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April 25, 2006

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» The Peanutbutter Conspiracy (or, Nixon? Ellsberg? Vietnam? What the hell year is it, anyway?) from protein wisdom
James Taranto points out some stunning rhetoric from John Kerry, whose pretzel logic never fails to amaze. On the Mary McCarthy story and leaking in general,Kerry allows that nobody should leak, but claims its a less serious offens... [Read More]

» Waas Strikes Back from SEIXON
Need to deflect attention from Democrats. Dig up old news story. Pretend it is new and relevant. Get a bunch of anonymous sockpuppets, errr, intelligence officials to source a story. Dazzle the liberal blogs. The name is Murray Waas. [Read More]

» So, If Not McCarthy ... Who? from Riehl World View
Or she was .. she wasn't ... she was?But... but... if Ms. McCarthy was *not* a source for Dana Priest, then there is no compact, yes? Why can't Ms. Priest simply say, Although I will never discuss my sources, I [Read More]

» The CIA Cracks Down from Abracadabrah
No more talkie-talkie for ex-spooks. The Central Intelligence Agency has warned former employees not to have unapproved contacts with reporters, as part of a mounting campaign by the administration to crack down on officials who leak information on ... [Read More]

Comments

mariner

Ms. Linzer shows us how a real master does bull****.

Gary Maxwell

Wow too bad it was not a video chat so you could see her performing that verbal quadruple lutz, it must have been spectacular!

Gary Maxwell

Go ahead and confuse me Dafna. Tell me who Rand Beers was working for when these leaks occured. Forget about Clinton that such old news. How about a the strange scent detected of large donations close to an election, and those donations being of both monetary and inkind ( leaks to help the favored candidate ). Are Washington Post readers or writers the ones that are confused here?

noah

Didn't Priest already deny that McCarthy was her source? Just askin.

Abu El Banat

The information as to Ms. McCarthy's campaign contribution should have been provided by the Post. It is relevant. The reader can make up their own mind as to whether it goes to motive or not. The Post should not withhold facts because they have not determined that it provided the motive.

Their job is to report information even if they think it does not prove motive. The reader can decide for themselves. Obviously, had the political parties been reversed, such information would have been judged by the Post to have clearly shown the motive of a Republican leaker and been published in banner headlines.

Sorry to state the obvious.

Cheers.

charles austin

Ms. Linzer: The compact reporters enter into with sources for information that they wouldn't get otherwise is often one of confidentiality, especially on issues of national security."

Fascinating. I thought this was remarkably similar to the compact the CIA had with it's employees, i.e., they give them access to information they wouldn't otherwise have and insist that it be kept confidential, especially on issues of national security.

The mind reels.

Dan Collins

Well, heck, no, they don't check their citizenship at the gates of Langley (good cover by the Byrds), but they sure as hell seem to check their intelligence there on a frequent basis.

Gary Maxwell

OT

Bush suspends the rediculous EPA rules on fuel additives about an hour ago. He also suspended addtions to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Both should a demonstrable impact on gasoline prices as we head into May.

Dan Collins

Gary--

Poor Tom Harkin's going to be so pissed. Freaking cornographer.

tgharris

I wonder...If the donations in question had been made to Pres. Bush and the RNC, would the WaPo would consider them relevant?

Barney Frank

Noah,

I think Priest denied that McCarthy was the source for the 'secret prison' story, and that she only confirmed what some other source had told her.

This begs several questions of course. The first one that comes to mind being what exactly is the difference between leaking classified info and confirming the accuracy of leaked classified info? An issue also raised by the Libby case.
Who was or were the other source or sources?
What info exactly was McCarthy fired for leaking?
Was McCarthy a source for other stories by Priest?

Lew Clark

If Priest says she's not her source, it's over. Priest is a Pulitzer Prize winning writer! Beyond reproach! Nothing to see here! Move along!
And those thugs had better not try to bring her before a grand jury and make her say that under oath. The "Fourth Estate" in inviolate. That would be as criminal as putting a NYT reporter in jail because she wouldn't snitch on the Vice President's Chief of Staff. Can't be done! Won't be done! Not in America!

Barney Frank

A couple other questions that come to mind; is Mary McCarthy any relation to Charlie McCarthy? And if so who has his or her hand up her skirt, if you know what I mean.

Foo Bar

Well, then - Ms. Linzer tells us that Ms. McCarthy worked on the NSC under Clinton


Perhaps she could explain how the one fact goes into the mix while the other does not.

