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January 04, 2006



before I read on, I must inject a triple snort of laughter at this bit of Cybil schizophrenia in the "latest" editorial

"Given the Bush administration's appetite for leak investigations (three are under way), "

We digress....

""After an egregiously long delay, Attorney General John Ashcroft finally did the right thing yesterday when he recused himself from the investigation into who gave the name of a CIA operative to the columnist Robert Novak. Mr. Ashcroft turned the inquiry over to his deputy, who quickly appointed a special counsel."
--New York Times editorial, "The Right Thing, At Last," December 31, 2003

I think the more compelling question is how they write this shit with a straight face?


Liberal moonbats hasten their own demise!!!!! Incredible!!!


The real reason the West is in danger of extinction.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST


"Patriotism is stupid!"......Cindy Sheehan

Tom Heard

Is your trackback function not working?


I have no problem investigating the leak. But the first priority should be investigating if W conducted warrantless taps.

And BTW can anyone tell me how national security was breached by the disclosure that we are listening in to Al Queada? I'm sure Al Queada new we would listen to their conversations.


Perhaps there could be a rider forbidding pecuniary gain from "whistleblowers" information,this would leave news organisations free to perform their patriotic public duty without being sullied by the taint of MONEY.

The Unbeliever

Excellent post, TM. Good blogs like this are why I stopped reading newspapers. I swear, this article was better than any op-ed I've read in my local papers for the past five years.


Did you even read what you linked to?

He doen't say anything about Sheehan.

Mostly it is about how we are reproducing less than Islam.


TM: one of your best. Suitable for framing. Thanks.

Tom Heard

rob, if that is all you got out of that editorial I suggest you read the whole thing again. Respectfully suggest I mean.


After basking in lethal doses of postmodern emanations and ultra violet penumbras, the MSM, the moonbat left and Defeatocrat leadership are completely impervious to cognitive dissonance. As long as they can believe their own lies they will have things both ways until evolution in action takes effect.

(looks like a tag line rob)


anyone tell me how national security was breached by the disclosure that we are listening in to Al Queada? I'm sure Al Queada new we would listen to their conversations.

This "sentiment" keeps popping up.

If you are so "sure" Al Queda "knew"...then why is this revelation worth printing at all? Are you suggesting the Times is "hyping" something everyone knows anyways?


Bravo--Let's send Pinch a copy of the Truong opinion so he can have his crack lawyer Abrams explain it to him.

I can't believe these nuts.


So it's a crime for Libby to lie to a grand jury (a technicality)...but it's not a crime for an intelligence employee to break the law that flatly states that whistleblowers NOT go public but rather go to Congress with their allegations???

How does revealing that the NSA has the capacity to data-mine every conceavable type of modern communication media the enemy uses (short of word of mouth or carrier pigeon) affect our national security? How could it NOT?! It strikes me as very suspicious that the NYT had narry a peep to say about Clinton's ESCHELON program in the 1990's which conducted domestic surveillance. Once again, the liberal double standard.

They make rules for OTHER people to follow.

Bill Arnold

Have we yet discussed why the NSA leak investigation was launched now rather than a year+ ago?


Gee, Bill, I don't know. I guess it's because Bush is now trying to get out of this pot of hot water...or maybe it's because a year ago would have revealed what they were trying to keep secret.

Rob: No reason for an investigation. W has admitted conducting warrantless taps...a legal effort to fight our war enemy. Maybe an investigation is needed to see if they kept the records of who you are watching on cable or what color underwear you wear.


The revelations offend aginst one of the tenets of intelligence,never deny or confirm anything unless it suits your purpose.Of course some in al Qaeda knew of the probability of surveillance,but given its disparate nature many would not,certainly not the extent or method.
One extremely valuable piece of information has been revealed,if calls are restricted to USPERS only one of the communication will be retained.


Bush is now trying to get out of this pot of hot water

Yes, lets ignore the pot Bush got boiling by cooperating so nicely with the reporter hounding prosecutor Fitz!

BTW I wear ALL SORTS of colors! Free of charge.

Lores Rizkalla

Excellent post!


"Timespeak" - "truth to power" by "none of the brave"

No AUTHOR/S NAMES are affixed to the "Timespeak" editorial.
So what is written to read as a courageous "truth speaking to power"
has been composted* by "none of the brave".

*originally a TYPO - BUT TOO APT TO CORRECT!

January 4, 2006
On the Subject of Leaks

Given the Bush administration's appetite for leak investigations (three are under way), this seems a good moment to try to clear away the fog around this issue.

