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Friday, April 21, 2006

Working for the leak's end

Irony alert: A CIA officer has been fired for divulging classified information to the Washington Post, and according to NBC News, the officer is Mary McCarthy from the CIA's Office of the Inspector General, whose job is to sniff out illegal goings on within the Agency. (Tips o' the hat to Stop the ACLU and The Strata-Sphere.) Fox News says a "law enforcement official" has confirmed to them that the officer (unnamed in this earlier report) was terminated for providing information "that contributed to a Washington Post story last year saying there were secret U.S. prisons in Eastern Europe." According to that story, the US was transferring terror suspects to countries in which torture is considered much more acceptable than it is (by some) here, and where the use of secret prisons is not illegal, as it (sort of) is here.

Citing the Privacy Act, the CIA would not provide any details about the officer's identity or assignments. It was not immediately clear if the person would face prosecution. The firing is a highly unusual move, although there has been an ongoing investigation into leaks in the CIA.

"The officer has acknowledged unauthorized discussions with the media and the unauthorized sharing of classified information," said CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano. "That is a violation of the secrecy agreement that everyone signs as a condition of employment with the CIA."

One official called this a "damaging leak" that deals with operational information and said the fired officer "knowingly and willfully" leaked the information to the media and "was caught."

According to Fox, the suspect originally failed a polygraph given to CIA employees "who had been exposed to certain intelligence programs." Under follow-up questioning by CIA invesitgators, the officer eventually admitted disclosing classified information, "including information about classified operations." It is considered more than likely that the officer will face prosecution, although neither the Justice Department nor the CIA would comment on this.

Well, good. Ms. McCarthy should be criminally prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law (and maybe ever-so-slightly more), and deserves to rot in prison for a very, very long time (and maybe ever-so-slightly longer).

By the way, that deafening silence you hear is emanating from the moral vacuum on the left, where sound only carries if it's anti-American. After all, this leak, regardless of how much it hurt the United States (or maybe because it hurt us?), was a Good Leak. Good Leakers, aka "whistleblowers," are simply speaking truth to power (whatever that stupid saying means) and should not be investigated or punished in any way. Indeed, their brave heroism should be rewarded, and songs sung about their deeds.

Of course there are other leaks, in which information that may or may not be classified is divulged about people who may or may not be working undercover in order to point out that a certain person has a rather fluid definition of the truth that seems to change depending on whether or not he takes his meds. These are Bad Leaks, and facts be damned, we must severly punish these leakers, even if we have no real evidence that what they leaked was classified and we're not sure who they are or if what they did was even illegal.

One line from the Fox report caught my attention:
The administration has refused to address the question of whether it operated such secret sites that may be illegal under European law, citing the constraints of classified information.
Well, if McCarthy was fired for admitting to the disclosure of classified information that led to the Washington Post running its story about how we do operate such sites, I guess that should be confirmation enough. Not that anyone doubted it anyway, but why continue to maintain the no-longer-necessary fiction? All they'd have to say is, "Yes, we ran secret prisons in secret countries where we did special things to our special prisoners. But we were only keeping it secret so that Andrew Sullivan wouldn't whine about it incessantly." (I'm actually a big fan of Sullivan's, but c'mon: it was right there. "I had the shot and I took it," as a pre-brainwashed Tom Cruise said in Top Gun.)

There is no confirmation that the ACLU at first misheard this news report, thought the CIA had fired a reeker, and had already drafted a press release regarding the lawsuit they were going to file under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which apparently, if interpreted loosely (y'know, like the Constitution was meant to be)
can be invoked to ban the termination of employees with bad body odor (BBO).

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