Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 24, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE CIA'S PRISONS....One of Dana Priest's sources for her Pulitzer-winning series of stories about the CIA's secret network of prisons in Europe was apparently CIA officer Mary McCarthy, who was fired last week for leaking to Priest. But how is it that McCarthy even knew about the agency's prison system, anyway? After all, she didn't work on the operational side of the house. She worked for the Inspector General's office.

The best guess floating around right now is that the only way someone in the IG's office could know about the prisons is if the IG's office was investigating the prisons. Juliette Kayyem comments:

So, here are the questions:

(1) Was there an IG investigation of the prisons? If yes, who authorized it? What happened to it?

(2) If no, did the CIA Director (goss) prohibit it from happening under the national security exception? Did he notify Congress as required by law?

Those are good questions. Here's another one: how did this program end up in the IG's office in the first place? Ken Silverstein offers a clue over at Harper's:

An ex-senior agency officer who keeps in contact with his former peers told me that there is a a big swing in anti-Bush sentiment at Langley. I've been stunned by what I'm hearing, he said. There are people who fear that indictments and subpoenas could be coming down, and they don't want to get caught up in it.

This former senior officer said there seems to be a quiet conspiracy by rational people at the agency to avoid involvement in some of the particularly nasty tactics being employed by the administration, especially renditions the practice whereby the CIA sends terrorist suspects abroad to be questioned in Egypt, Syria, Uzbekistan, and other nations where the regimes are not squeamish about torturing detainees.

The secret prisons may be another target of these "rational people." If enough of them are refusing to be involved with the prison system, that's something that's almost certain to eventually come to the attention of a body charged with agency oversight. Stay tuned.

Kevin Drum 1:29 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (135)

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Comments

Must you continue to humiliate yourself, Kevin? As soon as Al gets his talking points from Rush, he'll be by to eviscerate you again.

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on April 24, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

You mean as soon as Rove gives Rush his talking points, then Al will have his.....

Posted by: jcricket on April 24, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

The name Syria keeps coming up in these lists of countries to where the Busheviks send people they want tortured. Is there any clearer evidence that this entire "Axis of Evil" business is a sham, and that the "sufficiently scary enemy" game is being played by both sides to sucker the bed wetters and fleece the populace? Or have we always been at war with Oceania?

Posted by: Redacted on April 24, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

civil war is what going right now in the cia, state dept.
expect more leaks soon. kick back and enjoy the show.

Posted by: mestizo on April 24, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

The secret prisons may be another target of these "rational people." If enough of them are refusing to be involved with the prison system, that's something that's almost certain to eventually come to the attention of a body charged with agency oversight.

*Snicker* First you support Clintonista retired generals in their attempt at a military coup of civilian control of the military. Now you support Berger/Clinton appointees like McCarthy trying to topple Bush as a political vendetta. You might not realize this but in a democracy it is elected leaders like George Bush who run the government not power hungry partisan appointees like McCarthy. I can see now why you supported Saddam Hussein rather than supporting George Bush in his liberation of the Iraqi people.

Posted by: Al on April 24, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

This former senior officer said there seems to be a quiet conspiracy by rational people at the agency to avoid involvement in some of the particularly nasty tactics being employed by the administration...

Does any know if a legal defense fund is being setup for the "rational people"?

Posted by: hotspur on April 24, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Say, isn't Goss a partisan Republican? Shouldn't he be fired/prosecuted/executed for having political opinions that inform his actions?

Posted by: craigie on April 24, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

*snicker*

Can't you just see him practicing his Cheney-lip-curl in front of the mirror before posting?

Posted by: jcricket on April 24, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Juliette Kayyem misses another obvious possibility: the old 'CIA secret prison system in Europe' was a complete fake, put-up job, put out there by Goss, et al., to trap a leaker.

After all, two separate EU inquiries have failed to come up with any real evidence. You could say, of course, that a) they didn't try hard enough to find it and/or b) the CIA was successful in covering its tracks (our CIA had a moment of competence? Pshaw!), but it's equally plausible that the EU inquiries are correct -- there was no prison system or rendition through Europe.

Which means, if you believe in conspiracy theories (and y'all are progressives, so admit it, you believe in all sorts of conspiracy theories) Goss and a very small bunch planted the story. How? By developing an anonymous complaint or two that would go -- to the IG office! Where a few people Mr. Goss wants to get rid of are currently parked. Like Ms. McCarthy, for example. The stories come in, the IG does an investigation (and can't substantiate, but no matter, it's now floating around in that Directorate), Ms. McCarthy gets wind of it, and for reasons that she hasn't yet disclosed decides to go to Dana Priest with the story (instead of proper channels). Game, set, match to Mr. Goss, with the added bonus of making WaPo look stupid.

If true, the only remaining question is whether Ms. Priest will return the Pulitzer. Heh.

Posted by: Steve White on April 24, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Reading down a little further in WM, I see my suggestion, above, isn't original. Drat, thought I had the next big summer beach novel. Oh well, try again. Wonder if there's a gullible, frustrated Clintonista in the State Department? Hmm ....

Posted by: Steve White on April 24, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

"You might not realize this but in a democracy it is elected leaders like George Bush who run the government not power hungry partisan appointees like McCarthy."

And that is why Nixon should have been left alone, and Clinton removed from office!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on April 24, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Al - you're an idiot. McCarthy was never appointed. She was a career bureaucrat. When will wingnuts like yourself stop tossing Cheney's salad long enough to do a little research of your own.

Posted by: Monkey Butt on April 24, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Mary McCarthy was indeed a career officer, not a political appointee, until near the end, when she took on some senior positions that were a combination of political + career positions. As a senior NIO, she was in policy-making decisions. MB, however, is correct in noting that she was a career officer at CIA, not a political appointee.

Which makes it even more strange that she would leak information to Dana Priest, if what she was interested in was stopping something that was illegal/immoral. After all, there were channels at CIA for this, including her going to the ranking Democrats on the House and Senate Intel committees. These Democrats have been in the news the past year asserting their independence because of the NSA affair, so you'd have to think that they'd listen to Ms. McCarthy.

I sure hope some intrepid reporter somewhere gets to ask Ms. McCarthy why she didn't do that.

Posted by: Steve White on April 24, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White on April 24, 2006 at 2:11 PM

This was all a plot to catch "leakers." A regular John le Carre novel. Yep, Porter Goss is George Smiley. I can see it now. Great read.

Mark Kleinman has an interesting take on your argument.

"Think about it: If revealing the information was a crime because it was sure to inflame anti-American sentiment and encourage jihadis, wouldn't putting that information out as a sting to catch a Democratic leaker at the CIA have been just a tad ... extreme, like getting rid of termites by burning down the house? (And of course trying to prosecute someone for leaking a spoof document would be absurd.)

"After all, whatever damage the story did to the nation was largely independent of its truth; even if it were convincingly refuted now, the people making IED's would surely never hear about the refutation, and wouldn't believe it if they did hear about it. "

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 24, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, there's no reason to believe there is an investigation with the IG's office. If an operational member of the CIA disagreed with a policy, or wanted to make an illegal policy known to someone who might be able to do something about it, who would be the best person to leak to within the organization? The IG's office. One would imagine that political resistance could stall or prevent any investigation, but the IG's office could likely learn about alleged abuses and criminal activity through both formal and (mostly) informal channels, without there being any actual investigation.

Of course, there could be an investigation too, but the simplest answer is that operational folks were leaking to people they knew, or people who knew people, in the IG's office.