A democratic society cannot long survive if whistle-blowers are criminally punished for revealing what those in power don't want the public to know - especially if it's unethical, illegal or unconstitutional behavior by top officials. Reporters need to be able to protect these sources, regardless of whether the sources are motivated by policy disputes or nagging consciences. This is doubly important with an administration as dedicated as this one is to extreme secrecy.



Excellent speech today by Cheney...not sure when but certain that it will be available at some point on C-SPAN.

Congrats TM...another excellent post!


Better to be anonymous than compost.


Big break for Bush Administration--SCOTUS just agreed to allow Padilla to be transferred to civil prison for criminal (not military) prosecution. (4th Circuit smack down).


Great post TM!Imagine our need for security and some semblance of secrecy is referred to in TimesWorld as a "catchall". Incredible statement. First question for the leakers: " Why did you feel the need to go to the NYT instead of Congress?"


I detect that the MSM may be going for broke on this one.


NYT: "good leak" = successful book launch


NYT: "good leak" = successful book launch


Ben-Veniste is on Hardball, soon to be followed by Katrina V. Ben Ginsberg was the voice of sanity in the discussion.


Absolutely superb cutting biting chewing article, Tom!

The New York Times, and half the country, has forgotten that we are a representational democracy. Though we'd love to know absolutely everything that is happening, we accept that some secrets must be kept. So we delegate the secret-keeping to people we elect.

We, the people, have given our government the authority to keep secrets so crying that the government is keeping secrets is just plain whining. There is no right-to-know all the secrets fit to print.

And, as has been pointed out, there are laws in place to protect whistleblowers. So what's there for a citizen not to like?

We did not elect the New York Times to make policy, to be an arbiter of secrets, to be the decision maker concerning what may harm national security, to be the arbiter of the constitution. They decided to print a secret that should not have been made public. They will hurt for this.

Chris Hagar

"Now wait - the Times is entitled to keep their secrets, but the government cannot?"

One point to keep in mind: The secrets the administration, offices, etc. of the government have are not /their/ secrets; they are discovered and kept under the authority and by the money of the people, but that is not the same thing as the secrets that the individuals who work for a newspaper have. Now, of course it may be best that certain secrets are entrusted to the government for our own security, but that is not the same thing as saying that these secrets belong to the government. The general form of the Times' argument is not unreasonable, they just may have laden it with partisan content.


Not bothering with the NYT's rationale for its actions, it seems to me that the use of the term whistleblower is an example of doublespeak in the extreme. The name implies a person who is risking his/er job by reporting an impropriety or illegal action to a responsible agency. That isn't what has happened in this case.

A newspaper has used its power to betray a clandestine operation of its government during Wartime. The fact that this was done in spite of the pleadings of that government not to reveal the information and, incidentally, to promote an upcoming book makes the action even more heinous. This is not an example of whistleblowing; it is treason.

They did not reveal the information to an investigating arm of the Congress because they knew that the Congress was informed and on board. They were not concerned with preventing or stopping an alleged abuse of civil rights. They waited and held this little bit of treachery in their arsenal to use when it would fit their agenda - their hope - of bringing down this particular Administration. They acted irresponsibly and without any concern as to how the revelation of a covert program would affect the safety and security of this nation.

The public seems to understand the stakes involved and has reacted appropriately. The fact that the actions of both the leaker (that's doublespeak for traitor) and the NYT have backfired on them should not allow anyone involved to escape scrutiny and prosecution.

Bill Arnold

Gee, Bill, I don't know. I guess it's because Bush is now trying to get out of this pot of hot water...or maybe it's because a year ago would have revealed what they were trying to keep secret.
OK, but what about a secret investigation? I'm ok with a public investigation now if a secret, internal investigation has been proceding for a year+, though it might be better from a National Security PoV to just keep the whole investigation secret. So, has there been a secret investigation? If there has, then do we already know who the culprits are? etc...

Gabriel Sutherland

I think the Times would rather keep those holiday ad revenues rather than operating a faux check kiting scheme for high priced first amendment lawyers.

The editorial is a defense of their own market position. Well, defense may be the wrong word here. Perhaps, 'act of desperation' is closer to the original intent.

If we recall from the left politicos we know that if Fitzgerald is still investigating then there must have been a crime committed. Therefore, if the DoJ is now investigating leaks from the intelligence community then should we assume that a crime must have been committed?

We know that the only reason the Plame investigation has taken this long is because of the media's reluctance to cooperate with a criminal inquiry. They held out for as long as they could until it became obvious that the SCOTUS would not bail them out with a Pentagon Papers Redux.

