What might have been motivating the fired CIA officer? The Times noted her $2,000 campaign contribution to John Kerry in their Friday coverage, but overlooked another $5,000 contribution that she had made to the Ohio DNC; they also overlooked her husband's max contribution to John Kerry (OK, per the FEC database they have the same last name and same address so we are guessing "husband").
David Cloud follows up for the Times on Saturday, and still scores an "incomplete", twice, in his coverage:
Others said it was possible that Ms. McCarthy — who made a contribution to Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004 — had grown increasingly disenchanted with the methods adopted by the Bush administration for handling Qaeda prisoners.
And a bit later:
Several associates of Ms. McCarthy said she returned to the C.I.A. in 2004, taking a job in the inspector general's office. That year, public records show, she contributed $2,000 to Mr. Kerry's presidential campaign, identifying herself as a "government analyst."
This is simply not this difficult - gee, someone get the Tmes a subscription to "Open Secrets".
For what it's worth, as the Times ponders Ms. McCarthy's motivation to leak and struggles to connect the dots and, let's point out a few possibly relevant details from their article:
When President Bush took office in 2001, Ms. McCarthy's career seemed to stall. A former Bush administration official who worked with her said that although Ms. McCarthy was a career C.I.A. employee, as a holdover from the Clinton administration she was regarded with suspicion and was gradually eased out of her job as senior director for intelligence programs. She left several months into Mr. Bush's first term.
Rand Beers, who at the time was Mr. Clinton's senior intelligence aide on the National Security Council, said he had hired Ms. McCarthy to be his deputy.
"Anybody who works for Charlie Allen and then replaces him has got to be good," said Mr. Beers, who went on to serve as an adviser to Mr. Kerry's campaign in 2004. Ms. McCarthy took over from Mr. Beers as the senior director for intelligence programs in 1998.
I'm stretching here, but let's see - her CIA career had stalled under Bush; her old boss was a senior advisor to Kerry. Dum de dum, in 2004 might she have been rooting for Kerry specifically, and Democrats generally? And there's nothing wrong with that!
However - one might wonder whether she was part of the White House - CIA war that preceded the 2004 election. And the Times might be more inclined to wonder that as well, if they would even get the basic facts about her campaign contributions lined up in front of themselves.
HELP: I saw some lovely trouncings of the Times hagiography of McCarthy. If folks could recommend their faves, that would be great. Or, put in a plug for the other side - bring it on.
A REMINDER: Was Ms. McCarthy's only outlet as a "whistleblower" to go to the press? Please. DCI Porter Goss wrote about the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act in a NY Times op-ed and I had a harangue about it here. Believe it or not, we actually have laws covering this sort of thing - Ms. McCarthy would have had special protection if she had revealed her classified info to members of the Congressional oversight committees.
And we know that Harry Reid has figured out how to arrange for a closed session of the Senate.
WE COULD GET TO LIKE DANA PRIEST: Ms. Priest took an on-line victory lap after her Secret Prisons article came out last November. Her bitter foes will seize on this bit of misdirection:
Washington, D.C.: Cliff Kincaid writing in "Accuracy in Media" says that your story on secret prisons yesterday "reflects the view of a faction in the agency (CIA) that opposes this policy and wants to use The Post to convey its view publicly. Once again, the secret war against the Bush administration is on display for all to see."
While I don't expect you to reveal your sources to us -- although go ahead if you want to do so -- you should at least be able to tell us if there is any truth to the notion that currently serving CIA officers are trying to undermine the Bushies. Are they?
Dana Priest: ...
Most CIA people I've met probably voted for George Bush. And the CIA is responsible for executing the war on terror and capturing the vast majority of the terrorist suspects around the world. No one from the CIA and no one who used to be in the CIA proposed that I write the article I did. On the contrary.
Yeah, whatever - it does not take a majority to form a disgruntled group of leakers.
But we like this "Plame equivalence" Q&A:
Columbia, S.C.: Great Work!
How do you answer critics who point out this may be a 'leak' that could potentially compromise national security, ala the Plame leak?
Dana Priest: I don't actually think the Plame leak compromised national security, from what I've been able to learn about her position. As for my article, we tried to minimize that by not naming the countries involved and, otherwise, no, I don't believe it compromised national security at all.
HELP WANTED: J.west has sent a spreadsheet of big donors to Ohio Democrats in the October 2004 (Balky text file). But what does it mean?
FWIW, Ohio had clearly been pegged as a battleground in October. Whether Kerry made a special fundraising appeal for that state is something I have not pinned down.