Maybe Linzer's point was that if a fact is relevant and worth reporting for other reasons (e.g. for the purposes of supplying a sense of McCarthy's work history), and that fact incidentally also happens potentially to reflect on McCarthy's partisan leanings, then WaPo will go ahead and report it. I.e., their stance (not mine, theirs) is that while information like contributions that is purely about political affinities is not relevant, if information that has news value for other reasons might coinicidentally give a clue about partisanship, then they are not going to cover that up; they'll report it anyway.

Hey, I read other commenters here posting highly inventive justifications for the statements and behaviors of public figures. Why can't I join in the fun? :)

flenser

he compact reporters enter into with sources for information that they wouldn't get otherwise is often one of confidentiality, especially on issues of national security. That is the pact that Dana entered into with her sources.

Translation; The public has the right to know whatever the CIA knows. The public has no right to know whatever reporters know.

If the MSM is the new CIA, can the former CIA find employment in journalism?

DRJ

Ms. Linzer's statements illustrate the problem with answering questions based on spin rather than truth.

Specifically, the WaPo doesn't want to "confuse" its readers with extraneous facts like campaign contributions. I guess I am easily confused because I thought Post reporters are supposed to report facts that a reasonable person might find relevant (and it seems that campaign donations to the GOP are always relevant). Instead it appears the WaPo is tailoring its stories to edit out relevant but confusing facts - presumably to prevent any weak-minded readers from mislabeling as partisan and political what the WaPo knows is actually a threat to First Amendment whistleblowers.

So here's my question: Does the Washington Post expect me to be grateful that its reporters and editors screen stories to filter out inconvenient facts that they know I can't possibly understand?

Matt

Sort of off-topic, but is everyone at the Washington Post named Dana? It's like there's an army of them.

Tudalu

The left has become so blinded by anti-Americanism that it is scary.

I guess they are still bitter about the stunning defeat of socialism.

Or maybe they are just ashamed of who we are, as Americans.

vnjagvet

Ms. Linzer handles questions about reporting facts as if she is a trial judge ruling on the admissibility of evidence in court.

Since when is straight reporting of facts like offering evidence at trial?

I guess reporters had better head to law school to get briefed on the "best evidence rule", hearsay, proper foundations, the relatively new Dauber rules on expert testimony and the like.

I didn't know the Post had such high standards.

Where is the Court of Appeals on this?

DRJ

Matt,
Are you saying the Washington Post is an Army of Danas?

SaveFarris

The WaPo is spinning so hard, it's making itself dizzy. Just yesterday, Howard Kurtz let this one fly in his chat right after Kurtz (twice!) defended the story, despite the illegal leaks, as "true":

Re: True story: Howard, you just wrote, "And the thing that some critics are missing is that the story was true." Since no European government has admitted to finding any of these facilities, how do we know that the story was true, and not just a proposal that never got into action?

Howard Kurtz: Well, among other things, no one from the Bush administration has ever, to my knowledge, challenged the story's accuracy. Indeed, in publicly proclaiming the damage to the war on terror and launching a search for the sources, the administration has tacitly acknowledged the story's accuracy. Plus, others have independently named which countries were hosting these secret prisons.


The Mary Mapes school of Journalism is alive and well!

The Unbeliever

<In either case, I exhort the media to report using their best judgment.

You're a braver man than I, TM. No way I'd go on the record as trusting the media's "best judgement" on anything.

noah

Thanks Barney. As far as I am concerned there is no difference between being a "confirming" source and being a "primary" source.

Davebo

Any one want to lay odds on whether the justice dept. will pursue charges against her?

I'd say it's less than a 5% chance.

BlaBlaBla

Sorry for the OT. I just saw this on Hewitt's site, it's woth a read.

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060424&content_id=1415977&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Is it a surprise that these would be flag burners came out of left field?

Cecil Turner

I'd say it's less than a 5% chance.

Concur. Unless there's something significant unreported, it ain't gonna happen.

Wurly

Would the Post be opening itself up to a major defamation lawsuit if it knew for a fact that Ms. McCarthy did *not* leak classified information to Dana Priest, while simultaneously repeating the allegation as made by other news sources.

Even under the actual malice standard, actual knowledge that a defamatory statement is false leads to liability.

sammy small

McCarthy has been reported in several writeups over the past few days as a former fast tracker with a meteoric rise to NIO under the Clinton administration.

Consider two conditions which would tend to cause bitterness after such a career,

1. Repubs go after her messiah Clinton and achieve an impeachment

2. McCarthy is demoted to non-visible job under GWB administration.

Campaign contributions are so relevant that they fit the pattern like a glove. It will continue to be relevant as long as the war on the GWB administration exists.