I'm hoping that the source of the leaks is Judge Robertson, formerly from the FISA court. If you're gonna blow the whistle, then step down and do it as an independent citizen like the rest of us. Don't abuse your power to bake your cake and eat it too.

Anonymous Liberal

This is a great post, TM. Very informative. I agree with you regarding the Times Op-Ed. It was weak and poorly reasoned. I just wrote about it myself. I also agree that the leakers had other forms of recourse and should not necessarily be spared prosecution. They could have gone to Congress, and they should, at the very least, be prepared for the potential consequences if they decided it was important enough to go to the press. I think that prosecutors should perhaps, when all is said and done, exercise their discretion not to prosecute in this case, but only if those involved don't lie to investigators (like Libby did).

Where I totally disagree with you is on the issue of whether the Times should have published the story. Risen had almost a dozen sources for this story, and he claims that all of them were genuinely concerned about the legality of this program. Of course the Times has to weigh the news value of the story against the possibility of harming national security, but it looks like they did. They held off for over a year, did lots of additional reporting, and eventually printed the story in a way so as to minimize any possibility of harming national security. Whether administration apologists want to admit it or not, the President's legal position on this is questionable at best. A lot of people, including many conservatives and nonpartisans are genuinely concerned about the legality of this program and its implications for the rule of law and separation of powers, including, apparently, quite a few in the administration itself. This is the paradigmatic example of a newsworthy story. This is exactly why we have a free and independent press. Criticize the leakers if you want, but the Times actually did the right thing here. They were presented with information that was unquestionably important and newsworthy, they made sure it was accurate, and they were careful and circumspect about what they printed. Their crap editorial aside, they performed admirably on this one.

Gabriel Sutherland
A lot of people, including many conservatives and nonpartisans are genuinely concerned about the legality of this program and its implications for the rule of law and separation of powers, including, apparently, quite a few in the administration itself.
Impossible. The left tells me every morning in my inbox that the Republicans are the "Amen, Dear Leader" party.

I'm still trying to explain the extra year. Was the Times trying to get Bush re-elected playing tag team with the Washington Post?


AL:...exposed their leakers to justifiable prosecution and jeopardized national security so that the public can know about a program that Democrats in Congress were aware of...public service?


Anonymous Liberal

Is that how news works, Noah? The public doesn't need to know something if two Democrats also know it? That's about the strangest thing I ever heard. I can just see the conversation at the Times:

"That's a hot scoop, but quick, you better find out if Pelosi and Reid know about this. If they do, there's not need for us to run with it."


AL - on the legality of treason:

I...agree that the leakers had other forms of recourse and should not necessarily be spared prosecution. They could have gone to Congress, and they should, at the very least, be prepared for the potential consequences...

Uh huh. He continues...

Of course the Times has to weigh the news value of the story against the possibility of harming national security (Just a minor concern, I guess)...but it looks like they did. They held off for over a year, did lots of additional reporting, and eventually printed the story in a way so as to minimize any possibility of harming national security.

Say what!!!!! Just how did the NYT minimize the damage to the national security by revealing the existence of a covert program during WARTIME?!

The Jabberwocky Lives!


AL: Typical dishonesty from you. They wait for a year to report an important story according to you and them. If it is (was) important why wait?

Your post could well have been written by Dr. Dean himself...no wait, your post was just a REASONABLE compendium of NYT talking points!


Excellent commentary, TM. Give us more! Every time I read this editorial I find a new gem. My current favorites:

The spying report was a classic attempt to give the public information it deserves to have.

For some reason, the phrase 'classic attempt' amuses me to no end. It sounds like something the newsroom intern threw in when they couldn't figure out exactly what to call it.
Heroic effort? Too strong.
14-month delayed book-sales related teaser? Too honest.

only how it was being done in a way that seems outside the law.

love the weasel word 'seems'.

especially if it's unethical, illegal or unconstitutional behavior by top officials.

If this whole editorial weren't double speak, this line would be the best argument for exposing the possibly unethical and illegal behavior of the leakers.

Anonymous Liberal

What about anything I wrote is dishonest? Disagree if you want, but don't accuse me of lying unless you're going to back it up.

As for your question about why they waited, I think the answer is that they were trying to be as responsible as they could be. The Bush administration told them the program was legal and they shouldn't run with the story. They did additional reporting and found evidence (12 sources in total) that many people within the administration were not convinced it was legal. So they eventually published what is unquestionably an important story. That's what newspapers are supposed to do.


