Apr 24 2006
*** Captain Ed Morrissey has some excellent thoughts on this matter here. Interesting to see the good Captain was an FSO, so was I at one (brief) time. ***
Well, this is a surprise. Mary McCarthy, who according to government sources admitted to exposing classified information to reporters, and possibly specifically Dana Priest of the Washington Post, and who is characterized as a serial leaker to many reporters on a variety of topics is claiming innocence through her lawyer:
A lawyer representing fired CIA officer Mary O. McCarthy said yesterday that his client did not leak any classified information and did not disclose to Washington Post reporter Dana Priest the existence of secret CIA-run prisons in Eastern Europe for suspected terrorists.
The statement by Ty Cobb, a lawyer in the Washington office of Hogan & Hartson who said he was speaking for McCarthy, came on the same day that a senior intelligence official said the agency is not asserting that McCarthy was a key source of Priest’s award-winning articles last year disclosing the agency’s secret prisons.
Emphasis mine. McCarthy has allegedly already made one error in gullibility and being seduced by ‘the plan‘ and promises of a brighter future. She better be careful she doesn’t make another mistake in judgement. I have lawyers in my family (all great) and have dealt with
them many others of various types on too many occasions (note: interrupted postings result in ugly sentence fragments). There are two flavors of lawyers. Those who try to do the right thing and those who try to do the right thing for themselves.
McCarthy’s lawyer could be playing a dangerous game. If she is talking to investigators, he better not be out there playing PR games right now. Laying low and cooperating is the best plan if she admitted to exposing classified material. A public push back could paint a target on her she will forever regret.
Cobb said that McCarthy, who worked in the CIA inspector general’s office, “did not have access to the information she is accused of leaking,” regarding classified information about any secret detention centers in Europe.
Cobb is naive. The secret ‘detention centers’ were likely just CIA safe houses for holding prisoners while low profile transportation was made available. I see some pathetic word parsing here, starting with the idea she was the ‘main source’ verses a collaborating source. In the world of classified information there is no distinction. Misrepresenting them in the press is not going to save her from divulging or confirming the existence of CIA facilities in Eastern Europe.
Cobb may be a leftwing plant meant to get McCarthy to hold of agreements with the Feds. My guess is he pressured McCarthy to put up a fight. Win or lose Cobb is safe and paid for. In fact, he is apparently denying is media speculation, which means nothing if she did leak classified information.
Nowhere in the CIA statement last week was McCarthy accused of leaking information on the prisons, although some news accounts suggested the CIA had made that claim.
Conversely, nowhere in the CIA statement was McCarthy exonerated – just the opposite. And the sources to this story seem to be in the CYA mode – which is bad for McCarthy. If she is even once tries to cover for someone else her leniancy deals are off
Though McCarthy acknowledged having contact with reporters, a senior intelligence official confirmed yesterday that she is not believed to have played a central role in The Post’s reporting of the secret prisons. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing personnel matters.
Central role? Not relevant. Personnel matters? Is the source under investigation too? The Washington Post has a lot of guts trying to make the case McCarthy is innocent using someone else who may be guilty as well. Strangely, it seems many in the agency are jumping in front of the crackdown – which only those with something to worry about would do:
“Firing someone who was days away from retirement is the least serious action they could have taken,” said a former intelligence official who is friendly with McCarthy but spoke on the condition of anonymity because of speculation on the administration’s motive. “That’s certainly enough to frighten those who remain in the agency.”
This person (Beers, Johnson, McGovern?) is safe to comment because they are outside the agency, and therefore shouldn’t have half a clue as to what is happening. Brave soul.
The PR effort is a full court press, likely to backfire on poor McCarthy, unless this is part of the sting – get her cohorts to expose themselves through public demonstrations of support. For example:
A counter-terrorism official acknowledged to Newsweek today that in firing McCarthy, the CIA was not necessarily accusing her of being the principal or sole leaker of any particular story.
Did this person just ‘jump into jail’ by associating themselves with McCarthy. These leaps of support make no sense in a town known to run from scandals to protect six figure salaries and notoriety. McCarthy was an unknown set of damaged goods who could easily disapear from the news cycle if she had nothing to link to anyone in power. One wonders why people are rushing to associate their name with hers when no association is the best PR course of action.
The VIPS have come out of the leftward fringes to defend McCarthy on PBS no less!
Mr. Kerr, should Mary McCarthy have been fired for what she did?RICHARD KERR, Former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence: Yes, I believe so.
RAY MCGOVERN: We’re not talking about petty crimes or misdemeanors; we’re talking about war crimes. She was cognizant of war crimes. She needed to do something about that, from a moral and a legal perspective. And she chose this way to do it, because the other ways were blocked for her.
Is this the promised PR support for McCarthy if she goes with Cobb’s plan of defiance? If so, this kind of assistance is going to put McCarthy away behind bars. While Cobb claims she had no access, McGovern is saying she did and she had to expose the classified information because she had no other way out.
JIM LEHRER: … the allegation that she gave the Washington Post information about these so-called prison camps in Eastern Europe?
RAY MCGOVERN: Correct.
Ray McGovern is saying she did it – who am I to argue with the intel expert! Even Andrea Mitchell jumped into the fray:
Keith Olbermann, referring to how she was fired after she had already quit: â€œBut does it not support her theory, or what would be behind her claim, that scape-goating might not be an inappropriate term here?â€
Andrea Mitchell, from NBC’s Washington bureau: â€œWell she hasn’t said that, but certainly her friends are saying that.
Her friends? What do her friends know about this?
And frankly, people within the CIA, even critics of administration pre-war intelligence and all the rest, former and current CIA officers, say that leaks are terrible and that no one should leak national security.
Pick a side Andrea.