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Tilting at Windmills

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April 24, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

McCARTHY UPDATE....Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff update the Mary McCarthy story:

A former CIA officer who was sacked last week after allegedly confessing to leaking secrets has denied she was the source of a controversial Washington Post story about alleged CIA secret detention operations in Eastern Europe, a friend of the operative told Newsweek.

The fired official, Mary O. McCarthy, categorically denies being the source of the leak, one of McCarthys friends and former colleagues, Rand Beers, said Monday after speaking to McCarthy.

....A counter-terrorism official acknowledged to Newsweek today that in firing McCarthy, the CIA was not necessarily accusing her of being the principal, original, or sole leaker of any particular story. Intelligence officials privately acknowledge that key news stories about secret agency prison and rendition operations have been based, at least in part, upon information available from unclassified sources.

Well, that's sort of interesting. Maybe we all jumped the gun assuming that McCarthy was linked to the secret prison story. Perhaps she was fired for something else entirely.

Kevin Drum 5:09 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (56)

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Comments

So is it solely because she's an identified Democrat in a high position at the CIA? I feel much better now.
I wonder how this will affect the current right wing blog marching orders.

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

time for a new set of RNC talking points. wonder what all those amateur justice dept sleuths are gonna come up with this time....

Posted by: cleek on April 24, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Perhaps she was fired for something else entirely."

Yeah, like donating to the Kerry campaign.

Posted by: treetop on April 24, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Earth to Kevin: We don't care what stories resulted from Mary's illegal leaks -we care about leaking classified info. You seem to be missing the point ...

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

Jerry: Sure, unless it's a leak you approve of because it helps your cause. Give me a break.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on April 24, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

It will take 3 days for the Rove Talking Points to change. Facts are of no importance to Karl and the boys. After all they invented swiftboating.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 24, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

I guess this shreds the idea that she is a hero for leaking about the prisons. She says that she didn't - so I guess she just leaked classified information because she's an idiot.

At least Dems now know that she's not a hero ...

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

'Kevin"

Thanks for responding. How can you possibly say that I approve of leaks that support my causes?

Evidence? Any previous postings or emails? No?

Why? Because I don't approve of any leaks when there is a defined procedure for getting the problem addressed.

What bullshit.

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

So, Jerry, I take it that you have called on Karl Rove, and anyone else connected with the Plame outing to resign?

Posted by: Doctor Jay on April 24, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

How can you possibly say that I approve of leaks that support my causes?

Good point jerry. Kevin is just being a hypocrite.

Posted by: Al on April 24, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and that reminds me. Ms. McCarthy isn't being prosecuted for leaking. Doesn't that seem odd? Don't you think she should be prosecuted? If she leaked, that is?

If she isn't, then how do we even know that she was fired for leaking. She's not saying, after all, and neither is the administration.

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

Fired as an example to others because she's close to retirement and gave to the Kerry campaign. This was a shot over the bow, not necessarily an accusation of guilt. Kind of like Valerie Plame. Interesting how they like to sacrifice the women. Who was that Pentagon whistleblower--Bunatine something or other?

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

Will all the conservative lemmings take back their vicious allegations of McCarthy's partisan motives to undermine the administration's Global Whine on Terror now?

We won't hold our breath.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 24, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Dr. Jay:

Where can I get some of what you're smoking?

I'm supposed to call for the removal of someone who hasn't even been indicted -- after two years -- for anything? Does that make ANY sense? (and in case you don't get it,. or Kevin still doesn't get it - if Rove leaked classified info then he should resign and be prosecuted. I don't like Rove any more or less because he's a Republican. I find him rather sleazy - but people aren't prosecuted for being sleazy.)

Al:

I'm thinking that Kevin must be a bit upset today - it is turning into a rather good day for the right side of the blogosphere and I think he's been hurt. I've exchanged many emails with him and I don't believe I've ever condoned the purposeful leaking of classified information. Kevin seems to think that anyone who doesn't approve of what Mary did must obviously be a rabid, no-thinking, right winger.I really hope that the Kevin who responded to me isn't really the Kevin who writes this stuff - He's sounding a bit like that guy Hindlick, or Hitzlick, you know, that whacked out Mr. Strawman at LA Times.

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

News story Here.