AL: I'm not sure that I agree with you about NYTs publishing this, but I do think you have a valid position.

However, what I can't stomach is their constant drumbeat that they must be able to protect their source. If their story was printed because it was newsworthy, then let it stand on that alone. To elevate themselves from writing what is 'newsworthy' to being somewhere above the law (for us!) whenever they make an editorial decision is hubris.


AL--Packed to the gills with excrement that post of yours is.
Doesn the public have the right to know what's in the Barrett report they paid over $20 million to get to? It's not secret. Doesn't involve national security. And yet--correct me if I'm wrong--I'm not seeing any front page WaPo or NYT articles about.

Whistleblowing and public's right to know, my eye!


Ok AL I will concede the point if you promise not to whine when the leakers end up in prison. Deal?

richard mcenroe

I look forward to seeing little Pinch Sulzberger frog-marched out of the Times offices....

Or is that pleasure strictly reserved for the other side?


Excellent post TM. Thanks.


Rick Moran has done a good job on the editorial, too. http://rightwingnuthouse.com/archives/2006/01/04/more-jaw-dropping-idiocy-from-the-times/


Damned straight, Clarice

All the news that's fit to print that we decide you have a right to know about.



I think that is BS. The NYTs did not hold the story for over a year because they weren't sure if it was legal or not. Their reporter was writing a book. If you could take away the book aspect of the story, I might be more inclined to buy into your theory on why they held it.



"That's a hot scoop, but quick, you better find out if Pelosi and Reid know about this. If they do, there's not need for us to run with it."

Actually, that is exactly what they should have done, especially when the premise of their story is a secret wiretap program. How secret is secret when everyone who should have known...knew?


AL clarifies the role of the NYT in governance: They did additional reporting and found evidence (12 sources in total) that many people within the administration were not convinced it was legal.

So now the NYT is the investigating agency and independant arbitor responsible for truth and justice. Forget the Constitution. Don't need the Justice Department or the Congress. And heck, why go to the bother of FISA. Just ask the NYT to do a little digging, see what they turn up and let them decide whether the issue is newsworthy or not. Never mind national security. If they can find 12 sources that question a policy, that's good enough for them to blow a covert program right out of the water.

In government, you can spit and find 12 sources (more doublespeak that I hesitate to translate) that aren't convinced of anything. Twelve sources that people aren't convinced: that's not evidence, that's sophistry.


Why are we not questioning why these anonymous sources want to remain anonymous? If they truly feel they are whistleblowers, then they have nothing to fear with being named. Be a man/woman. Stand up and put your name behind your conviction.


Wilson fashioned himself a whistleblower, too, but proved to be a blowhard liar.

Jim C.

A leaker or whistleblower is a bit like a snitch, right?

So maybe this should have been titled "Are you a good snitch or a bad snitch?"

r flanagan

"the Times is entitled to keep their secrets, but the government cannot?"

Question. Does Tom in fact think the "Times is entitled to keep their(sic) secrets" ?

That was what he wrote on Dec 23 and pointed out was also his position in 2003. And until he takes it back I assume that's still what he thinks. Along with Gail Collins.


"Gertz: NSA whistleblower asks to testify; Vows to describe illegal intelligence operations... DEVELOPING.."

Drudge of course.

Interesting. I wonder wonder who be do wa who.


From what I've read, the NSA program was likely legal but certainly wentright up to the line of legality. After 9/11 this is what I expect the NSA to do. And even though Risen's book is out, there's a lot about that program that is still unknown which is a good thing in my opinion. Those crying out that the program is illegal seem to fall into two camps. One is the Bushitler camp who reflexively latches onto any news story about this administration and sees illegality and evidence that Bush is setting up a dictatorship, recent electons notwithstanding. The other would be genuine civil libertarians who are concerned any time the government appears to be gathering too much information on US citizens regardles of which party is doing the gathering and I suppose you would have to have been outraged by Eschalon under Clinton to truly fall into this camp rather than seeing this (mistakenly) as an opportunity to damage Bush.

But to all those genuing civil libertarians, as a practical matter exactly how did the NSA program offend you. Do you object to the NSA broadly monitoring communications involving known terrorists? We've now had several articles by the NY Times, a book by Risen and about 12 current or former administration officials all alarmed enough about the program to violate the law to expose it. Has there been even one documented instance in which the NSA targeted any communications except those designed to exposing terrorist activity?



Someone feeling the heat? Spin me into a martyr, not the traitor I'll be prosecuted as? Pelosi on speed dial.