Posted by: Jimm on April 24, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

"there were channels at the CIA for this"

Like, perhaps, the IGs office? Wonder what a long term agency employee saw at the IGs office that would make her take this risk? Wonder what other CIA folks think of the Rubber Stamp Republican controlled House and Senate intelligence committees actual oversight capabilities?

Of course, there's no possibility that those channels might have been closed or compromised by the current administration so that (unapproved) leaking or reporting might be treated about the same, is there?

Posted by: Butch on April 24, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

I sure hope some intrepid reporter somewhere gets to ask Ms. McCarthy why she didn't do that.

Maybe this has something to do with it:

[Contribution]
OHIO DEMOCRATIC PARTY
10/5/2004
$5,000.00
McCarthy, Mary O.
Bethesda, MD 20817
Employer: Center for Strategic & International

[Contribution]
JOHN KERRY FOR PRESIDENT, INC.
3/14/2004
$2,000.00
McCarthy, Mary O.
Bethesda, MD 20817
Employer: U.S. Government/Analyst

[Contribution]
JOHN KERRY FOR PRESIDENT INC
3/14/2004
$2,000.00
Mccarthy, Michael J.
Bethesda, MD 20817
Employer: Michael McCarthy Associates/Landsca

[Contribution]
MIKULSKI FOR SENATE COMMITTEE
3/2/2004
$500.00
MCCARTHY, MICHAEL J
BETHESDA, MD 20817
Employer: MCCARTHY ASSOC

Posted by: Fuck you, Democrats on April 24, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Juliette Kayyem misses another obvious possibility: the old 'CIA secret prison system in Europe' was a complete fake, put-up job, put out there by Goss, et al., to trap a leaker.

But she wouldn't have been a leaker unless this "put-up job" existed, would she? Isn't that the definition of entrapment?

Or are you suggesting that Ms. McCarthy is also guilty of other leaks?

Posted by: Alek Hidell on April 24, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Juliette Kayyem misses another obvious possibility: the old 'CIA secret prison system in Europe' was a complete fake, put-up job, put out there by Goss, et al., to trap a leaker.

good god, that is one of the stupidest things i've read on this board -- and there have been plenty of doozies.

right, the united states would present itself for worldwide revulsion and compound the hatred of this country for running black prison sites, only to punk a leaker.

limbaugh this a.m. was presenting his own theory: it's all a conspiracy by clintonites headed by the big dog himself ('he travelled the country during the 2004 campaign', don't cha know, no doubt holding secret meetings to plot). mccarthy and her contributions, joe wilson and his lies, richard clarke and his book, and sandy burglar (cute, huh -- a cspan caller used that this a.m., so it's taking hold).

the ignorant and gullible dittoheads will adopt anything spewed by their drug-addled radiopig -- anything than to face the reality that their cowboy/warpresident/daddy is an utter and complete failure.

pathetic.

Posted by: linda on April 24, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

I'd add that if an as highly-placed officer in the IG's office was leaking, one could assume there was political resistance preventing an investigation and reckoning, and, as a result of that helplessness, those who disagreed with this political policy turned to other means (leaking to the press).

Posted by: Jimm on April 24, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe this has something to do with it:

nope. don't think so.

now go to your room, and not another word until morning.

Posted by: cleek on April 24, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

oh hell, now i just scroll down and see you've actually posted on the punking of the leaker.

these people get stupider the more desperate they become.

Posted by: linda on April 24, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

limbaugh this a.m. was presenting his own theory: it's all a conspiracy by clintonites headed by the big dog himself ('he travelled the country during the 2004 campaign', don't cha know, no doubt holding secret meetings to plot).

Yep - to the reactionaries, Clinton is the gift that never stops giving. He's also responsible for the high gas prices, donchaknow.

It's kind of hard to imagine what the GOP used to do before they had Clinton to blame for everything - except, oops, I do remember: they blamed Carter.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on April 24, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Just remember, the fact that people are being shipped off to secret prisons - in direct violation of everything that America stands for, mind you - is completely irrelevant because Mary McCarthy likes Democrats.

Posted by: mmy on April 24, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

If I knew firsthand my president was a lying sack of shit, I'd donate as much as I could to the opposition as well.

What's Porter Goss's record of contributions to the GOP?

Posted by: HeavyJ on April 24, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

'mmy' posted:

"Just remember, the fact that people are being shipped off to secret prisons - in direct violation of everything that America stands for"

No it's not.

Posted by: VJ on April 24, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

What's Porter Goss's record of contributions to the GOP?

Glad you asked:

GOSS, PORTER J CONGRESSMAN
FORT MYERS, FL 33902 BAKER, RICHARD HUGH (R)
House (LA 06)
BAKER FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE $500
primary 11/09/99
GOSS, PORTER
SANIBEL, FL 33957
US HOUSE OF ROMNEY, W MITT (R)
Senate - MA
ROMNEY FOR U S SENATE COMMITTEE INC $200
general 10/28/94
GOSS, PORTER J
SANIBEL, FL 33957
STATE OF FLORIDA ABRAHAM, SPENCER SENATOR (R)
Senate - MI
ABRAHAM FOR SENATE (1994) $250
general 10/24/94
GOSS, PORTER J
FISHERS ISLAND, NY 06390
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TORKILDSEN, PETER G (R)
House (MA 06)
CITIZENS FOR PETER TORKILDSEN $250
primary 09/12/94
GOSS, PORTER
WASHINGTON, DC 20003
U S CONGRESSMAN LUCAS, FRANK D (R)
House (OK 03)
LUCAS FOR CONGRESS $500
general 04/18/94
GOSS, PORTER
WASHINGTON, DC 20003 NEUMANN, MARK W (R)
House (WI 01)
CITIZENS FOR NEUMANN '93 $250
general 04/27/93
GOSS, PORTER
WASHINGTON, DC 20003
US CONGRESSMAN DENT, JOHN HAYES JR (R)
House (MS 02)
HAYES DENT FOR CONGRESS $250 04/23/93
GOSS, PORTER J M C
WASHINGTON, DC 20515
U S HOUSE OF REPS RHODES, JOHN JACOB III (R)
House (AZ 01)
RHODES FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE $500
general 09/28/92
GOSS, PORTER J M C
WASHINGTON, DC 20515
CONGRESSMAN ALLEN, GEORGE F (R)
House (VA 07)
GEORGE ALLEN FOR CONGRESS $500
general 10/25/91
GOSS, PORTER J MC
WASHINGTON, DC 20515
CONGRESSMAN ALLEN, GEORGE F (R)
House (VA 07)
GEORGE ALLEN FOR CONGRESS $500
general 10/04/91
GOSS, PORTER J M C
WASHINGTON, DC 20003
U S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PIERCE, STEVEN D (R)
House (MA 01)
PIERCE FOR CONGRESS $250
general 05/23/91
GOSS, PORTER J
SANIBEL, FL 33957
U S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MCCANDLESS, ALFRED A (R)
House (CA 44)
RE-ELECT MCCANDLESS FOR CONGRESS $1,000
general 10/30/90
GOSS, PORTER J
SANIBEL, FL 33957
U S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TOLLEY, WILLIAM R (R)
House (FL 15)
BILL TOLLEY FOR CONGRESS $500
general 10/29/90
GOSS, PORTER J
SANIBEL, FL 33957 COXE, GERTRUDE M (R)
House (RI 02)
TRUDY COXE FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE $500
general 10/29/90
GOSS, PORTER
SANIBEL, FL 33957
U S GOVERNMENT GRANT, BILL (R)
House (FL 02)
BILL GRANT CAMPAIGN FUND $1,000
general 10/24/90
GOSS, PORTER
SANIBEL, FL 33957 FRANKS, GARY A (R)
House (CT 05)
FRANKS FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE (1990) $500
general 10/24/90
GOSS, PORTER J
SANIBEL, FL 33957 STANGELAND, ARLAN (R)
House (MN 07)
PEOPLE FOR ARLAN STANGELAND $1,000
general 10/24/90
GOSS, PORTER
SANIBEL, FL 33957
USA PASHAYAN, CHARLES JR (R)
House (CA 17)
CHIP PASHAYAN FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE $500
general 10/23/90
GOSS, PORTER J
WASHINGTON, DC 20515
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES US
FRIENDS OF CRAIG JAMES $500
general 10/23/90
GOSS, PORTER J MR
SANIBEL, FL 33957
U S CONGRESSMAN SMITH, DENNIS A (R)
House (OR 05)
FRIENDS OF DENNY SMITH $250
general 10/23/90
GOSS, PORTER J HON
SANIBEL, FL 33957
U S GOVT SMITH, PETER (R)
House (VT 00)
SMITH ELECTION COMMITTEE $500
general 10/23/90
GOSS, PORTER J HON
SANIBEL, FL 33957
U S CONGRESS PARRIS, STANFORD E (R)
House (VA 08)
PARRIS FOR CONGRESS 1990 $1,000
general 10/22/90
GOSS, PORTER J MC HON
WASHINGTON, DC 20515
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SMITH, SHEILA A (R)
House (MS 05)
SHEILA A SMITH FOR CONGRESS CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE $250
general 10/15/90
GOSS, PORTER J MC
WASHINGTON, DC 20515
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES US
FRIENDS OF CRAIG JAMES $500
general 10/12/90
GOSS, PORTER J
WASHINGTON, DC 20515
U S HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE INHOFE, JAMES M (R)
Senate - OK
FRIENDS OF JIM INHOFE COMMITTEE $500
general 10/09/90
GOSS, PORTER J
WASHINGTON, LA 20515
U S GOVERNMENT MCCRERY, JAMES OTIS III (R)
House (LA 04)
MCCRERY FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE $500
primary 10/02/90
GOSS, PORTER J
WASHINGTON, CA 20003
FLORIDA 13TH DIST CUNNINGHAM, RANDY DUKE (R)
House (CA 50)
FRIENDS OF DUKE CUNNINGHAM $500
general 09/29/90
GOSS, PORTER J MC
WASHINGTON, DC
US HOUSE OF REP RHODES, JOHN JACOB III (R)
House (AZ 01)
RHODES FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE $500
primary 09/26/90
GOSS, PORTER J
WASHINGTON, DC 20003
FLORIDA MACHTLEY, RONALD KEITH (R)
House (RI 01)
MACHTLEY FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE $1,000
primary 08/01/90
GOSS, PORTER
WASHINGTON, DC 20515
US CONGRESS ROS-LEHTINEN, ILEANA (R)
House (FL 18)
SPECIAL CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION FUND;THE $500
general 08/08/89
GOSS, PORTER J
WASHINGTON, DC 20515
HOUSE OF REPRESEN ROS-LEHTINEN, ILEANA (R)
House (FL 18)
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN FOR CONGRESS $500
general 08/08/89
GOSS, PORTER J
SANIBEL, FL 33957 MACK, CONNIE (R)
Senate - FL
FRIENDS OF CONNIE MACK $1,000
primary 12/23/87
GOSS, PORTER J
FISHERS ISLAND, NY 06390
PUBLIC OFFICIAL DU PONT, PETE (R)
President
PETE DU PONT FOR PRESIDENT $1,000
primary 08/15/86
GOSS, PORTER J
FISHERS ISLAND, NY 06390
PUBLIC OFFICIAL DU PONT, PETE (R)
President
PETE DU PONT FOR PRESIDENT $1,000
primary 08/15/86
GOSS, PORTER MR
SARASOTA, FL 33577
RESEARCHER BUSH, GEORGE (R)
President
GEORGE BUSH FOR PRESIDENT $150
primary 11/21/79

Posted by: Windhorse on April 24, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Are you the least bit troubled that a senior employee in the Inspector General's office - one of the internal cops - decided to toss the entire legal process for investigating and reporting improper conduct out the window and run to the press instead? Is that how you want things to work when the wheel turns and a Democrat is in the White House? Because you can be certain that there will be people in the CIA and NSA and the other intelligence agencies who won't be happy with whatever it is that the Democratic Administration is or (more likely) is not doing - should they have a free pass to run to the press whenever they disagree with what the elected Administration does? I'll remind you of that some day.

Posted by: DBL on April 24, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

My love for Windhorse knows no bounds.

Posted by: shortstop on April 24, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

I sure hope some intrepid reporter somewhere gets to ask Ms. McCarthy why she didn't do that.

As a CIA employeee, Ms. McCarthy is probably aware of the statistics regarding the various motivations for betrayal:

- Money: 69% (sole motive: 56%)
- Disgruntlement or revenge toward employer: 27%
- Ideology: 22%
- Desire to please a friend or family member: 17%
- Thrill or excitement: 12%
- Need to be recognized and feel important: 4%
- Blackmail/coercion: 5%

Posted by: Fuck you, Democrats on April 24, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Is that how you want things to work when the wheel turns and a Democrat is in the White House?

Yes. Of course.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on April 24, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

NEWSFLASH: CIA DIRECTOR POLITICALLY ACTIVE, AFFILIATED WITH SAME PARTY AS PRESIDENT

(Next story -- Democrats Morons, Miracle to Tie Own Shoelaces.)

Posted by: Fuck you, Democrats on April 24, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

DBL: Is that how you want things to work when the wheel turns and a Democrat is in the White House?

Alek: Yes. Of course.

Double-of-coursing Alek's "of course."

You guys get it now?

Posted by: shortstop on April 24, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

NEWSFLASH: CIA DIRECTOR POLITICALLY ACTIVE, AFFILIATED WITH SAME PARTY AS PRESIDENT

That is a newsflash, yes. The usual practice has been to select as head of CIA a non-partisan, but, as usual, the Bush regime has thrown priciple overboard in its pursuit of raw politics. As Sourcewatch.org reports:

"Bush's selection of a partisan to head the troubled agency was met with immediate criticism. At the time of the announcement, most CIA Directors had no political experience: the single exception was Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, who headed the agency from 1976-1977.

"Senator John Rockefeller (D-WVa), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which held hearings on the nomination, declared that it was a mistake to select 'any politician, from either party. Former CIA Director Stansfield Turner, who served in the Carter administration, called the nomination 'the worst appointment that's ever been made because that's an office that needs to be kept above partisan politics.'"

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Money: 69% (sole motive: 56%)
- Disgruntlement or revenge toward employer: 27%
- Ideology: 22%
- Desire to please a friend or family member: 17%
- Thrill or excitement: 12%
- Need to be recognized and feel important: 4%
- Blackmail/coercion: 5%

I thought those were W's motivations for becoming Prezdent?

Posted by: Fuck you, Democrats

I see Cheney is blogging again.

Posted by: ckelly on April 24, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

although you have a point...there are two facts that you are omitting.

A. Bush did keep on the previous president's appointed director for a number of years (Tenet).

B. Porter Goss is a former CIA employee...he does possess relevant experience and could be scarcely described as solely a political appointee.

Posted by: Nathan on April 24, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

there are two facts that you are omitting.