Geek, Esq.

Here's the deal, TM:

If Priest goes ahead and says that "McCarthy was NOT my source" now, in the future if asked the same question about another person, her silence would be interpreted as fingering the person as a source.

Also, she probably wouldn't want to help people figure out who her real source was by process of elimination.

maryrose

Unfortunately Davebo I believe you are right when you say McCarthy won't be brought up on charges.
That"s why it's so surprising that Scooter Libby was charged-Oh that's right he's a Bush admin official. we gotta charge him- McCarthy= she's just small potatoes.
Barney and Noah-Agreed Confirming or the original-they are one and the same to me. Mary has violated her oath and sworn promise: I wonder if she was summarily escorted from the premises.

maryrose

sammy small
Amen brother!

Sue

Does McCarthy fit? In the spot where Armitage does? Just a thought. ::grin:: Wouldn't it be wild if McCarthy was UGO?

Jim Miller

Two Dana's and one Dafna: Just to clear up a minor point of confusion, there are two well known Dana's at the Post, Dana Milbank (a man) and Dana Priest (a woman).

The reporter who is answering these questions is Dafna Linzer, (who is, I gather, a woman).

I don't trust any of the three. (Though I have known some Dana's who were perfectly decent people.)

Lew Clark

I agree that she won't be brought up on charges because of the danger of real graymail (not the phony graymail in the Libby case). Did she say, I leaked before and if put on trial I'll accidentally leak again during my defense, if you don't let me go away quietly into retirement. Which brings up the question "Who did leak the identity of McCarthy"? Official CIA still refuses to name names. Was it a Bushie? Or more likely the Beers/Clarke/Wilson/Johnson crowd, trying to make this political, Mary McCarthy be damned.
Then there was something said somewhere that she was the leaker of her name. If that is so, forget all the above.

Patrick R. Sullivan

I wonder if we might be able to find any WaPo stories about, say, Ken Lay with the details of his political contributions.

Dan

Or the WAPO's take on the leaked Dem Senate Judiciary emails a few years ago. I don't recall them defending the leaker because his information was "true".

dorothy

Patrick -

Exactly what I have been wondering!

Tom Maguire

Any one want to lay odds on whether the justice dept. will pursue charges against her?

I'm with Davebo, Mr. Turner, and others, in the "highly unlikely" cmapp, but does anyone want to argue that she is likely to be charged?

From Geek:

If Priest goes ahead and says that "McCarthy was NOT my source" now, in the future if asked the same question about another person, her silence would be interpreted as fingering the person as a source.

Ahh, yes and no. If sacked intel officers is going to be the new normal, then maybe Ms. Priest really is perched on a slippery slope.

But if this is a professional rarity (Pulitzer prize, an alleged source sacked a week later), nothing she says now will have precedential value.

I can easily see why her press buddies would prefer her to maintin the Silent Gray Line (or whatever color suits newsies).

As to whether Priest has denied it, Kurtz wrote this on Tuesday:

"The one person who could clear up whether McCarthy was a source is Priest herself. But she's declined comment so far."

Yes. It's called protecting confidential sources.

Kurtz is quoting someone else before agreeing with them, BTW.

topsecretk9

WAY TO GO ... U R "muy_fabulosa" Mayb-s

topsecretk9

"The one person who could clear up whether McCarthy was a source is Priest herself. But she's declined comment so far."

Not true.

McCarthy can provide Priest with a waiver of confidentiality so that Priest can "clear up" whether McCarthy was a source...

McCarthy holds the card there.

larwyn

From the mouth of WaPo'sDafba Linzer:

"Should we publish the campaign contributions of every person who testifies before Congress, every person who briefs a president, every person who writes a policy paper or plays any role in governmnt whatsoever or who is ever quoted in a story?".

YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!


"We could, the information is public.".

But we are:

A-Too stupid to use the Internet.

B-Too lazy.

C-We are smart and know that if we
let you know the political connections of our sources, you would know most of what we write is pure unadulterated B.S.!

D-We would loose our Moonbat subscribers if we printed truth.

E-Moonbats make up ~80% of our subcribers - go figure.

"But I don't want to confuse readers or issues by throwing that into the mix unless I understand its relevance".

Great example of C!

topsecretk9

I'd add that given Ms. McCarthy's predicament, particularly if she has been wrongly identified as a source for this story...she will without hesitation and promptly supply Priest with a waiver, no?

larwyn

****Dafna** not Dafba - but I sorta like Dafba for someone who thinks the rest of us are just stoooopid.

Daffy would suit, but hate to insult that friendly duck!