The term used is "pattern of behavior," and she confessed to the behavior.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 24, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Evidence? Any previous postings or emails? No?

and that's about the sum of what you know about the McCarthy situation. yet here you are, with your fellow Bushistas, blathering on about her guilt and motives like you're some kind of Justice Dept Investigator.

Posted by: cleek on April 24, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

A senior government official said the dismissal was related to a story in The Washington Post about the United States holding terror suspects in secret prisons overseas.

Yet another example of administration lying?

Enquiring minds want to know . . .


Posted by: Advocate for God on April 24, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: . . . she confessed to the behavior.

She allegedly confessed to the behavior.

I thought you didn't believe everything you read in the media, tbrosz?

I guess that only applies to things you don't want to believe, but not to things you do want to believe.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 24, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

All the news stories have reported that she was given a lie detector test, flunked it, was confronted with the results, and *confessed* to leaking classified information. Does Kevin mean, maybe she was fired for leaking something other than the secret prisons story? Because there doesn't seem to be any question that she was fired for leaking.

So far, apparently, nobody willing to be identified has said on the record what information she was fired for leaking.

But from CNN.com:

"A senior government official said the dismissal was related to a story in The Washington Post about the United States holding terror suspects in secret prisons overseas."

Posted by: Swift Loris on April 24, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Doctor Jay: As I posted in the earlier thread about this subject:

Who's to say that she won't be? After all, getting publicly fired from a high-ranking position because of leaking is a somewhat rare occurrence in Washington. If the Bushies want to send a clearer message to the "career staff" at CIA, State, et al., that leaking of classified info will not be tolerated, what better way than to throw the book at this heroic "whistleblower."

Oh, and Kevin, pretty snarky response to Jerry since you cite no examples. On a par with Armando of the Daily Kos, Bravo! LOL

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

The term used is "pattern of behavior," and she confessed to the behavior.

That's right, serial contributions to Democrats. Phew, good thing she's out of government. You never know where that sort of thing might lead.

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

sunbeltfairy: . . . it is turning into a rather good day for the right side of the blogosphere and I think he's been hurt.

Yeah, Bush's approval going to 32% is a great day for the Right!

LOL.

And more revelations about White House lies about intelligence coming forth is just what the Right wanted to see!

LOL.

I'm supposed to call for the removal of someone who hasn't even been indicted . . .

Hmmmm. Yet, you are gloating over McCarthy being sacked, even though she hasn't been indicted either.

Lying hypocrite is what you are.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 24, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

it is turning into a rather good day for the right side of the blogosphere and I think he's been hurt.

WTF?

Is there some scoreboard I don't know about? "And, it's a direct hit on the Lefties! But they come back, and smack the Right senseless! Which is a bit redundant, don't you think, Frank?"

"Yes, that's right Bob, `senseless` is already a term often associated with the Right, so we'd just better say that the Red team has taken a huge blow to its credibility."

"Ha ha! Credibility! That's a good one Frank!"

Posted by: craigie on April 24, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Oh sure, I post at this blog for over three years, clarifying issues, supporting Kevin (at times), and at other times, correcting Kevin and pointing out the errors of his ways, all in all a good addition to the commentariat.

But does Kevin ever respond to me? And when he does respond to "Jerry" is it to me, or some semi-recent interloper?

Well Excuuuuuuseeeee Me!

Posted by: jerry on April 24, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

If the Bushies want to send a clearer message to the "career staff" at CIA, State, et al., that leaking of classified info will not be tolerated, what better way than to throw the book at this heroic "whistleblower."

Well, they could send a clearer message by impeaching Cheney and prosecuting him.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 24, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Advocate - nice homophobic response.

True colors ...

As a gay man I am seriously offended at the way you changed my screen moniker in an attempt to insult. For shame. As an Advocate for God, He/She most definitely would not approve.

Posted by: sunbeltjerry on April 24, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK


SUNBELTJERRY: How can you possibly say that I approve of leaks that support my causes?

You didn't speak in the first-person singular "I," you spoke in the third-person plural "we." You were clearly presuming to speak with authority for those who hold the view you expressed, which persons consist of, generally, administration supporters. Therefore, Kevin's reply was not to the "you" singular, but to the "you" plural. And the you plural are those who approve of the Plame leak and the classified document leak as described in Fitzgerald's case summary. So get off your phony injured indignation.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 24, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

what a load! He directed his response to jerry. end of story. kevin and I email frequently - he knows me and my views. He knows that ...

oh, what's the use with the willfully obtuse! Just ask Kevin what he meant - you're wrong.

