Saturday, April 22, 2006

Mary McCarthy's Fall: A Mole Hunt?

Captain Ed finds it plausible:
"Rick Moran at Right Wing Nuthouse wonders if the story on CIA detention centers might not have been a sting operation to unmask leakers at Langley. The possibility comes up because on the same day that the CIA terminated Mary McCarthy for her communications to the press, the New York Times reports that European investigators cannot find any evidence that the detention centers ever existed:
The European Union's antiterrorism chief told a hearing on Thursday that he had not been able to prove that secret C.I.A. prisons existed in Europe.

'We've heard all kinds of allegations,' the official, Gijs de Vries, said before a committee of the European Parliament. 'It does not appear to be proven beyond reasonable doubt.' ...

Mr. de Vries said the European Parliament investigation had not uncovered rights abuses despite more than 50 hours of testimony by rights advocates and people who say they were abducted by C.I.A. agents. A similar investigation by the Council of Europe, the European human rights agency, came to the same conclusion in January — though the leader of that inquiry, Dick Marty, a Swiss senator, said then that there were enough 'indications' to justify continuing the investigation.

A number of legislators on Thursday challenged Mr. de Vries for not taking seriously earlier testimony before the committee of a German and a Canadian who gave accounts of being kidnapped and kept imprisoned by foreign agents.

The committee also heard Thursday from a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, who said: ' "I can attest to the willingness of the U.S. and the U.K. to obtain intelligence that was got under torture in Uzbekistan. If they were not willing, then rendition prisons could not have existed." But Mr. Murray, who was recalled from his job in 2004 after condemning the Uzbek authorities and criticizing the British and American governments, told the committee that he had no proof that detention centers existed within Europe.

He said he had witnessed such rendition programs in Uzbekistan, but he seemed to back up Mr. de Vries's assertion when he said he was not aware of anyone being taken to Uzbekistan from Europe. "As far as I know, that never happened," he said.

How do intel agencies find leakers and spies? They pass around carefully designed misinformation to selected individuals considered likely suspects, and see what winds up exposed as a result. It's possible that after Porter Goss took over as DCI when George Tenet left, he began mole hunting in a big way. It's certain that the administration would have demanded some action on leaks, and Goss would have been of a similar mind. It appears that the story she gave Dana Priest has a lot less substance than first thought. Two separate investigations by Europe turned up nothing. They have reported on both occasions that no evidence exists to substantiate the story, either of the detention centers or of European cooperation.
Rick, for his part, slowly walks back from his orginal claim--without abandoning it entirely:
Circumstantial evidence that the prisons exist or existed at one time is compelling:
The European Parliament’s probe and a similar one by the continent’s leading human rights watchdog are looking into whether US intelligence agents interrogated Al Qaeda suspects at secret prisons in Eastern Europe and transported some on secret flights through Europe.

But so far investigators have not identified any human rights violations, despite more than 50 hours of testimony by human rights activists and individuals who said they were abducted by US intelligence agents, de Vries said.

‘’We’ve heard all kinds of allegations, impressions; we’ve heard also refutations. It’s up to your committee to weigh if they are true. It does not appear to be proven beyond reasonable doubt,” he said. ‘’There has not been, to my knowledge, evidence that these illegal renditions have taken place.”
Please note that Mr. de Vries, Chairman of the Commission, has chosen his words very, very carefully. “Illegal” renditions as well as an earlier reference to “no evidence of illegal CIA activities” could very well mean that the detention program existed but that no laws were broken...
AJ Strata explores the political angle, and the media's obtuseness over it:
The media seems tone death to the key aspects of the issue. Note the comment from the Washington Post:
Leonard Downie Jr., The Post’s executive editor, said on its Web site that he could not comment on the firing because he did not know the details. “As a general principle,” he said, “obviously I am opposed to criminalizing the dissemination of government information to the press.”
Downing seems incapable of discerning ‘government information’ from critical, classified, national security information that exposes Americans to terrorist attacks. The Post CIA prison story may not rise to that level - but the NY Times story on the NSA certainly does. And on the NSA the only parts of the story the NY Times got right were the parts useful to our terrorist enemies (see this topic for all my posts on that matter). And the NY Times seems to be praying there is a way out of this mess, giving me the impression they are trying to impeach the event we see unfolding:
The results of such exams are regarded as important indicators of deception among some intelligence officials. But they are not admissible as evidence in court — and the C.I.A.’s reliance on the polygraph in Ms. McCarthy’s case could make it more difficult for the government to prosecute her.
Er… well. Unless of course the person admits to the underlying crime detected by the polygraph. Then there is no problem whatsoever. And if there are collaborating phone records, well give it up. You can see the desperation in the attempts to minimalize what has happened here. This is not a normal action against a CIA officer.

And the fact she is a Kerry supporter is not going to help build the impression she is some innocent person be abused by a mean ‘ol Bush administration:
Public records show that Ms. McCarthy contributed $2,000 in 2004 to the presidential campaign of John Kerry, the Democratic nominee.
Her actions put people at risk. The duplicity of the media compared to their outcries on the Plame Game is obvious, crude and crass. There is no excuse for this, and to pretend otherwise is to truly be whistling past the grave.
Alexandra ponders the implications of Mrs. McCarthy's expulsion for the White House's campaign to regain control of their PR:
I would like to take this whole issue a step further and suggest that this indicates to me, that whoever picks up the reigns as the White House Press Secretary, will be determined to put an end to this ridiculous dynamic. Regaining the control over information would indeed have the most significant and immediate impact on the White House's ability to lead the charge in explaining to the public the 'what' 'where' and 'why' of it's domestic and foreign policies. If the Administration and the Press Secretary as it were, can stop the opposition's constant ability to distort and smear everything the Administration does before it even gets a chance to explain and outline it's policies, then they stand a chance of saving their stronghold at Capitol Hill come November. To that end, regaining control of the White House Press Room is a very good start.
The MSM myopic focus on how Mrs. McCarthy's dismissal affects them blinds them to the truth. They can't see the danger that her leaks have caused to our constitutional government. They're too obsessed with being Reasonable and continuing to pursue the Agenda.

Mrs. McCarthy's leak of classified information may put American lives at risk. If she leaked information about the NSA's surveillance of US residents' international calls to known terrorists, she may have put millions of lives at risk.

But that's not the worst of it.

Acting as an officer in a US intelligence service, she manipulated the Fourth Estate into pressuring a sitting President in a time of War. She sought to usurp the civilian leadership's rightful role as the policy-maker of the US government. Her treachery undermines our constitutional government, in which civilians elected by we the people determine the course of our nation.

Why has she done all of this? Evidently, for the rankest of reasons: partisan politics.

And her ideologically--and politically--sympathetic enablers in the MSM helped her to do this for similar reasons. That, and the lure of a pulitzer.

The Reasonable MSM complicity in her offense demonstrates once more the laughing-stock they've become. No longer is our American Fourth Estate the informants of the people. They are the hypocritical propagandists for once political and ideological constituency within our society. Their determination to pursue all Reasonable things has only eroded their credibility. They'll continue on the road to their withering death. Others will embrace their Reason D'etre: to inform a free people of what they need to know in order to participate in that freedom.

The sooner others do, the more secure our society--and our freedom--will be!