Sweetie

Bad Leak = ex-spy Plame working each day at Langley (the PERFECT cover: who would think that the CIA would be so dumb as to give a spy 'cover' working at Langley?), Good Leak, Cause it was facts and all = Eastern Europe Secret Prisons.

Pertinent Personal Political Contributions = Abramoff (actually it was treated as MORE pertinent than the contributions he arranged in his professional capacity), Nothing to See Here Personal Political Contributions = McCarthy.

The MSM: Misleading you since the day you were born (and they probably messed with your head a bit while in the womb too).

K Ashford

Wait a second.

If Priest establishes a policy of admitting that people aren't a source, then what happens in the future?

Suppose Priest interviews Mr. X, a confidential source, about something. SHe is then asked to deny that Mr. X is a source (just like with McCarthy). But THIS time, Priest refuses. Doesn't that tip everyone off that Mr. X is a source?

I'm sorry, but if I was an investigative journalist who relied on confidential sources, my comment on any speculation about my sources would be "no comment".

godfodder

Imagine if the political affiliations of everyone involved in this sorry affair were magically switched-- Dem president, Rep contributions....

Well, you can rest assured that right now Ms. McCarthy's MSM middle name would be "Republican operative." Do you remember how the MSM hammered the "motives" of the Clinton bimbos? Heck, the press didn't even spend 5 minutes looking at the allegations of Kathleen Wiley/Paula Jones/ et.al before they decided that were either a) money grubbers or b) drones of Richard Mellon Scaife (or whatever the frack his name was).

larwyn

JAMES TARANTO


Friendly Fire
Reader Scott Wright points out this intriguing passage in the Washington Post's Saturday story about Mary McCarthy, the CIA officer fired over alleged press leaks:

A former intelligence official, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said he knew of CIA officials who had refused to attend meetings related to the rendition--or capture and transfer--of suspected terrorists, because of opposition or anxiety about the legality of the practice. "They believe that if one chamber of Congress goes to the other party, there will be investigations, and those involved could be impoverished by legal fees."

This suggests that the interests of Bush foes within the CIA might have diverged, at least for this election cycle, from those of Democrats more broadly. The former, of course, would have loved to see John Kerry* in the White House, for his policies would have been similar to those of the reactionary CIA officers.

But do the CIA reactionaries want a Democratic Congress for the last two years of the Bush administration? Do they want their own agency to become the focus of an Iran-contra-style fight between scandal-hungry, subpoena-wielding Dems and an administration that will be out in less than two years anyway?

Mary McCarthy might have been driven by ideology more than institutional interests. Her erstwhile colleagues may prove more prudent.

* Sadly, he lost the 2004 presidential election. Even more sadly, he never lost his self-respect.

Click here: OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today

Read the part on Beers!

topsecretk9

I'm sorry, but if I was an investigative journalist who relied on confidential sources, my comment on any speculation about my sources would be "no comment".

K-Ash

That's why Mary McCarthy's confidentiality waiver will be so helpful...since she claims she is not a source for Dana, then she will want to release Dana of the confidentiality promise so Dana can help Mary.

And Dana protects all her other sources.

I'm sure Mary McCarthy is in a big hurry to get that waiver to Dana.

maryrose

godfodder:
You must be a man because all the women you mentioned were victims of Clinton's lust and his inability to control his impulsive predatory behavior. He actually had people hired to pimp for him and to protect him from any negative feedback regarding his illegal treatment of women. He's a scumbag of the first order.

SteveMG

If I was an investigative journalist who relied on confidential sources, my comment on any speculation about my sources would be "no comment".

Reporters want the public to know that if they reveal secret sources that any future cooperation will disappear.

No trust, no cooperation.

But they also (seemingly) don't care that if these same reporters reveal the secret cooperation of other governments with the US that any future cooperation will also disappear.

No trust, no cooperation. Big deal.

Ironic ain't it?


MayBee

TS: WAY TO GO ... U R "muy_fabulosa" Mayb-s

de Nada.
I'll steal Sue's ::grin::
I'm very tired this morning!

Forbes

Some of these responses from Linzer are priceless!

"But we are living in partisan times and people want a partisan, political motive and explanation for everything. I don't think that's reasonable"

Ahem, excuse me? When was this golden age of non-partisan and non-political newsmedia reporting? Not in your lifetime!