You'll pardon me for a growing suspicion that many "civil libertarians" are idiots who cannot see the broader picture. I say this because they've been in sackcloth and ashes about the Patriot Act about which not a single violation has been found. And I expect last week's hoax about the student at UMass Dartmouth taken up by his (at best) feckless fruitcase professors and Ted Kennedy was the last straw.

They have no credibility with me.

Ditto the ACLU.



So far it seems like just one is coming forward. Didn't Risen have dozens leakers?

Seven Machos

I have a serious problem with the Plame leak and this leak. I think both are for political purposes. This one is more serious than Plame but, if someone leaked her name AND IF SHE WAS COVERT (a huge if), that person ought to be prosecuted.

This position is logical and patriotic.

I can also understand the position that both leaks are fair and fine. I disagree with it; I think that it undermines national security; but I understand it. It's coherent.

For the moonbats and the Times to say that one leak is good and the other is bad defies comprehension and logic. It's not good politics; it's unethical; it's not good logic. How these people can live with themselves ethically and logically is beyond me. Luckily, the moonbat/Times position will be a political disaster for the very people who support it. Hence, I am happy. I also predict a sea change in the law regarding leaks. I hope the Congress is a lot more logical, ethical, and responsible than the Times has been throughout both of these ridiculous episodes.



It appears to me someone who is nervous and anxious to be portrayed a "whistle-blower".

Clarice, maybe you know this...wasn't there some call by Dem Congress to hold hearings or do some document dump and Fitz. asked them NOT to, putting GOP in adversarial Dem strategy mode?



Wouldn't that be rich...Risen: I really only had one PRIMARY leaker, and then like 11 blowhards that just nodded yes to all the questions I asked, so that was good for me!


ts--I don't remember that. I had a vague recollection of discussion of Congressional hearings--there usually is on hot topics--but as everyone should recall fro Iran contrary such hearings made prosecution harder not easier.

What I do recall well and with anger is that Fitz asked witnesses not to talk and the Administration witnesses acquiesced even though that allowed the anti-Administration sources "close to the Prosecution" to dreidel like it was a thousand Hanukahs..

Bill Arnold

Skinny, count me in the libertarian crowd; I've been nervous about the NSA since reading Puzzle Palace in the early 90s and then hearing stories about Echelon. Echelon was Clinton's greatest misdeed IMO (second was allowing Pakistan to go nuclear).

Has there been even one documented instance in which the NSA targeted any communications except those designed to exposing terrorist activity?
There haven't, as far as I know, been any documented instances of recent communications targeted by the NSA under these programs, period. We really don't know much about the programs, various disclosures (of which the December 2005 & later NYTimes stories are just minor recent disclosures) notwithstanding. It's hard to know what abuses have been committed (or not). My gut feeling is the NSA was dragged into domestic surveillance kicking and screaming and insisted on tight procedural controls to limit abuses. Without judicial oversight, it's impossible to be confident of this.

So, basically, i'm upset with Bush (and enablers like Yoo) about this, but mainly because there was no serious attempt to go through congress and/or the courts to make it legal, and so when the leaks happened (and the large number of leakers means that there was a good deal of concern) some minor (but potentially useful to terrorists) information was made generally known.

Seven Machos

Bill -- Are you sure Congress didn't know what was happening. A lot happens behind closed doors in the intelligence subcommittees.

john's colon

Um, not that I would dream of accusing Little Pinch Sulzberger and the NY Times of, oh, talking out their ass, but can anyone actually NAME a democratic society that fell because it ran out of whistleblowers...?

Seven Machos

Colon: No, the nation will not fall. Will the nation fall when the average criminal commits a crime? If not, ought that criminal nevertheless be proscuted?


Just curious, but would anyone know what happened with this and this and how they relate to the Patriot Act? (if they do)


The hearings were closed..I don't recall any report. My guess is Fitz asked them not to proceed and explained that he was investigating it and hearings would only interfere with any prosecution.


well, they had another one


from American Future
- Jane Harman

Another “I Was for It Before I Was Against It?”

January 4th, 2006

from AP

In a letter to Bush, Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., said the NSA requires the heads of the various intelligence agencies to keep the entire House and Senate intelligence committees “fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States.” Only in the case of a highly classified covert action can the president choose to inform a narrower group of Congress members about his decision, Harman said. That action is defined in the law as an operation to influence political, economic or military conditions of another country. “The NSA program does not qualify as a ‘covert action,’” Harman wrote.Responding in writing to Harman, House Intelligence Chairman Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., said Harman had never previously raised concerns about the number of people briefed on the program.