Posted by: sunbeltjerry on April 24, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

sunbeltmary: Hey Advocate - nice homophobic response.

Gee, and I was referring to your condition as an imaginary creature living in the fantasy world of conservatism, sorta like Tinkerbell.

Nice paranoia you've got going, though.

As a gay man I am seriously offended . . .

I really don't think you're that happy.

Or gay.

Just another conservative poser looking for sympathy.

In fact, I'll bet you are a gay black Jewish Marine who lost a limb in Iraq and can't find a job because liberals call you a babykiller.

Am I right?

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 24, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK


SUNBELTJERRY: oh, what's the use with the willfully obtuse! Just ask Kevin what he meant - you're wrong.

Kevin was responding to what you meant, not what he meant. This is your original post.
Earth to Kevin: We don't care what stories resulted from Mary's illegal leaks -we care about leaking classified info.
Please explain why it was "we" when you're describing what you care about, but it became "I" when your cares were responded to. Are you perhaps of royal blood?


Posted by: jayarbee on April 24, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

She was fired for being a scapegoat.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 24, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

you were right with the royal blood ...

Posted by: sunbeltjerry (aka punching bag) on April 24, 2006 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

Every Federal Employee is subject to a loyalty test.

Why is that wrong?

Politburo can do whatever it wants.

Posted by: lib on April 24, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

wow. they chose rand beers to quote. let's all take a second to remember that he advised on kerry's campaign and was the ORIGINAL intelligence turncoat. wonder how that's going to play in the psychotic corners of the web.

Posted by: Marc on April 24, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

I found her book, Birds of America, quite intriguing.

Posted by: The Reverend Hostile on April 24, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

Jerry-

President Bush has refused to fire Karl Rove despite his being one person who leaked Valerie Plame's identity to the press. Should Bush be impeached for abetting a crime that harms national security?

If your concern really is as blunt as 'just wanting leakers to be punished', then I would expect you to answer this in a straightforward way without any of that pesky nuance or word-game stuff.

Breathlessly awaiting your reply.

Posted by: matt on April 24, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

" fire Karl Rove despite his being one person who leaked Valerie Plame's identity to the press."

This is complete BS. The original "leak" of Plame was by someone from the State Depertment, most likely Armitage. Fitz knows it, anyone paying attention knows it. Armitage hasn't been charged because "leaking" the dingbat's name wasn't a crime anyway.

Posted by: BlaBlaBla on April 24, 2006 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

Mimikatz writes, Fired as an example to others because she's close to retirement and gave to the Kerry campaign. This was a shot over the bow, not necessarily an accusation of guilt.

That makes no sense. First, the election is almost 18 months old. It's history. Second, firing someone for a contribution to the other party, in a career employee, would create a firestorm on the Hill. With the various things on Bush's plate right now, that would be one fight he doesn't need. And third, Bush as 2 1/2 years left. If he were going to fire people based on contributions to Democratic candidates, the time to do it would have been 2001, not 2006.

Posted by: Steve White on April 24, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

According to this CNN story, Ms. Carthy was fired for a 'pattern of behavior'. This gets more interesting all the time.

Posted by: Steve White on April 24, 2006 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

The McCarthy firing smells Rovian to me.

Kevin's readers are no doubt aware of the "equivalence dodge" Karl frequently employs as political defense. The point in the McCarthy affair is to create the impression that the leaking of classified information for political gian is a common political play. The specific charges against McCarthy don't matter so much as her political identity. The aim is to try and take some heat off of (leaker, torturer, cocaine abuser, liar, know nothing) Bush.

Posted by: jboa on April 24, 2006 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

Fired for knowing the wrong reporter, maybe?

Smells more all the time. If she'd confessed, she'd have been indicted already. (The tale that there's a problem with prosecuting her based on polygraph evidence wouldn't apply then -- her confession would be enough to try her.)

Sounds like the anonymous sources have struck again.

Posted by: David in NY on April 24, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

The more I read about the McCarthy 'confession', the more I feel like I'm watching a movie about Red Chinese education/reeducation or maybe Stalinist show trials. Hard to believe this is happening in America. And she was three days short of retirement???