But here's the question as posed: Don't your readers deserve ALL of the relevent facts?

Maybe if you reported the all the relevent facts, no matter where they lead--rather than trying to explain the motivation behind the actions leading to an employee's dismisal--your readers can arrive at their own conclusions, or lack thereof. Stop this derivative nonsense that serves to distract from answering the question.

"Should we publish the campaign contributions of every person who testifies before Congress, every person who briefs a president, every person who writes a policy paper or plays any role in governmnt whatsoever or who is ever quoted in a story? We could, the information is public."

Looks like you answered your own question. Now that wasn't so hard, was it?

MayBee

The thing that actually bothered me most, and why I asked the question, was the statement that gosh, "We don't know exactly who said what to whom". It's hogwash. Well, yes, *we* don't know but it isn't that it is UNKNOWN at the Washington Post or completely unknowable.
I don't like them pretending they aren't part of the story because they are. They have an obvious interest in keeping their own secrets (note:not national security secrets) and I want them to admit that every time they write an article about it. Otherwise, it is another version of sock puppetry.
IMHO.

submandave

The biggest question I have about her political contributions is the $5000 to the OH Democrat Party. I have been completely unable to discern any connection between McCarthy and OH other than this contribution. Why not a contribution to VA or MD or even MN, all of which could conceivable have some personal connection to her. The contribution to OH DNC, when OH was a hot in-play state speaks more as to her political activism than anything else.

libmeister

Linzer is a master obfuscator who seems more interested in form over function and appearance over substance. The day the lamestream media reports the WHOLE news and nothing but the news instead of spinning it is the day I begin to think of them as a reliable source of news.

The UCLA study back in December makes it very clear that by and large journalists are liberal Democrats and the news outlets definitely lean left: http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/page.asp?RelNum=6664

People ask me, well how do you separate the truth from the chaff when it comes to the lamestream media news. Easy, knowing beforehand there is a definite left-leaning tilt to the news media, if there is a story which squares up with my worldview than I know it must be based on some pretty solid reporting and documentation otherwise the liberal media would never print it. All other stuff which reads like left-wing propaganda is only such much white noise in my book until other independent news sources can be brought into play.

MayBee

More (sorry):

Her first answer and her second answer are intertwined. Someone at the WaPo knows the nature of McCarthy's contacts with the Washington Post, and that someone just won a Pulitzer Prize. The paper has an institutional interest in not being especially curious about McCarthy's motives. And not pointing readers down paths they don't want us following.

They are fine providing Ray McGovern's and Larry Johnson's quotes speculating that McCarthy was a brave truth-teller. That kind of speculation about motive is apparently productive.
Anything besides that hurts their own story.

If, that is, she was a source at all, which apparently nobody in the whole world really could possibly know.

I'm ranting this morning.


Barney Frank

"I'm ranting this morning."

MayBee take a couple deep breaths, maybe splash a little water on your face. My clock says 4:00 PM.
You gota come up for air once in awhile. :)

MayBee

Princeton, N.J.: Let me point out an interesting fact. When Plame's name was leaked, the CIA went immediately to the Justice Dept. to ask for a criminal investigation. As I understand it, the CIA has not asked for such an investigation in either the prison story or the domestic spying one. Wonder why?

Dafna Linzer: Me too.

Dafna Linzer: Just to say more on the two leaks. In the Plame case, the CIA reported the leak to the Justice Department and the Justice Department chose to investigate. The CIA doesn't order up DoJ inquiries. On the prisons story, they also informed the justice department but said they would conduct their own inquiry. The justice department could have its own too but so far, it hasn't.

------
Ok, this seems like we need Clarice to discuss it.
BUT.
I love the questioner's "interesting fact" and Linzer's "me too", which seems to turn out to be neither a fact nor something to agree with, as Linzer quickly corrects herself.
However.
What I want to know is this. The CIA says it will investigate itself on the Prison leaks, but who at the CIA would do that investigation? The Inspector General's office?
I want to know!

MayBee

Thanks Barney.
Your advice came too late for one last rant.
It's 8 am here, but you are right...I do need to come up for air (aka do some laundry)

topsecretk9

MayBee

you go girl!

maryrose

Maybee:
You are making a lot of sense. Of course the WAPO knows how involved McCarthy was and Priest obviously cleared the story with her editors so to me Dafna comments are just bafflegab and CYA reponses. She will craft her coverage to send forth the message she wants to get out. Priest has been mum so she is not going to get any waiver to speak up. On Fox news-CIA representative said in fact Mary said she did leak classified in fo and said so after her polygraph which is why she was fired. The gal's name was Dyck and she seemed honest and credible to me.