No, those aren't facts that I'm omitting, as what I was responding to was the spurious claim that the fact that the director of the CIA was a partisan politician was in any way unusual. Whether Bush kept George "Slamdunk" Tenet on for a while, or whether Goss himself had any intelligence experience of his own, does not mitigate the fact that Goss is a partisan politician who, like most modern-day Republicans, puts loyalty to Party over loyalty to the country. While Goss may not be solely a political appointee, (though if you think that wasn't the overriding reason I've got a bridge to sell you) previous appointees, Bush I excepted, were not in any way political appointees.

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Porter Goss is a former CIA employee...he does possess relevant experience and could be scarcely described as solely a political appointee.

Except that this is the "Decider" administration, where all jobs are political appointments, subject to a litmus test for party loyalty and ideological purity.

Posted by: craigie on April 24, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Here, by the way, is Porter Goss in November 2004 on his intelligence credential for the job of CIA Director:

"It is true I was in CIA from approximately the late 50's to approximately the early 70's. And it's true I was a case officer, clandestine services office and yes I do understand the core mission of the business. I couldn't get a job with CIA today. I am not qualified. I don't have the language skills. I, you know, my language skills were romance [sic] languages and stuff. We're looking for Arabists today. I don't have the cultural background probably. And I certainly don't have the technical skills, uh, as my children remind me every day, 'Dad you got to get better on your computer.' Uh, so, the things that you need to have, I don't have."

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

he does possess relevant experience and could be scarcely described as solely a political appointee

if McCarthy is tainted because her donations, Goss is beyond tainted and well into soiled.

Posted by: cleek on April 24, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

it's worth remembering that the bush regime came to power convinced that the cia was a bunch of lefty pointy-headed intellectuals and that the generals had been allowed to run amuck and exercise way too much control over Clinton. As part of the bring back the powerful presidency campaign, they intended to piss on both.

And now they have stirred up in the mother of all pissing fights: this could get extremely ugly.

Nathan, so Bush's record on CIA directors is only 50% bad on political hacks. Because Goss, initially, said that he wasn't the man for the job before he had his arm twisted, and he brought a group of gop apparatchik with him.

Posted by: howard on April 24, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

I am fine with describing Goss as a "partial political appointee"...I'll note that Bush I actually had some relevant experience as well...
your quote from Goss as to his credentials for being a case officer in today's CIA is hardly relevant...the point is that he had 20 years of intelligence community experience, not that he doesn't speak Arabic.

Posted by: Nathan on April 24, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

I am a ball-less, soul-less, corporate bitch. A sucker of Satan's cock, if you will.

Posted by: Fuck you, Democrats on April 24, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

All of this has past the point of ridiculous, although good for republicans. This is the latest in a series of red herrings thrown out by the left in their diabolical pursuit of bringing down GW whatever the cost. I will tell you what that cost will be. It will cost them the '08 election. There is not one single Democrat that has a snowballs chance in hell of defeating McCain, Gingrich or Giulani.

What happened to Fitzmas? National Guard? Plamegate? NSA? Tax cuts for the rich? The economy? Bush hating black people? I mean c'mon people those issues were absolute locks to unseat this President and you were all foiled. Drats. You really all ought to take a step back and see exactly what complete losers you are amking yourselves out to be.

That being said, have a nice day.

Posted by: Jay on April 24, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

howard: And now they have stirred up in the mother of all pissing fights: this could get extremely ugly.

I wouldn't be living up to my stereotype if I didn't take this opportunity to say REMEMBER HOW THIS EERILY SIMILAR SITUATION TURNED OUT FOR NIXON!

Someone, I think frankly0, said in another thread that these guys just haven't accepted how little clout they really have at this point. Indeed. They fired McCarthy to look like badasses, which might have worked two years ago, but if they think they can win a fight with the agencies at this point, they've gone down the rabbit hole all the way to Tasmania. Pass that popcorn.

Posted by: shortstop on April 24, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

If the Government were doing something truly heinous - say, running extermination camps like the Nazis - then of course no moral person could possibly continue working in that Government. The only moral thing to do would be to resign immediately. In that case, too, the only moral thing to do would be to shout the news about the extermination camps from the rooftops.

I think we can conclude from Miss McCarthy's failure to resign that she didn't think the CIA program that bothered her was truly evil. Rather, she just disagreed with it and chose to try to impose her policy views through leaks to the press.

Posted by: DBL on April 24, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton was smart - his first day in office he fired all the political appointees. A senior civil servant who lacks the professional capability to divorce his work from his personal politics is like a bank teller who takes home samples. He is there to implement the policies of the president, not his own.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on April 24, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Hel Al

Go Fuck Yourself.

Posted by: Tom3 on April 24, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

What happened to Fitzmas?

what happened to the WMDs ?

Posted by: cleek on April 24, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

I think we can conclude from Miss McCarthy's failure to resign that she didn't think the CIA program that bothered her was truly evil

i don't think you can conclude anything like that, since you have absolutely no idea what she did or didn't say to her superiors in the last year or so.

Posted by: cleek on April 24, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Ask Saddam.

Posted by: Jay on April 24, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

A senior civil servant who lacks the professional capability to divorce his work from his personal politics is like a bank teller who takes home samples.

The correct analogy would be this: A senior civil servant who refuses to divorce his work from legality and morality is like a bank teller who won't look the other way when his boss takes home samples.

Posted by: shortstop on April 24, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, I thought the unhinged rage of "Fuck You, Democrats" had a scent of Jay's madness about it. Shine on, you crazy...well, just "you crazy" will do, I guess.

Posted by: shortstop on April 24, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter DBL: We are better than the Nazis

Lower that bar DBL.

Posted by: ckelly on April 24, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Diamond, shortstop.....great song.

I am mad, but not F*&K you Democrats mad. That's another level.

Posted by: Jay on April 24, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

what happened to the WMDs ?

And hey, whatever happened to Osama bin Laden?

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK


NEWSFLASH: New CNN poll: Bush approval at 32%.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 24, 2006 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

My namestealer posted:

"I am a ball-less, soul-less, corporate bitch. A sucker of Satan's cock, if you will."

No I'm not.

Posted by: VJ on April 24, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

I am fine with describing Goss as a "partial political appointee"...I'll note that Bush I actually had some relevant experience as well...
your quote from Goss as to his credentials for being a case officer in today's CIA is hardly relevant...the point is that he had 20 years of intelligence community experience, not that he doesn't speak Arabic.

Oh c'mon, if you really think that Bush appointed Porter for his intelligence experience, and not for the fact that he was a righ-wing Republican Congressman who could be safely counted on to do whatever Bush and the GOP wanted him to, then you're just incredibly naive and/or you haven't been paying much attention the last five years. Maybe both....

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Dana is a man, Kevin.

Posted by: B on April 24, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

I see the religion of peace is at it again in Egypt. Wonderful people.

Posted by: Jay on April 24, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

If the Government were doing something truly heinous - say, running extermination camps like the Nazis - then of course no moral person could possibly continue working in that Government. The only moral thing to do would be to resign immediately. In that case, too, the only moral thing to do would be to shout the news about the extermination camps from the rooftops. I think we can conclude from Miss McCarthy's failure to resign that she didn't think the CIA program that bothered her was truly evil. Rather, she just disagreed with it and chose to try to impose her policy views through leaks to the press.

Well, based on the above "logic" I think we can conclude only that the Bush regime is not running extermination camps in which it's committing genocide against millions of European Jews. Beyond that, though, who knows....

Ah, the old "better than Hitler" defense -- the last best hope of the moral relativist....

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

And hey, whatever happened to Osama bin Laden?

And how's that reconstruction going down there in New Orleans?

And how about finding and firing that Plame leaker? How's that one going?

Posted by: craigie on April 24, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

"I see the religion of peace is at it again in Egypt. Wonderful people."

