Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Sunday, April 23, 2006

CIA Leaker - Mary McCarthy

More information is becoming available on the CIA top intelligence analyst, Mary McCarthy, who admitted leaking classified information that led to a Pulitzer Prize-winning story about a network of secret CIA prisons, government officials say. The officer was a senior analyst nearing retirement.
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Mary McCarthy, formerly helped oversee intelligence operations as a senior official of the National Security Council during the Clinton administration and the first year of the Bush administration. McCarthy held various jobs in more than two decades at the agency, and at one point was its most senior analyst for "warning," assigned to anticipate security threats.
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As a senior National Security Council aide for intelligence from 1996 to 2001, she was responsible for guarding some of the nation's most sensitive secrets.
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When President Bush took office in 2001, Ms. McCarthy's career seemed to stall. A former Bush administration official who worked with her said that although Ms. McCarthy was a career C.I.A. employee, as a holdover from the Clinton administration was gradually eased out of her job as senior director for intelligence programs. She left several months into Mr. Bush's first term.
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She served on a Markle Foundation group, the Task Force on National Security in the Information Age, working with academics as well as current and former government officials on recommendations for sharing classified information more widely within the government, according to a report issued by the group.
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Polygraphs are routinely given to agency employees at least every five years, but special ones can be ordered when a security breach is suspected. Government officials said that after Ms. McCarthy's polygraph examination showed the possibility of deception, the examiner confronted her and she disclosed having had conversations with reporters.
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Former presidential candidate John Kerry has come to the defense of a fired CIA officer accused of disclosing classified information to the press. "I'm glad she told the truth but she's going to obviously -- if she did it, if she did it, suffer the consequences of breaking the law," Kerry explained to ABC This Week.
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John Kerry flip-flops once again. Kerry is saying it's ok to break the law as long as you told the truth, even if your dispersing classified documentation.
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Kerry says, "I don't know whether she did it or not so it's hard to have a view on it. Here's my fundamental view of this, that you have somebody being fired from the CIA for allegedly telling the truth, and you have no one fired from the white house for revealing a CIA agent in order to support a lie. That underscores what's really wrong in Washington, DC Here."
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Kerry continues, "Of course not. Of course, not. A CIA agent has the obligation to uphold the law and clearly leaking is against the law, and nobody should leak. I don't like leaking. But if you're leaking to tell the truth, Americans are going to look at that, at least mitigate or think about what are the consequences that you, you know, put on that person."
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Who has been indicted for leaking a CIA agent to support a lie or otherwise. NOBODY HAS! The only liar here is John Kerry, at least he's consistent. Seems Kerry has sprung a leak himself, he can't stay on message and makes it impossible to parse his comments.
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Public records show, McCarthy contributed $2,000 to Mr. Kerry's presidential campaign, identifying herself as a "government analyst."
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Richard Kerr, a deputy director of the CIA from 1989 to 1992 said "You can quit, stay inside and fight or use the appeal mechanism inside." The formal mechanisms sometimes are not effective, he said, and "this one way [leaking to the press] is a high-risk one." Kerr added, however, that in his view, the CIA cannot allow leaks to go unpunished, because "your discipline breaks down."
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Several former intelligence officials said they were particularly alarmed about McCarthy's alleged involvement in any leaks because of where she worked at the CIA. L. Britt Snyder III, who was CIA inspector general from 1997 to 2000, said if McCarthy leaked information while working in the IG office, "we would have considered that a fairly egregious sin." The IG, he said, "gets into everything, including personal things. That makes it a little different than other places."
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The left is quickly responding to this leak case attempting to compare it to President Bush's authority to declassify and disseminate information. Rep. Jane Harmon (D-CA) made this comparison on FOX News Sunday and Juan Williams (NPR) was asked repeatedly to justify his comments that it's ok for an employee of the CIA or other government agency to leak classified information. Juan Williams repeatedly defended his comments to the disbelief of the other panelists, including NPR colleague, Mara Liason.
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Yesterday I noted here The Washington Post's Dana Priest won a Pulitzer Prize this week for her reporting on a covert prison system set up by the CIA after Sept. 11, 2001, that at various times included sites in eight countries. The story caused an international uproar, and government officials have said it did significant damage to relationships between the U.S. and allied intelligence agencies.
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Further comments by Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. said on the newspaper's Web site: xxx "We don't know the details of why (the CIA employee) was fired, so I can't comment on that. But as a general principle, obviously I am opposed to criminalizing the dissemination of government information to the press."
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How does anyone responsibly justify the release of classified material, which may cause harm to this country and our troops in the field?
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