Monica

Yep, it's time to get a special prosecutor involved.

ulpian59

The issue is really what information McCarthy provided. The dispute apparently concerns information that McCarthy believes was not classified but that the CIA now holds to be or to have been classified.

And it's not about the prisons -- at least not directly, that info came from Europeans.

TTFN

topsecretk9

The dispute apparently concerns information that McCarthy believes was not classified but that the CIA now holds to be or to have been classified.

Then why the failed polygraph?

Syl

This is all the CIA says, that someone was fired after failing a polygraph exam and admitting to conversations with the press regarding classified information.

Someone leaked that it is Mary. She indeed seems to have been fired because she's all lawyered up.

As for Mary giving a waiver to Dana? If Mary was NOT a source for Dana, issuing a waiver does not make sense at all. Like, what, I can issue a waiver to Dana Priest, someone I've never talked to in my life?

No, the only reason Mary could issue a waiver is if she

Syl

No, the only reason Mary could issue a waiver is if she

(the above was in the box with the rest, but it wasn't posted. Wierd.)

Syl

No, the only reason Mary could issue a waiver is if she was a source for Dana and she didn't give Dana anything classified. Only if those two conditions are met would it make sense for Mary to give a waiver before any charges are filed.


(there was a weird typo in there. my bad)

clarice

Maybee, when I first began writing about the Plame case, I came across an article by Michael Ledeen which indicates that in the past when high officials were concerned, the CIA FIRST did an internal investigation and often that precluded referral to DoJ. I noted that was one of the oddities of that case. The CIA turned it over right away.
In Libby's pleadings he indicates DoJ remained unpersuaded by the letter and sat on it and THEN (contrary to the normal course of things) the CIA conducted an internal investigation.
As far as I can tell, that investigation would be done by the IG's office, and I am desperate to find proof that Mary McCarthy was in that office at that time.

clarice

Even if you take McCarthy's last iteration of her role, she was a confirming source to Priest. I see no reason why she shouldn't sign a waiver of confidentiality to allow Priest to state that,

I expect that if the CIA does not send over a referral letter or if it does and DoJ doesn't prosecute it is in fact because there is a belief that classified information would have to be disclosed to prosecute the case.

As to Beers, I repeat what I said the other night:The only way he could categorically state McCarthy wasn't Priest's source is if he was.

One of the articles cited here over the past few days indicated that Beers told the campaign staff that he still had sources (presumably in the agency and NSC) who were feeding him stuff. If true, why should those sources not have given him this? Let's speculate and say they did and he gave it to Priest who got confirmation from McCarthy.I think Beers is skating on very thin ice.


clarice

Drudge has an interview with Fitz in his old high school's paper. The paper has the facts risibly wrong, indicating the author is fit to work right now in the MSM.

Here, however, is a look into the thinking of the "Eliott Ness with a law degree":
“The law is often unclear, and where it is unclear, you must make a reasoned judgment about what the law should be,” Fitzgerald commented. In order to make that reasoned judgment, “you must find out the facts as accurately as possible.”

Fitzgerald later explained that all federal prosecutors should have a “sense of what motivates people” since they are “dealing with a lot of very human situations.”

Fitzgerald’s boundless dedication and focus on justice becomes clear in his philosophy of work in the public sector: “If you are going to be working for the federal government, you should be doing what you think is right, as best as you can determine. That does involve working hard and analyzing problems, just as students do at Regis.” http://www.regis-nyc.org/news.cfm?ID=156&NewsID=754&Type=Main

Remember, the paper got the facts wrong as wrong can be.


MayBee

Thanks, clarice.
"As far as I can tell, that investigation would be done by the IG's office, and I am desperate to find proof that Mary McCarthy was in that office at that time."

One question I submitted last night was about when McCarthy started working at the IG's office. I asked it with you and JMH and Rick Moran in mind. I felt really lucky to have even one question addressed, but I am with you- I am dying to know this.

clarice

So far, all the articles I've seen are vague on her sabbatical with CSIS..Was it concurrent? Discrete? When did it end and when did she return to the Agency's IG office?

AST

It's maddening to listen to these people try to explain themselves. It's even worse to read their so-called principles and not want to puke.

clarice

Indeed. C*R*A*P* keeps registering in my brain whenever I read of journo ethics or principles.

granddaddy Long Legs

Awesome post, yet again Tom.