Posted by: MaryLou on April 24, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

Soon all non-rightees will be purged from the government. Then it is the high road to fascism-the true Bush promise.

Posted by: MRB on April 25, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

So Rand Beers comes out and says McCarthy did not leak the prison story to the Post. Why didn't she come out and give a press conference herself? Maybe something about having any statements she makes being used against her in a court of law?
Could she be cooperating with other leak investigations in exchange for not being prosecuted? I don't know. The FBI confirmed today that they have several leak investigations currently ongoing. A good summation of what has happened to date is found here

Posted by: Meatss on April 25, 2006 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

Ten days before her retirement date she's escorted out the door.

CIA now saying she "spoke to reporters without authorization". Not exactly "leaking classified information".

No wonder she's having surrogates speak on her behalf.

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on April 25, 2006 at 3:20 AM | PERMALINK

wow. they chose rand beers to quote. let's all take a second to remember that he advised on kerry's campaign and was the ORIGINAL intelligence turncoat. wonder how that's going to play in the psychotic corners of the web.
Posted by: Marc on April 24, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

More on Beers: He quit the Bush Administration because he thought they were doing a crappy, irresponsible job on counterterrorism and because even though he didn't think going to war against Iraq was wrong, he felt the administration screwed up drastically on that too because they didn't have a broad enough coalition.
His presence lends credibility to the idea that McCarthy is a political target of the administration jackboots. The leak ``investigations '' as they are proceeding seem as pernicious as everything else Bush has been doing to savage dissenters and dissent itself turn his office into a throne room.
Jerk.

Posted by: secularhuman on April 25, 2006 at 3:22 AM | PERMALINK

Score one for the Waffen SS I guess. Sieg Heil boys.

I think I read in a book about the Battle of Berlin somewhere, where deserter's were still getting hung and shot by the SS right to the bitte end. Danke Shern.

Maybe a virtual hat could be passed around for Mary?

Ray McGovern just called her a heroine if she did whats alleged she did. ' Just obeying Porter's' is no defence and ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Posted by: professor rat on April 25, 2006 at 4:24 AM | PERMALINK

So if Bush decides to seed government with Oliver North types to leak a future Democrat presidency into unpopularity.

Posted by: McA on April 25, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

....So if Bush decides to seed government with Oliver North types to leak a future Democrat presidency into unpopularity, it'll be OK?

Posted by: McA on April 25, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Mimikatz observes:
Fired as an example to others because she's close to retirement and gave to the Kerry campaign. This was a shot over the bow, not necessarily an accusation of guilt. Kind of like Valerie Plame. Interesting how they like to sacrifice the women. Who was that Pentagon whistleblower--Bunatine something or other?

Bunnatine Greenhouse. There were also the crimes of Martha Stewart - convicted for pleading innocent, is what it all boiled down to.

It's a shot across the bow, all right. The mid-term elections are coming up, and more good solid Republicans - military brass as well as CIA people - have been coming out of the woodwork. Got to stop the torrent NOW. It's over 6 months until November - plenty of time for the sheep to forget all this. By then, the RNC slime campaigns will be underway, and that's all the media will cover.

A nice, loud warning shot. Doesn't matter whether Ms. McCarthy is ever convicted. She's out, and everyone on the inside knows it could happen to them.

"Mission Accomplished."

Posted by: Zandru on April 25, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Sure, if that future Democratic presidency lies and commits illegal acts...

Posted by: An Interested Party on April 25, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

A nice, loud warning shot. Doesn't matter whether Ms. McCarthy is ever convicted. She's out, and everyone on the inside knows it could happen to them.

That was absolutely the intention behind this. Whether it'll play out that way remains to be seen. Agency people have a way of fighting back, and the Bush administration is already bleeding and limping. The next six months are going to be hugely interesting.

Posted by: shortstop on April 25, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

If this administration is going after McCarthy for leaking - when will they go after Priest?

Personally, I think that IF McCarthy WAS the leaker - IF McCarthy WAS Dana Priest's source for her Pulitzer-winning article I do NOT think that Dana Priest should simply be able to take the Pulitzer and run. If McCarthy goes to prison for disclosing Bush's illegal activites - that Dana needs a spell in prison too.

NO shield law should protect journalist while the Bush administration barbeques the leakers.
Bush appears to be be right on the doorstep of barbequing cowardly press members too - at least I hope Bush is - so will the press ever stand-up against this ugly adminstration or is Dana Priest just going to flant the Pulitzer while McCarthy get prosecuted?