"In the past, you have been fully supportive of this program and the practice by which we have overseen it. I find your position now completely incongruent."




I notice that AL would not promise not to whine if a leaker went to prison in spite of his initial post. Crap. QED.


Damn, ts, you are good..I never heard of the hearings and they were all closed.

larwyn..Harman has been good on this, I expect she was under a lot of pressure and picked the stupidest thing to complain about. The law is clear and the President informed the right people and she knows it. This is, after all , the first time she's even raised it.

If I can find the Statute I'll post it.


Here, Larwyn:

subchapter 3, sec. 413b, paragraph C part 2 which states "If the President determines that it is essential to limit access to the finding to meet extraordinary circumstances affecting vital interests of the United States, the finding may be reported to the chairmen and ranking minority members of the congressional intelligence committees, the Speaker and minority leader of the House of Representatives, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, and such other member or members of the congressional leadership as may be included by the President."


"In the past, you have been fully supportive of this program and the practice by which we have overseen it. I find your position now completely incongruent."

HUH? HUH? ... Do I need my Clinton "semantic" decoder ring?

Oh, right found it....translation

"Since the inception of the program, which you briefed, informed and we oversaw all aspects of, we supported it, raised no objections to and pretty much agreed it was a mandatory program in order to thwart another 9-11 (i.e. don't rock the boat baby, Clinton had the reigns up to this point) BUT NOW that our high paid strategists that frequent Daily Kos think this might HURT your Presidency (fingers crossed!) I JUST CANNOT IN GOOD FAITH TRUST YOUR LIES ABOUT THE PROGRAM ANY LONGER, GOT IT?"


TS both those committee hearings were scheduled for only 2 hour sessions. Hoekstra announced his purpose was to see if other legislation was necessary.

Perhaps they were discussing potential legislation.


was to see if other legislation was necessary. Perhaps they were discussing potential legislation.

...and found it was! Maybe this is why were are being served a leak-a-palooza.

Did you notice Hoekstra's "WE ARE AT WAR" statement?


The Sonic-Mate made a funny tonight. His comment on how the MSM will cover the passing of Ariel Sharon:

"Ariel Sharon is dead. No. Ariel Sharon is alive. Everyone else is dead!....
No. Scratch that. It's just Sharon. We repeat, Ariel Sharon is dead.... but there were unconfirmed reports of alleged cannibalism".

I added the bit about cannibalism in homage to the Katrina coverage.

Anonymous Liberal

Sorry Noah,

I was watching the Rose Bowl. Go Horns! What an unbelievable game...

Anyway, I hereby promise not to whine if the NSA leakers are prosecuted.

Just so you know where I stand, though, I'll say this: If the leakers are honest and forthright with investigators (unlike Libby) and the prosecutors are convinced that the leakers were motivated by genuine concern about government wrongdoing, I think they should exercise their prosecutorial discretion and decline to prosecute. I can see where reasonable people would differ on that call, though. If there is any lying or obstruction, however, they should absolutely throw the book at those guys, just like Fitzgerald did with Libby. Fair enough?


Not fair at all. I am not interested in their motive and neither is the applicable statute.
There is an established procedure for protesting what one believes may violate the law when that involves classified material, and there is no reason why individual employees or officials should assume under any conditions that the decision whether to follow that procedure or call Pinch is an option.

I predict that if this continues, you will be unhappy because we will follow the path of other countries and simply adopt an Official Secrets Act.


We have the leaker's name:

[quote]A former National Security Agency official wants to tell Congress about electronic intelligence programs that he asserts were carried out illegally by the NSA and the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Russ Tice, a whistleblower who was dismissed from the NSA last year, stated in letters to the House and Senate intelligence committees that he is prepared to testify about highly classified Special Access Programs, or SAPs, that were improperly carried out by both the NSA and the DIA. "



And we have a back story:

[quote]NSA fires whistleblower
Cox News Service
Thursday, May 05, 2005

WASHINGTON—The National Security Agency fired a high level intelligence official just days after he publicly urged Congress to pass stronger protections for federal whistleblowers facing retaliation.

Russ Tice, 43, who was once nominated for an award by the agency for his intelligence work on Iraq, was informed Tuesday that his security clearances had been permanently revoked and that he could no longer work at the secretive intelligence agency known for its eavesdropping and code-breaking capabilities.

Tice has been at the odds with the agency since he reported suspicions that a female co-worker at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), was a spy for the People's Republic of China.