Hitler was a Christian.

You were saying something, dipshit?

Posted by: BB on April 24, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Dana is man, Kevin.

Now you tell him. Bastard.

Posted by: lib on April 24, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

>>I see the religion of peace is at it again in Egypt. Wonderful people.

That is what I say every time Christians bomb abortion clinics, too. We must be soulmates!

Posted by: jim on April 24, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

And hey, what about that budget deficit? Got that one under control yet?

And how about finding those $9 billion American taxpayer dollars that were stolen in Iraq? Have they turned up yet?

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

Is it really credible that out of all the available members of Congress that Bush would only coincidentally pick the one who had 20 years of experience at the CIA to be its head?
(I suppose maybe your real argument is that he picked a conservative with relevant experience so that he would survive the nomination process.)

What's more credible is that out of all the people with relevant experience, he would pick one with close ties to the administration for political reasons....but that doesn't change the fact that he was a 20 year CIA veteran.

Posted by: Nathan on April 24, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

This woman was not a whistleblower, she was a serial leaker. She was very high up in the CIA, with knowledge and acess to multiple venues to disclose any perceived CIA wrong doing. This leaker could have probably demanded a congressional hearing and received it had she decided to go that route. No, she decided to leak information to the press while contributing a sizeable sum of her salary to the Kerry campaign in a key battleground state. Only extreme BDS could bring someone to the defense of this dirtbag. She belongs in jail, where she is likely headed.

Posted by: BlaBlaBla on April 24, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Gust L. Avrakotos had his own ' CIA' within Langley. Office politics demanded it.
The black women office workers and agents who gave him access all area's. So maybe Mary had her own little network?
The thing is she forgot to use Robert Hanssen's tradecraft - section 25, paragraph 18 ' need-to-know' ( a dead letter drop.)
The NSA can't spy on everyone - just using CIALIS to say kill the president VIAGRA is a workaround for that. I would say that Mary was so shocked and disgusted at those filthy liar's George Bush and Condi Rice that she didn't care if she was caught.
Just my guess - I'll follow this case with great interest. Whats already come out is enough to get Goss transferred to Alaska.

' We have always been at war with Oceania bin Ladin '

Posted by: professor rat on April 24, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Ask Saddam.

i asked you.

Posted by: cleek on April 24, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

"And how about finding and firing that Plame leaker? How's that one going?"

Plame "leaker" = Richard Armitage

Fitz knows it, anyone paying attention knows it. Problem for moonbats. "Leaking" Plmae wasn't a crime. You see, that's the reason why nobody has been fired or charged with leaking.

Posted by: BlaBlaBla on April 24, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand the mechanism for the Pulitzer for Dana Priest. Was she merely in the right place at the right time, or did she cultivate McCarthy over much time? Either way it seems odd to give a prize for being the mouthpiece for a whistle-blower.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on April 24, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

You see, that's the reason why nobody has been fired or charged with leaking.

so, you have inside access to Fitzgerald's notes ? are you on the Grand Jury ? tell us more !

Posted by: cleek on April 24, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Is it really credible that out of all the available members of Congress that Bush would only coincidentally pick the one who had 20 years of experience at the CIA to be its head?

Why are you restricting it to members of Congress? He didn't have to pick any member of Congress, but could have selected anyone, including a currently serving non-partisan member of the intelligence community itself.

The relevant question should be "is it really credible that out of all the available members of the intelligence community that Bush would only coincidentally pick the one who was a partisan far-right Republican congressman to be its head?"

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

This leaker could have probably demanded a congressional hearing and received it had she decided to go that route.

Really? From the Republican Congress? Are you seriously suggesting that the corrupt, bought and paid for Republican Congress would ever investigate an act of criminal wrongdoing by the Bush regime? Well, there's always a first time, I suppose....

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

BlaBlaBlaBla nailed it. Four bla's, that is. Four.

Posted by: LabLabLab on April 24, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

"But how is it that McCarthy even knew about the agency's prison system, anyway?"

What a moronic question. Isn't it obvious that she received the information from some other lawbreaking liar sympathetic to her cause? Or perhaps she just snooped into some classified documents she wasn't permitted to review in the first place?

Kevin continues to refer to 'rational' people who want no part in these nasty policies. WTF? Wouldn't a rational person go through the established channels to question what the CIA was doing? So they don't like the new policies, who gives a rat's ass? tough shit! You're an employee with secret information; you don't like what's going on, then complain through the appropriate channels. There's only one reason Mary leaked to the press, she knew what she was doing was wrong and didn't want to be found out.

When will Kevin admit there's a right way to do these things and a wrong way? Mary did the wrong thing and it looks like she did it for the wrong reasons. Kevin's response? Let's muddy the waters with wholly unsupported wild speculation ... seems like he's been doing quite a bit of that lately.

Posted by: sunbeltjerry on April 24, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

What's more credible is that out of all the people with relevant experience, he would pick one with close ties to the administration for political reasons....but that doesn't change the fact that he was a 20 year CIA veteran.

The fact that he was a 20 year CIA veteran doesn't change the fact that Bush, unlike previous presidents, appointed someone with close ties to his regime for political reasons, instead of appointing a non-partisan professional, as previous presidents had done.

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

limbaugh this a.m. was presenting his own theory: it's all a conspiracy by clintonites headed by the big dog himself ('he travelled the country during the 2004 campaign', don't cha know, no doubt holding secret meetings to plot). mccarthy and her contributions, joe wilson and his lies, richard clarke and his book, and sandy burglar (cute, huh -- a cspan caller used that this a.m., so it's taking hold).

the ignorant and gullible dittoheads will adopt anything spewed by their drug-addled radiopig -- anything than to face the reality that their cowboy/warpresident/daddy is an utter and complete failure.

I think people who aren't smart enough to understand obvious satire when they hear it shouldn't really make comments about the intelligence of a whole radio show audience. Rush even explained that this was "..ilustrating the absurd, by being absurd..." several times

Linda, you can go on assuming that everyone on your side of the debate is smart, and everyone on the other side of the debate is a stupid dittohead, or you can enter the world of reasonable debate. Your choidce.

Posted by: John Hansen on April 24, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, my, this is upsetting for the wingnuts, isn't it? Just look at the freakout levels in the trolls.

Posted by: phleabo on April 24, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,
"Why are you restricting it to members of Congress? He didn't have to pick any member of Congress, but could have selected anyone, including a currently serving non-partisan member of the intelligence community itself."

er, because you did. my point is that if he was SOLELY making a political appointment its a rather strange coincidence that out of conservative national political figures he picked the one with relevant experience.
thus my point that it was not solely a political appointment stands.

Posted by: Nathan on April 24, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

When the administration leaks cherry-picked and discredited intel and Our Dear Leader lies about it, it is a public service. When anyone else leaks something exposing illegal activities on the part of the White House, it is treason. The mental gymnastics required to support this line of "reasoning" must be tiring...

Posted by: jim on April 24, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

What is this "oversight" of which Kevin speaks?

Posted by: David in NY on April 24, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Rush even explained that this was "..ilustrating the absurd, by being absurd

Something he does 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

Posted by: ckelly on April 24, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, really freaked out here phleabo. Not. The hypocrisy, idiocy, lunacy, and sheer frivolity of the left is pure entertainment.

By the time '08 rolls around I believe your small wooden heads will have caved in. Pass the popcorn.

Posted by: Jay on April 24, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

if McCarthy is tainted because her donations, Goss is beyond tainted and well into soiled.

Wrong, dim-bulb. Ms. McCarthy is "tainted" because she was caught revealing codeword-clearance national security secrets. It happened to be part of her fucking job not to reveal them.