There's no way to really get through to the BDS'ers. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try -- any way, it's good for the self esteem to know that we're the ones utilizing reason rather than passion (or hatred) to explain everything in our universe.

In case you've got some spare time (which is unlikely) I've written on the topic in these articles:

About the irrational thinking that permeates the left:

You Just Can't Reason With Some People

About blaming Bush for our country's dependence on foreign oil:

Who is the Enviro John Galt?

By the way, I am shameless about the self-plugging.

clarice

In this fine review of what has been reported, all we have to go on is the original NYT piece which says McCarthy returned to the IG's office in 2004 (no month given) which means she probably was there when the referral letter was sent over and when the tardy internal investigation occurred.

sad

From Editor and Publisher:


********Keller on Leak Uproar: Journalists Should Be 'Worried'
"I'm not sure journalists fully appreciate the threat confronting us," Keller observed, in an e-mail to the National Journal's Murray Waas. "The Times in the eavesdropping case, the Post for its CIA prison stories, and everyone else who has tried to look behind the war on terror....Whatever the reason, I worry that we're not as worried as we should be." - April 25, 2006 7:00 PM ET ******

Keller and Waas are bosom buddies?

MayBee

clarice- I think we can't know when she went to the IG's office because it may put ideas in our head, like the $5000 would. Not giving us the information helps us see things more clearly.

Syl

Clarice

According to the Weekly Standard:

On Friday, September 26, 2003, NBC News reporter Andrea Mitchell and MSNBC's Alex Johnson broke a big story on the MSNBC website. "The CIA has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations that the White House broke federal laws by revealing the identity of one of its undercover employees in retaliation against the woman's husband, a former ambassador who publicly criticized President Bush's since-discredited claim that Iraq had sought weapons-grade uranium from Africa, NBC News has learned."

2004 would be too late.

clarice

Thanks, Syl.

clarice

Keller should be worried. I said the press should be worried when they DEMANDED a full bore investigation of the Plame matter which they knew was a crock from the get go.

Squiggler

Some one with more knowledge of the spy game, help me out here ...

AJ Strata has this quote posted on his site:

In a statement to CIA employees, Goss said that “a CIA officer has acknowledged having unauthorized discussions with the media, in which the officer knowingly and willfully shared classified intelligence, including operational information.”

and he makes the point that it doesn't necessarily preclude McCarthy from having some kind of authorization (before Porter Goss) to reveal information, but if you read the statement carefully, it not only distinguishes by saying "unauthorized," but it also says "including operational information."

Now, maybe I've read too many spy novels, but I thought that giving away operational details was about as serious as you could get.

It is one thing to leak a story because you have a strong pang of conscience that you just can't ignore, and it is quite another to to tell the operational details of the story. To do this, puts all your colleagues at risk, not to mention the foreign operators who might be cooperating at extraordinary risk to themselves.

I could see a bunch of legal shennanigans getting her out of the leak, but I don't see how giving up operational details can be ignored or swept away, even by die hard dems.

windansea

Keller and Waas are bosom buddies?

pathetic isn't it?

topsecretk9

and everyone else who has tried to look behind the war on terror....Whatever the reason,

Keller is a D***

Tried to look behind the war? Whatever he has to tell himself, but for whatever the ****REASON****

Gave his bad rated-stock self away...NEWS happen FOR NO REASON, or not for for newspapers to sell... Thanks Bill Keller, for admitting you ***FINDS REASONS*** to create news. Really, he didn't have to admit it...the made up Katrina fraud story was evidence enough.

Syl

and everyone else who has tried to look behind the war on terror....Whatever the reason,

Why behind and not into?

Looks like he's looking for motives, not facts. Or rather looking for facts to support what he believes are nefarious motives behind the war.

Damn. Sounds like BDS to me.

MayBee

Keller's worried about the seriousness of the threat confronting him? Is someone going to call him a pants-wetting member of the culture of fear?

JM Hanes

Squiggler

The ABC News article from AJStrata had a number of interesting tidbits. They did put the Porter Goss remark in quotes (without elisions), so I assume it's accurate, but it's too bad the official public announcement wasn't quite so specific. Looks to me like whoever leaked it may be no friend of Mary.

This bit helps narrow the timing of her return, although not by much, to some period before Sept. '04. I'd like to figure this out regardless of the referral business:

Associates, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because of her sensitive legal situation, say the CIA authorized McCarthy on a number of occasions to talk with reporters. However, the details and timing remain unclear, including whether that was ever true after Goss took over in September 2004.

