligence on bin Laden and al-Shifa had been valid; the memo to Clinton on this was cosigned by Richard Clarke and Mary McCarthy, the NSC senior director for intelligence programs, who opposed the bombing of al-Shifa in 1998.

So we have another Clinton holdover that decided to take matters into their own hands, and use what little brains they had, and hurt this nation. I pointed it out yesterday in my post that we have laws on the books to deal with such actions. She is in deep trouble. She knowingly and willfully passed classified information to a member of the media--someone most definitely not cleared to have the information (I doubt that Dana Priest has the proper security clearance)--and it was obviously done so to hurt this nation.

The information the CIA possesses when it comes to national security is classified. Were it not, everyone in the country would know (not speculate, you tin-foil moonbat conspiracy nuts) what we do, how we do it, and at what cost. For the love of God, just a couple months ago, a CIA employee on TV revealed the CIA's budget. That is a closely guarded secret. Everyone, nowadays, seems so cavalier with secrets that it makes me want to puke.

And I know that much of this stems from conspiracy nuts out there, the Art Bell types, that seem to see a conspiracy more often than they see reality. Add to the mix fools like Oliver Stone who comes up with wacky ideas, like "JFK," and everyone thinks the government is lying about everything. (A note here: I could care less who killed Kennedy. The fact is that he was assassinated, and he was a very loved president.) The government is not lying about nearly as much as these people proclaim. If anything is a constant lie out of the government, it is how they spend our money. It is not spent wisely, at all sometimes.

And there is a difference between releasing information vital to the public, and revealing a secret that is integral to actions taken by the government during a time of war. Can anyone imagine what would have happened had an officer of the OSS during World War II had revealed where we were keeping Nazi war criminals or POWs? What if one of them had told a news reporter that we had deciphered the German Enigma? President Roosevelt might have personally overseen his firing squad had something like that happened.

As for her possible involvement with Joe Wilson, that is a horse of a different color. Her record shows that beyond 2001, we do not know what she did for the administration, or if she was in a position to facilitate his trip. For that to be connected, we have to find out what she was doing in late 2001 (December, or so) through February of 2002 because thet is when Joe Wilson's trip to Niger occurred. Could she have been in a position to help make that trip happen? Possibly. But, at this point, and without any further information, it is purely speculation she was involved. And it should be noted their neither the bloggers or the MSM has made that solid connection yet.

One thing is certain. A crime has been committed. And this is not a made-up crime as Lewis Libby stands accused of. No, this one is real, and it hurt this nation during a time of war. Not only does Ms. McCarthy need to face serious charges from Justice, but so does any reporter that she has been in contact with that has written a story based on information she gave them. The law is dirt simple in that respect. Again, I cite US Code:

(a)Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information ... Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

It then goes onto explain two very important definitions (those bolded above)for the lay person:

The term “classified information” means information which, at the time of a violation of this section, is, for reasons of national security, specifically designated by a United States Government Agency for limited or restricted dissemination or distribution;

The term “unauthorized person” means any person who, or agency which, is not authorized to receive information of the categories set forth in subsection (a) of this section, by the President, or by the head of a department or agency of the United States Government which is expressly designated by the President to engage in communication intelligence activities for the United States.

By all means, let the full investigation begin, and the proper prosecutions be carried henceforth. Ms. McCarthy and the rest of the free-wheeling fools in their various positions have to learn that this is completely unacceptable, and crimes of this magnitude have a price that is high indeed.

The Bunny ;)


Rick over at Right Wing Nuthouse (No relation to The Asylum) has the take that since the EU investigation into those prisons showed that seemingly never existed, it is a possibility that the story itself was a plant; a very lengthy hunt for leakers within the CIA.

It is a highly-plausible conclusion given that she was fired on Friday--the same day that report came out. The polygraph now makes a lot of sense. With that story confined to a certain number of individuals, the CIA's search for the leaker was much less work than expected. Simply call in those that were privy to that information, and give them the polygraph. McCarthy failed. It makes a lot of sense right now. The question that still remains is simple. Did she have any contact with any other journalist, and if so, what else did she reveal?

Also, I do like Thomas' post regarding Mr. Rutten's LA Times piece defending the recent Pulitzer winners. And while I still have nothing by ire for Mr. Rutten in failing to confront the problems at his paper, and lashing out at bloggers instead, I would like to correct my better half on something.

Dana Priest cannot be prosecuted if what she revealed in her piece was a phony story anyway. The EU can find nothing to do with CIA prisons in Europe. Dana Priest's column was about precisely that. If she was duped because of a phony story to nail a CIA mole, then she committed no crime. She should be fired for not fact-checking her "exclusive" for the Washington Post, but not arrested.

Also, stop by Flopping Aces (this very link) and look at the rundown of the information emerging on this issue.

And yes, I am sure this will be on of the subjects we touch on tomorrow during the "Open Topic" session.

The Bunny ;) (Updated 6:38 p.m. AZ Time)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are many questions and dots to connect. I would like to know if Hillary Clinton knew Valarie Plume, or her husband, Wilson and now Mary McCarthy or the reporter, Priest? I would also like to know the relationship of any of these people with Sandy Berger? Something smells. Rawriter

3:41 PM  

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