Your pitiful analogy would be perfect, if, for example, Porter Goss (1) worked for a Democrat President and (2) got caught having lengthy fireside chats with a reporter about all the cool-but-secret shit that he hears about at the office.

Somebody up there said it: when you have such a hand-wringing crisis of conscience that you just can't help from betraying the trust that you have been given, you fucking resign.

And hey, what about that budget deficit? Got that one under control yet?

Won an election lately, ass-wipe?

Posted by: Fuck you, Democrats on April 24, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

er, because you did.

Er, no I didn't. Let's go over this slowly, so you can understand. I say "since he could have picked anyone why did he pick a Republican congressman"? (meaning my universe of subjects is everyone, not Congress). You answer "if he had to pick a Congressman doesn't it make sense to pick one with intelligence experience?" I respond "but he didn't have to pick a Congressman, he could have picked anyone, the fact that he picked a Congressman is what is in itself suspect." See how that works? I'm not restricting the universe of subjects to Congress, you are.

my point is that if he was SOLELY making a political appointment its a rather strange coincidence that out of conservative national political figures he picked the one with relevant experience.

No, he picked the one who could muddy the waters and provide the best cover for the fact that he was making a nakedly political appointment, so that rubes like you would fall for it. As you have.

thus my point that it was not solely a political appointment stands.

I'd check on whether that point is still standing, as it seems to have fallen over long ago. But even by saying it was not solely a political appointment you are conceding that it was at least partially a political appointment, which is still outrageous and far from the practcice of previous presidents, who unlike Bush did not politicize the office of CIA Directors.

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

32%, Jay. 32%. Bush is deep into albatross territory. it'll be a fun summer, watching the GOP rats trying to swim away from the ass-up wreck of the USS Bush.

Posted by: cleek on April 24, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Dana Priest - the writer to whom Mcarthy leaked - is a woman. The WaPost has another writer named Dana (Milbank, covers the White House) who is a man.

But remember, the fact that the administration is shipping guys off to secret prisons, despite the hypocracy of simultaneously claiming to be the bringer of freedom to oppressed Iraqis, is completely silly because one of Dana Priest's 12 sources on the story likes Democrats.

Posted by: mmy on April 24, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Reality: Fire-breathing ideologue Democrat caught betraying codeword-clearance national security secrets to reporter out of spite to damage a Republican president.

Stefan's reaction: Goss was a political appointee!

You're a joke. You'd be funny if they didn't let you vote.

Posted by: Fuck you, Democrats on April 24, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

. Ms. McCarthy is "tainted" because she was caught revealing codeword-clearance national security secrets.

uhh, dickwad, you're the one who spent the top of the thread pounding your little fists on the table and screaming about her campaign donations. if her donations mean anything, then so do Goss'.

Won an election lately, ass-wipe?

your Dear Leader is at 32%. he's closing in on Nixon numbers. come November, he's gonna drag your little party right down the crapper.

Posted by: cleek on April 24, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Won an election lately, ass-wipe?

Uh-huh. Three out of the last four, if you're talking about presidential elections. And guess what! We got that deficit under control.

Oh, and fuck you too, asshole.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on April 24, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Frequency nailed it!

Posted by: shortstop on April 24, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Wait til information comes out that Joe "Liar" Wilson was a friend of Mary McCarthy.

Joe "Liar" Wilson worked with McCarthy, folks.

We already know that she donated $9,000 to Democrats in 2004. That is alot to give for her salary.

Something is fishy.

Posted by: MountainDan on April 24, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Media Blog

WILLIAMS: Let me just quickly respond.

Brit, she took a risk. She was very aware of what she had signed. She is now bearing the cost of having broken that pledge.

WALLACE: So this is an act of conscience?

WILLIAMS: And so in that sense, yes, I do believe it's an act of honor.

WALLACE: And if it's an act of conscience, then why did she do it surreptitiously?

WILLIAMS: What?

WALLACE: Why did she do it surreptitiously?

WILLIAMS: She did it because she wanted to get the word out.

HUME: Why didn't she just walk out, stand on the street corner, and pass it out?

WILLIAMS: She could have, but she had a reporter...

HUME: But she didn't.

WILLIAMS: ... that she had a relationship with.

HUME: I know why she didn't. She didn't because that way she would have become known. She wanted to do it and not get caught. That's why.

McCarthy didn't want the information attributed to her, not only because of the obvious legal jeopardy, but because her political leanings would have changed our interpretation of the information.

Posted by: sunbeltjerry on April 24, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

There is one question unanswered that would make a significant difference in how I view this matter. That question being did she try to work within the IG/oversight structure before she started leaking to Dana Priest and found herself unable to get anywhere or not? If she did and then took it upon herself to leak because she could get no satisfaction from the internal oversight structures in place then she did a public service first and foremost. If she did not then I have to say I find her motivations far more suspect. This is not a small matter. While I happen to abhor the idea of secret CIA prisons and think it is anathema to the real American spirit/belief of freedom from the tyranny of governments, and that if true is something deserving of exposure, if this woman went first to the press then she has demonstrated in my view very poor judgment for someone in the CIA with the responsibilities she held.

This woman did something that some see as heroic and others as treasonous. Then there are those that argue she is a true whistleblower because if the program itself is illegal under American law then leaking it's existence cannot be a crime. Myself, at this early date I do not know how to read this. What I do know is that the idea this was all a sting using these secret prisons as the bait for the trap is not at all consistent with the reaction to this story when it came out as well as the clear negative damage it would do internationally and possibly domestically for the GOP to an America already seen as acting in a morally dubious thanks to things like Abu Ghraib. There is no way that the damage that was done by this story and the months it was allowed out there prior to this woman's firing is offset by her removal, so I cannot accept this idea, although I am not surprised that the Trolletariat is for the most part swallowing this load given the other loads they have swallowed without gagging previously.

Do I think this woman should have been able to remain in her job? Given what I know at this time, I can't say for sure but I would admit I am leaning towards no. Do I think she needs to be prosecuted for this? Well that hinges on whether these secret prisons really exist and whether they are legal or not for the American government to have. If they do exist and are illegal then I say she is a true whistleblower deserving of the protections of such, ESPECIALLY if she turns out to have tried to deal with this matter internally first before going to the media. If they are legal, or if she did not try to deal with the matter internally first then I think charges are appropriate. She was in a position where you cannot break the wall of silence without serious repercussions, period. I have no problems with her firing unless she can show she tried to deal first within the system and was stymied at every turn, I do have a problem with her being charged under those circumstances though. If she first went to the media without trying to deal with this internally first then I do think she should be charged even if the information is true and that it is illegal, because she broke procedures before exhausting the options within them. That to my mind is not something that should be encouraged, especially in an intelligence agency.

I will also add I find it very troubling that so many defenders of Bushco are raising her political contributions as if they are evidence of anything other than how she voted. Last time I checked being a member of the CIA or any other element of the American government did not strip away your right to be politically active supporting the party of your choice. This notion that one can "prove" she was a partisan political operative solely on the basis of her political contributions is patent nonsense, period. It does not such thing by itself, and aside from the leaking itself and the fact she contributed to the Dems there is ZERO evidence to support the idea she was acting as a partisan political operative in this matter, period. There needs to be more than that before such contributions can be portrayed to have any evidentiary value in this matter.

This is not a simple issue, and it is one I fear is all too likely to be reduced to a binary good/evil configuration depending on one's political perspective. In something like this I feel that is going the wrong way. It is more important to know the specifics on what this woman did within the agency prior to leaking the info, how did the agency respond to her attempts (if any) to deal with this issue, whether assuming these prisons are real that they are legal or illegal for the American government to be sponsoring before painting this woman as a hero to the left and/or a villain/traitor to America as the right appears to see this person.