Freedom isn't cheap, this is why a shield law is a bad idea - it's just plain immoral to live high on a Pulitzer while the real person with any real moraltiy goes to prison.

What Bush did was a crime - and its up to the press to care enough about the truth and those individuals who dared to give the press the truth about this ugly administration, because, as we've seen, there are already many military members do time for following Bush and Rummys order to torture prisoners while this adminstration skated.

It's time to start talking impeachment and real morality - and how Bush and his cohorts are void of any morality whatsoever. This administration has gone to far, and enough is enough. Have you no shame Mr. Bush?

IF the press thinks there is no accounting to had for lying to Americans and to do things illegal and that somehow Bush criminal behavoir is simply a matter partisan opinion that it's my opinion that Dana Priest should spent time in prison right along beside McCarthy.

This isn't news that is supposedl reported straight down the middle with those as crooked as the cronies in the Bush Administration.


Posted by: Cheryl on April 25, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

IOKIYAD to leak.

It's not OKIYAR to release declassified information to the press.

Got it!

Please let me know when the rules change again.

Posted by: Birkel on April 25, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

"Enough already. What you are citing was a minority opinion. How minority? Try in contradiction to the assessment of every major intelligence agency, including the CIA, which was headed by Clinton appointee Tenet. This effort, where you take the opinion of a single analyst, based on a single source, and try to claim that this proves against all relevant disclosures of the predominate pre-war intelligence that the pre-war intelligence squares with apparent post-war relevations is a very shoddy type of revisionism. It depends on making the entire Clinton administration disappear. (Even Clarke and McCarthy remain of the view, to cite a single example, that the Sudan pharmaceutical plant was part of the Iraq WMD program. If I recall that was in 1998.) Democratic world view is that what was indisputably a bipartisan fact until at least 2002 when the question of actual war emerged, and what remained a predominate opinion even among the Clintonians, can be conjured away and voters like me, who used to vote Democrat, never bothered to read a newspaper in the interim. What it all amounts to is playing games with issues of national security."

Implicit in this diatribe is that the liberal claim is that Saddam NEVER had any WMDs.

This, of course, is not the claim.

Nor is it the claim that Saddam didn't have them in 1998.

The claim is that Saddam didn't have them in April 2003 and that intelligence from between 2000 and 2003 showed this to be the case.

The writer would have us believe that the state of Iraq's WMD programs, assumed or actual, in 1998-2000 was relevant to the time period 2000-2003 or that the evidence regarding and evolution such programs was static over time, unchanging between 2000 and 2003.

The evidence and evoluation of the situation wasn't static, however, any more so than Germany's embrace of concentration camps in the late 30s would evidence of their existence in 1950.

You simply can't use what people thought or knew in 1998-2000 as evidence or proof of what they thought or knew in 2000-2003, since new intelligence had been obtained and was continuing to be obtained during that time.

Moreover, it utterly ignores that the administration was perfectly aware of the findings of the UN inspectiors in early 2003 that showed no WMDs or active programs.

Finally, the writer also ignores the many recent revelations, not just this one, that proves the Bush administration hid and failed to disclose numerous pieces of evidence that undermined their case for war.

To pretend that this is the only example of contradictory evidence and the only example of the administration's manipulation and covering-up of the evidence is either willful blindness or outright lying.

Birkel: Please let me know when the rules change again.

I see that Birkel is back to his lying ways.

IOKIYAD to leak.

Liar.

It's okay to leak information related to criminal activities that cannot be protected through classification - you can't make your crimes confidential in order to keep them hidden, which is what the Bush administration was doing.

It's not OKIYAR to release declassified information to the press.

If you say that making the information public harms national security, which Republicans insist is the case with every piece of classified information.

And then you leak it to a single reporter that favors the administration (not the press, liar, which would involve a press release or multiple reporters from many news outlets), selectively for good measure, for purely partisan political purposes in order to get revenge on a political opponent or to deceive the American people, then yes it's wrong.

What about that don't you get?

The only ones who are changing the rules are conservatives who decide that classified information is not vital to national security whenever leaking it would serve partisan political purposes.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 25, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks!
-招聘

Posted by: jobs on April 25, 2006 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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