TM will be pleased to know that ABC actually got the math right on the contributions, although they still took at shot at minimizing the significance thereof:

McCarthy has given $7,700 to Democratic campaigns in the past three election cycles; her husband has donated $2,500, according to public records.

Last but not least, a nugget for JOM's own Larry Johnson squad:

Former CIA officer Larry Johnson said he had trouble with [McCarthy's] management style when he worked for her in 1988 and 1989. Part of his job was to collect cables of importance for the front office of the Middle America-Caribbean division. But she would assemble her own package, undermining his analysis, he said.

I just bet she did. Maybe she deserves the thanks of a grateful nation after all!

DRJ

As I understand it, Mary McCarthy claims she was not Dana Priest's source regarding the CIA prison story. Why, exactly, should we believe her when she says this? Ms. McCarthy's denials are not made under oath, and she has an incentive to issue a denial because there's always a chance that a public denial will rally support from co-workers, liberals, and the anti-Bush crowd. Significant public support might even help her avoid criminal prosecution and/or conviction. So maybe Dana Priest won't talk because she really is protecting her source.

Am I stating the obvious or is this way off-base?

windansea

JM

just read AJ and the ABC article too...I especially liked this from a NYT link that goes to registration

“A C.I.A. spokeswoman, Jennifer Millerwise Dyck, said: “The officer was terminated for precisely the reasons we have given: unauthorized contacts with reporters and sharing classified information with reporters. There is no question whatsoever that the officer did both. The officer personally admitted doing both.”

that's warning shot #2

incoming!

Beto Ochoa

But... but... if Ms. McCarthy was *not* a source for Dana Priest, then there is no compact, yes?
In the eternal words of the Dmitri Tiomkin,
"Don't try to understand em'
just rope em'; 'n' brand em'.
Perhaps she could explain how the one fact goes into the mix while the other does not.
"Cut ’em out (ride ’em in)
Ride ’em in (cut ’em out)
Cut ’em out (ride ’em in)
Rawhide
Yee-hah!"

MayBee

JMH- heh, puts a whole different viewpoint on the faults of her management style, doesn't it.

I think that ABC article is pretty fair. There's still this:

McCarthy left the National Security Council shortly after Bush took office in 2001.

She then went to law school at Georgetown University and was a visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Cobb said she announced her retirement from the CIA and hoped to practice public service law, working on adoptions.

Still the unknowable issue of when she went back. Or why.
Is there a pension qualifying problem if she didn't finish out some length of service with the Federal Government? Were they paying for her law school?
I just don't get why someone who doesn't seem to much care for the current admin goes BACK to an agency under siege in the IG's office. I could speculate....

clarice

JMH:(a) I, too, want to know wxactly when she returned(b) whether she continued to do some work with the IG's office while on her three year sabbatical , and (c) whether she played any role at all in the referral, the in house investigation or the investigation following the referral.

I also want to know who in the NSC and Agency continued to feed stuff to Beers after he left the NSC and went to work for Kerry.

clarice

***Exactly******

windansea

wish I could read that NYT article...anyone got a link?

Beto Ochoa

JM Haynes
Former CIA officer Larry Johnson said he had trouble with [McCarthy's] management style when he worked for her in 1988 and 1989. Part of his job was to collect cables of importance for the front office of the Middle America-Caribbean division. But she would assemble her own package, undermining his analysis, he said.
Crap, I spit wine on the keyboard.
"I just bet she did. Maybe she deserves the thanks of a grateful nation after all!"

topsecretk9

Syl

As for Mary giving a waiver to Dana? If Mary was NOT a source for Dana, issuing a waiver does not make sense at all. Like, what, I can issue a waiver to Dana Priest, someone I've never talked to in my life?

I am pretty sure in her denial she did not dispute talking to/with Dana Priest, it was tat she was not the a "source" and "the source" for the CIA prison at the least, and other classified disclosures...but that she had at times talked to Priest.

And also, they are members of the NYU Security thing too.

That's is why I suggested a waiver to Priest at this point (or that point) would help Mary if she wanted to prove her denial and help Dana protect other sources.

Does that make sense?

topsecretk9

Did she just take a sabbatical to go to law school? Is that permissible?

JM Hanes

Beto

Turnabout's fair play -- I gave you the Double Super Secret Achievement Award back on the Larry Johnson thread for прощальный студж!

topsecretk9

leave of absence

I have no idea how the gov. retirement/benefit situation works...but usually when you leave a job prior to retirement, don't you forego the retirement?

You don't go back a few years later -- your choice-- and get all you bene's do you?

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