One cannot encourage/sanction leaking classified intelligence by those charged with protecting such. One can especially not do so in a manner where no sanctions (at the minimum removal of position and demotion to something where no sensitive info can be gathered by such a person to the firing for cause of that person) attach to the act, even when the information being revealed is something the general public needs to know is being done in its name, which the secret prisons certainly is IMHO. As to formal charges, I really do not know thanks to the underlying question of the legality of these prisons in the first place, if they are illegal then no, if they are legal then I am forced to say yes she should be charged.

This is a complex issue, and I think too many on both sides of this are jumping too quickly to their respective positions. Me, I am going to take a bit more of a wait and see attitude on this one. Like I've said before I take intelligence issues seriously.

Posted by: Scotian on April 24, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

if her donations mean anything, then so do Goss'

You're right! They help explain his motivations for all those times he chatted up a reporter and divulged codeword-clearance national security secrets ... oh, no, wait! Mary O. McCarthy, Democrat Gold Club Member, did that!

Three out of the last four

Bwaa haa haa haa haa ....... Say, did Senator Lurch (D-Addams Family) ever disclose the FULL contents of his military record, like he promised a million times?

Posted by: Fuck you, Democrats on April 24, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know about you all, but if my party controlled the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court, the media, and corporate America, I sure wouldn't be insecure and running to lefty sites to whine and posture.

Telling.

Posted by: BB on April 24, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Bush at 32 today.

"when you have such a hand-wringing crisis of conscience that you just can't help from betraying the trust that you have been given, you fucking resign."

Or you go lie to the grand jury a bunch of times, chug a beer before shooting someone in the face, pretend the leak was "authorized," ignore oncoming hurricanes, think happy thoughts about Iraq, pad your donors pockets, cling on to power for dear life, and help drag your party down to utter disgrace.

Either way works.

Posted by: HeavyJ on April 24, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

I should note that nobody actually knows how many sources Priest had. My point in saying above that it was 12, is that a story like this is not likely to run with only one source. When the government is violating people's rights in secret, you tend to cover a lot of bases before you expose it.

But remember, nobody knows anything about secret prisons anywhere as long as at least one CIA employee acknoledges the existence of the Democratic Party.

Posted by: mmy on April 24, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Reality: Fire-breathing ideologue Democrat caught betraying codeword-clearance national security secrets to reporter out of spite to damage a Republican president.

Oh, so Ms. McCarthy is now a "fire-breathing ideologue." I wasn't aware you knew her personally.

And -- isn't this just like a liberal? -- she did so out of spite! Not because the existence of secret prisons is classified only because the administration knows they're of dubious legal and moral justification, but just because she's pissed that Kerry lost! What a moonbat!

Posted by: Alek Hidell on April 24, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Suck it up, BB. You know you like being in the minority. It validates your feelings of inferiority and persecution.

Posted by: Fuck you, Democrats on April 24, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Mary O. McCarthy, Democrat Gold Club Member, did that!

actually, dickwad, she didn't

better head on over to RNC.com and get your new set of talking points!

Posted by: cleek on April 24, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

"You know you like being in the minority. It validates your feelings of inferiority and persecution."

You can always count on a sheep to project.

Posted by: BB on April 24, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Something is fishy

time to change your boxers

Posted by: cleek on April 24, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

Bush at 32 today

Golly, if only opinion polls mattered for something ...

Other than tracking the price of gas.

Posted by: Fuck you, Democrats on April 24, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

The mental gymnastics required to support this line of "reasoning" must be tiring...

Not mental gymnastics, blind obedience. I can easily see our Fever Swamp Bushists and Democrat Derangement Syndromers standing in front of a gallows sixty years ago, bawling "I vas just vollowink orders!"

Such little men.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on April 24, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

"No, he picked the one who could muddy the waters and provide the best cover for the fact that he was making a nakedly political appointment"

funny, I already suggested this line of argument for you. I also readily conceded that it was partially a political appointment.
do you even read the statements of those you argue with?

Scotian:
I'm impressed...unlike most other posters here, you are being consistent between your Plame postings and the one regarding McCarthy.

Posted by: Nathan on April 24, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

FYD, are you a child or unemployed adult?

If the latter, why don't you have a job? I thought the economy was booming.

If the former, why don't you go watch cartoons?

Posted by: BB on April 24, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Golly, if only opinion polls mattered for something ...

Being on the wrong end of history hurts, doesn't it?

And no, fuck you.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on April 24, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Say, did Senator Lurch (D-Addams Family) ever disclose the FULL contents of his military record, like he promised a million times?

Oh, Christ -- are we going to go there again? Did President Chimp (R-Bush Family*) ever reveal where he was between April, 1972 and October, 1973?

* Who needs a fictional family when there's a real one that's much scarier?

I will give you one prop, F.U.D.: at least you can spell and write. That places you in the 99th percentile among reactionaries.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on April 24, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like we've got some turnover in the paid-troll dept. Apparently standards have been lowered yet again.

Posted by: Jim J on April 24, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

That places you in the 99th percentile among reactionaries.

The only people who still use the term "reactionaries" are communists and college students. (Same thing, I guess.)

Posted by: Fuck you, Democrats on April 24, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently standards have been lowered yet again.

And things were getting pretty quiet here too. I guess the steady approaching of the Nixon Line kicks Democrat Derangement Syndrome into high gear.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on April 24, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like we've got some turnover in the paid-troll dept.

nah, they just rotate sites because the troll effect wears off after a while.

Posted by: cleek on April 24, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

The only people who still use the term "reactionaries" are communists and college students.

How someone could write this without their head exploding is a mystery to both God and Science.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on April 24, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

You're right! They help explain his motivations for all those times he chatted up a reporter and divulged codeword-clearance national security secrets ... oh, no, wait! Mary O. McCarthy, Democrat Gold Club Member, did that!

Er, I believe you meant to say Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and Scooter Libby did that....

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

do you even read the statements of those you argue with?

Mostly, no, I just skim. And sometimes, to keep it interesting, I'll read only every other word.

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

The only people who still use the term "reactionaries" are communists and college students. (Same thing, I guess.)

http://www.google.com/search?q=reactionary+site:rnc.org

Republicans are commies. Now we know.

Posted by: BB on April 24, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

The only people who still use the term "reactionaries" are communists and college students. (Same thing, I guess.)

[Rolls eyes] Yep, you nailed it. I'm fluoridating your water supply, too.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on April 24, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

[Rolls eyes] Yep, you nailed it. I'm fluoridating your water supply, too.

Good work, comrade. I'm sapping his precious bodily fluids, myself...

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, et al. - Do you think that every CIA oficer who disagrees with agency policy has the right to leak to the press? Of course not. I think we all agree that CIA officers have legal, professional and moral obligations to keep confidential the secrets they learn in the course of their employ. The only question is when does the awfulness of whatever the Government is doing outweigh those legal, professional and moral obligations.


I would suggest that one way to measure that is by whether the conduct was so awful that the employee felt compelled to resign, to disassociate himself from the Government. If the employee is not willing to do that, then it's rather difficult to credit his claim that he was so outraged by the Government's conduct that he felt forced to breach his legal, professional and moral obligations to maintain the agency's confidences.

Posted by: DBL on April 24, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

I know that you are going to respond that agency or other governmental employees ought to be able to leak whenever they think the Government is doing something illegal. But who appointed them judge and high executioner? Why do they get to decide what's legal and what isn't, especially in national security cases where the law is close?