Tice, a 20-year veteran of the federal intelligence agencies, worked at DIA until 2002. He made his initial report about the suspected spy at DIA after noticing that a co-worker voiced sympathies for China, traveled extensively abroad and displayed affluence beyond her means." And a nice piece of work he seems:

{quote]The Defense Department psychologist concluded that Tice suffered from psychotic paranoia, according to Tice. "He did this even though he admitted that I did not show any of the normal indications of someone suffering from paranoia," Tice wrote in a statement to the inspector general.

"I knew my from that day that my career was over," said Tice, who has worked in intelligence since he graduated from the University of Maryland in 1985. His job at NSA was so top secret that he could not even reveal his title.

In the summer of 2003, Tice told the NSA that he was considering talking to his congressional representatives about waste and abuse at NSA security. He was told that he would face retaliation if he did so, Tice wrote in his statement to the inspector general.

A few weeks after contacting Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., the retaliation intensified, he said. The NSA even sent an agent to his home to "threaten me in person with unspecified actions if I went to the press," Tice said.

In August 2004, the agency suspended Tice's clearance. They sent him to the "motor pool' for eight months where he was assigned to fill up NSA vehicles with gas, check fluids and drive around "the bigwigs," on occasion, Tice said in an interview.

He was then put on administrative leave for 14 months. Last month he was re-assigned to the NSA's warehouse where he was ordered to unload furniture from trucks.

"I reported my suspicion and got blown off," Tice said. "I pushed the issue and that ticked them off, the fact that I questioned their almighty wisdom.[/quote] http://www.pulsejournal.com/business/content/shared/news/nation/stories/05/05_WHISTLEBLOWER_FIRED.html


Know Harman has BEEN good on this -
seems she wants everyone to forget that now.

American Future asks this question.
This is a site by FSO's - I put JustOneMinute in the comments (it
was recorded as 6:02AM)as a great
place to visit for answers. Also,
FYI Dr.Demarche posts at this site now.
Suppose There Was a Congressional Cover-Up
In my previous post, I raised this question:

If what the President did was illegal, are not the members of Congress who knew about it and said nothing guilty of covering-up the President’s crime?
This begs another question: What course(s) of action are available to a member of congress who believes that a president has broken the law? Relatedly, what, if any, penalties can be applied to a member of congress that divulges classified information? Are they bound by 5 U.S.C. 1213?

I can ask these questions but I can’t answer them. Please HELP.



larwyn--Senators and Congressmen are not powerless. They could have demanded closed hearings. Perhaps they might have even sought a closed court hearing on the issue. The point is they never tried .

More here on Tice dated 12/22/05--he sounds paranoid indeed. http://news.baou.com/main.php?action=recent&rid=20695


He's a member of a group formed in August 2004 called National Security Whistleblowers. Here's their website: http://www.nswbc.org/


Clarice, any of those connections to the others that MacsMind is always mentioning like the VIPS
and Rand Beers or the others that
left the NSA - Richard Clarke's

Sorry it take me so damn long to type and post - eyesight problems
and secret letters drive me mad.


Haven't found any yet..but I wouldn't be surprised VIPS urged intel officers to leak, remember.


So Tice has nothing to do with the NSA intercept leak?

What a pretty distraction ....


I do not think we should assume this was Risen's source. He may have been but he may just be using the NYT's kerfuffle for another shot at the agency.

Gabriel Sutherland

clarice: I found that NSWBC group as well. If you look at their directors you might recognize the name Sibel Edmunds. She has faced a real uphill battle in her struggle with the FBI when she tried to report that her colleagues at FBI translators were trying to recruit her to spy for the American-Turkish Business Council.

But look further at their list of members. You'll see Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer on the list. You'll also find Ray McGovern and Larry Johnson, but they have a much different take on Plame that, oh, say, Tom.

Seven Machos

I was watching the national championship, too. There have been some interesting developments in this matter (not nearly as interesting as that instant classic, though).

Some responses:

Anonymous Liberal: You've always been reasonable. I do disagree with much of what you say. I note that Libby is manifestly NOT being prosecuted for leaking. Also, I question whether Plame was covert.

Clarice: I agree. People are whistleblowing for partisan gain and we are more likely than not going to see an oaf of a law that restricts civil liberties. Also, it sounds like Tice is a nut with an axe to grind: the woman living an exorbitant lifestyle and now this. You don't go to the press with these issues. There are proper channels. You report what you know and you trust that security personnel will take it from there. I bet there's a lot more backstory to come. My early prediction: Tice gets the full Sheehan -- celebrity and quasi-mainstream admiration followed by a mantle of weirdo obscurity, all the while beloved by the elites and hated by most of America.

Larwyn: If the Congress finds out something in its official capacity, no member of Congress can act illegally. It's impossible for a member of Congress acting in an official capacity to break the law. Congress makes the law. Further, no judge would touch this. It's what's called a "political question."

Finally, I note in the Washington Times article the following sentence: "Mr. Tice said yesterday that he was not part of the intercept program."

Gabriel Sutherland

Seven Machos: How you be making the argument that whistle blowers get the "full Sheehan" effect from the media when we know that to not be true. Anthony Shaffer was greeted how, by the press?

Those red carpets must have been woven from razor blades.

Following up on your comments about "illegality" and Congress, that isn't really accurate either. Senator Chuck Grassley took serious interest in Sibel Edmunds' complaints against the OPR office at the FBI. She claims to be the victim of retaliation by her superiors for reporting suspicious behavior among her colleagues at the FBI's translations department. The DoJ went so far as to put a gag order on her so she couldn't talk about the FBI's actions to silence her.

There are real concerns about the methods available to a person in the government with high levels of security clearance when they observe misconduct or abuse of resources. Where do they turn if their superiors ignore their complaints? They have to be able to turn somewhere. That somewhere is the Congress. And existing law provides the means for whistle blowers to make those contacts.

However, all is not fair in love in war. Once a high security clearance personnel member blows the whistle, it is almost impossible for them to return to their work for fear of being exposed as to what their work in the government includes. It is not as if they can just snap their fingers and go back to spying in the "Special Applications Projects", aka black ops, sector once they've been exposed their information to the Congress.


American-Turkish Business Council.

quick conspire add in, was this not the venue Brent Scowcroft and Wilson began their full on love affair? (after Brent put down the oval office notebook he was scribbling in)

whistle(blowing) pretty...sure...it...was....

Seven Machos

Gabriel -- You make some good points regarding whistleblowers. It's a conundrum for a person who sincerely knows of wrongdoing. Often in life, however, taking a stand on principle means sacrificing quite a bit professionally and materially. That's the way of the world and no law can change it.

In response to what I actually said, your arguments fail.

1. I made an "early prediction" about what will happen to Tice, not a statement about what happens to "whistleblowers" generally. A prediction is a statement about the future. We will know if I am right in the future. That someone named Anthony Shaffer did not get the "full Sheehan" has no bearing on what will happen to Tice.

2. Regarding Congress: You said that "The DoJ...put a gag order on [Sibel Edmunds] so she couldn't talk about the FBI's actions..." I said that members of Congress cannot act illegally in their official capacities. These two statements have nothing to do with each other. Had the Department of Justice successfully obtained a gag order on the Senator from Iowa, your argument would be more forceful. Even then, though, where is any evidence of a member of Congress acting ILLEGALLY in an official capacity?


hmmm, hmmm

ibel also recalled hearing wiretaps indicating that Turkish Embassy targets frequently spoke to staff members at the A.T.C., one of the organizations that Turkish Embassy targets frequently spoke to staff members at the A.T.C., one of the organizations that the Dickersons allegedly wanted her and her husband to join. Sibel later told the O.I.G. she assumed that the A.T.C.'s board – which is chaired by Brent Scowcroft, President George H. W. Bush's national – security advisor – knew nothing of the use to which it was being put. But the wiretaps suggested to her that the Washington office of the A.T.C. was being used as a front for criminal activity.

Vanity Fair natch


Mr. Tice stated in the Dec. 16 letters, copies of which were obtained by The Washington Times.

well gee, excuse my coordination radar....speed dial indeed. You can almost hear a Pelosi PLEA to come forward...the "take the hit" man cometh..."No really, we will really go to bat for you, I promise"

What intrigues me? Why did Gertz get the scoop?


She's as big a nut as Tice. ATC was not involved in illegal activities.Puh-leeze.

Did you notice, Dan Ellsburg is also a member.

Is this a country with only a handful of plots that we have to keep watching?


Good point, TS. I noticed he wrote an article dated 12/22/05 on this but it couldn't be pasted and clipped from--this scheme's been bubbling since before the Xmas break.

He does sound like a perfect fall guy.

Seven Machos

As an interesting aside, my advice to the current administration regarding the CIA was to give all the partisans a broom and tell them to start cleaning. Langley is nothing if not capacious.

If what Tice says is true about having to fill gas tanks, it's good to know that this option is on the table. There are lots of lifers in several branches who ought to assigned to janitorial duty.

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