That's why resignation is a good guidepost. That demonstrates a sincerity that is important. Otherwise, it's just an employee second guessing his superiors on matters about which the employee may have no expertise or may lack the big picture. If the employee resigns, then he may be wrong in his conclusions about the Government's conduct but at least we'll know that he believed strongly that such conduct was highly improper.

Posted by: DBL on April 24, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Why do they get to decide what's legal and what isn't, especially in national security cases where the law is close?

yeah, that's Bush's job.

If the employee is not willing to do that, then it's rather difficult to credit his claim that he was so outraged by the Government's conduct that he felt forced to breach his legal, professional and moral obligations to maintain the agency's confidences.

again, we know almost nothing about the McCarthy situation. we certainly don't know enough to know if she threatened to quit, or if she talked to her boss and got assurances that things would (or would not) change.

at this point, we know almost nothing about the situation. all this stuff about motive and honor and morals and partisanship is hot air.

Posted by: cleek on April 24, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Alek = Extra funny today.

I retract my suspicion that Jay's behind Fuck You, Democrats, since, as Alek has noted, FYD can spell and punctuate. (And yet, even though his party is in power, he's hysterically angry. BB's right; it's telling as hell. Could these guys get up in the morning without a double shot of fear and loathing?)

Posted by: shortstop on April 24, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK
I know that you are going to respond that agency or other governmental employees ought to be able to leak whenever they think the Government is doing something illegal.

No, I think they ought to be legally allowed to leak whenever the government is actually illegal, as it should be (and, incidentally, is) illegal to classify information to conceal crime.

Clearly, if they leak something because they think the government is doing something illegal, they are taking the risk that they will be determined to be wrong.

But who appointed them judge and high executioner?

Executioners usually aren't in the business of talking, their in the business of, erm, directly killing people.

Why do they get to decide what's legal and what isn't, especially in national security cases where the law is close?

They don't. The courts get to.

That's why resignation is a good guidepost.

Resignation is a dumb guidepost. You resign if you cannot, for moral reasons, comply with a legal policy directive. If someone else is committing a crime, you do what you can to bring it to light so they lose their job. Now, you sacrificing yours may be the best way to do that, or it may not.

If the employee resigns, then he may be wrong in his conclusions about the Government's conduct but at least we'll know that he believed strongly that such conduct was highly improper.

Even if this was a good indication of sincerity of the specific complaint (rather than, say, general job disatisfaction and financial security), I don't see how it has any bearing on the actual validity of the complaint, which is the only thing that ought to matter to anyone but God and the complainer.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 24, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely says:

"No, I think they ought to be legally allowed to leak whenever the government is actually illegal, as it should be (and, incidentally, is) illegal to classify information to conceal crime."

nice sleight of hand there. the first (which isn't the case) doesn't necessarily follow from the second. (a government action may be both classified and illegal without the rationale for the classification being the concealment of said illegal activity).

for the record, there are established mechanisms for government employees who believe that a crime may be committed...none of these involve talking to the press.
so..ready to call for that Espionage Act prosecution?

Posted by: Nathan on April 24, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Al wrote:

*Snicker* First you support Clintonista retired generals in their attempt at a military coup of civilian control of the military. Now you support Berger/Clinton appointees like McCarthy trying to topple Bush as a political vendetta. You might not realize this but in a democracy it is elected leaders like George Bush who run the government not power hungry partisan appointees like McCarthy. I can see now why you supported Saddam Hussein rather than supporting George Bush in his liberation of the Iraqi people.


Gosh, I know I am going to regret this.

But Al, what is it that makes the retired generals "Clintonistas"?

Do enlighten...

Posted by: Tbrosz watch on April 24, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

Al wrote:

*Snicker* First you support Clintonista retired generals in their attempt at a military coup of civilian control of the military. Now you support Berger/Clinton appointees like McCarthy trying to topple Bush as a political vendetta. You might not realize this but in a democracy it is elected leaders like George Bush who run the government not power hungry partisan appointees like McCarthy. I can see now why you supported Saddam Hussein rather than supporting George Bush in his liberation of the Iraqi people.


Gosh, I know I am going to regret this.

But Al, what is it that makes the retired generals "Clintonistas"?

Do enlighten...

Posted by: Tbrosz watch on April 24, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

what you have to admire is the way that the crazy right, knowing nothing more than that mccarthy was fired over some polygraph-induced revelations of journalist contacts, nonetheless can convince itself that this is the greatest security breach since either sandy berger or alger hiss, or make judgements about her motivations, or get all snotty about "right ways" and "wrong ways" to complain about something that she may not even have complained about.

sheesh.

shortstop, "fuck you, democrat" has the cadence and imbecility of an old friend, norman rogers, one of the slimiest and most loathsome of the right-winger haters that have ever graced this site with their inanity.

Posted by: howard on April 24, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: No, I think they ought to be legally allowed to leak whenever the government is actually illegal, as it should be (and, incidentally, is) illegal to classify information to conceal crime.

Nathan: nice sleight of hand there. the first (which isn't the case) doesn't necessarily follow from the second. (a government action may be both classified and illegal without the rationale for the classification being the concealment of said illegal activity).

What point do you think you're making here? While a government program may be classified for reasons other than its illegality, as you note, that has nothing to do with cmdicely's point that it is illegal to classify information to reveal a crime, and that thus a person should be allowed to leak classified information about criminal conduct in order to bring that criminal conduct to light. While the first doesn't necessarily follow from the second, his argument doesn't rest on the fact that it necessarily does so -- it's merely an additional point. The fact that the classification may have an innocuous rationale does not mean that you should not be be able to pierce that classification if necessary to expose another nefarious purpose which the classification is being used to cover.

Let's make this simpler. cmdicely said "if A (classification) because of B (to cover criminality) is the case, you should be able to do C (disclose)." You responded "aha! But sometimes if A is the case, the reason for it is D (another rationale besides criminality)!" You see the lack of logical connection there? Yes, case D may be true, but that's not what we're discussing -- we're discussing case B.

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

She belongs in jail, where she is likely headed.
Posted by: BlaBlaBla

How can you say this? Didn't Condi Rice say that those prisons did not exist. Would Condi lie?

Posted by: Jon Stopa on April 24, 2006 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan - sure Porter Goss has experience in the CIA.
From the late 50's to the 70s. In South and Central America, as I recall.

What do you suppose he was doing there?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvador_Allende

Sure, he's a good fit with John "Death Squads" Negroponte, but only if you're trying to win hearts and minds so you can put them into glass jars.

Posted by: kenga on April 25, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK
nice sleight of hand there. the first (which isn't the case) doesn't necessarily follow from the second. (a government action may be both classified and illegal without the rationale for the classification being the concealment of said illegal activity).

You are correct that the first (which emphatically is the case -- note that it is an "I think...ought...", which states my moral belief, not a statement of law) is not a necessary conclusion of the second, though they are closely related. Then again, I didn't claim they followed from each other, I said one should be just as the other should be. The only thing I stated about the state of the law was the parenthetical, and I said nothing about one implying the other, I said they are both true for the same reason.

It should be legal to leak violations of US law (including the Constitution and treaties as well as statute law) by the government, for the same reason that it should be illegal to classify with the purpose of concealing criminality. Classification exists to protect the interests of the people of the United States, and, above all else the Constitution to which all public officers are sworn, and which binds the executive to fidelity to the law. Enforcing classification with either the intent or the effect of concealing subversion of the principle of a government bound and limited by law is toxic to the Constitutional order and the principle of limited government, and is absolutely intolerable.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 25, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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