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Fifth Columnist Fired

I wonder why this story broke on a Friday afternoon?

In a rare occurrence, the CIA fired an officer who acknowledged giving classified information to a reporter, NBC News learned Friday.

The officer flunked a polygraph exam before being fired on Thursday and is now under investigation by the Justice Department, NBC has learned.

Intelligence sources tell NBC News the accused officer, Mary McCarthy, worked in the CIA’s inspector general’s office and had worked for the National Security Council under the Clinton and and George W. Bush administrations.

Lots of other links and commentary can be found here.

I wonder how many others in the CIA consider their own administration to be a greater enemy than the Jihadis?

Despite the timing, I suspect that it will simmer over the weekend and explode next week. I hope that she'll be prosecuted and (if guilty) jailed as well. But expect the media to defend her as a noble "whistleblower."

Just as a reminder, here are the standard MSM definitions:

"Illegal Leaker": someone who recklessly, and in defiance of our national security, releases information that could possible be perceived to help the administration smear and damage the careers of selfless people who are only telling the truth about its warmongering avarice and mendacity.

"Whistleblower": someone who nobly risks retribution and persecution by exposing ongoing and egregious assaults on human rights by the war-mongering, "selected not elected" theocrats in power in Washington.

Guess I'll have to update my media glossary.

[Update at 3:30 PM MST]

This is amazing, and a clue into how the media is going to cover this story. Whose picture acccompanies the story? Not the fired CIA employee. Not the Pulitzer-winning reporter that she leaked it to. No, there's only one CIA leaker that matters.

It's Scooter Libby, of course, though neither he, or his situation, or anything related to it, is mentioned nowhere in the story.

I can't believe that this is going to stay up like this, so I've grabbed a screenshot.

Posted by Rand Simberg at April 22, 2006 12:09 PM
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"Illegal Leaker"

or "Whistleblower"

I prefer " Undocumented Press Secretary"

Posted by SWOguy at April 22, 2006 03:34 PM

It doesn't matter this time, the Drive By Media outsmarted themsleves. 99% of the public can't tell an unatributed pic of Scooter Libbly from Bob Evans.

Posted by Mike Puckett at April 22, 2006 08:24 PM

Sunday morning, and it is still Scooter Libby, a person whose name doesn't even appear in the story.

Posted by Leland at April 23, 2006 06:15 AM

99% of the public can't tell an unatributed pic of Scooter Libbly from Bob Evans.

Clicking on the picture gives his name.

Posted by Ilya at April 23, 2006 01:03 PM

to paraphrase a popular flash cartoon.

"Plameleak BAD! Plameleak BAD!"

This will be used "in context" to explain "just how damaging" the "leak" of Plame was to national security (sotto voce' "by national security I mean democrats") and this will now have a chilling affect on good honest "journalism" (read espionage) and a fundamental violation of the "1st ammendment" (that only applies to journalists, atheists, illegal immigrants and others on the approved list of people having access to 1st ammendment protections)

The voices of law and order (read either "conservative" "conservative schills" or "lackey's trying to curry favor with conservatives") will be marginalized, while the traitor's voice will be raised loud and proud as a PROOF of defiance against an oppressive regime on par with the bus boycott, and yeltsin climbing the russian tank. Children dancing on the berlin wall and blacks voting isn't remotely as important as the acts of this one brave woman.

Either that or she is charged with treason, and she folds on all of the people who helped her commit treason.

Posted by wickedpinto at April 23, 2006 01:37 PM

i have a somewhat related question. recently a couple conservatives have been saying that the journalists that won the pulitzers for reporting on the secret cia prisons and the nsa warrantless surveillance should be jailed. i dont know the law, but i assume if the leak is found to expose something illegal, then that is protected whistleblowing.

my question: if they were to prosecute risen (who i believe was the reporter on the nsa program), wouldnt the court need to rule on whether the nsa program was itself illegal?

the republican congress is obviously not interested in investigating the matter, it would be interesting to see it argued in a court of law. i personally dont think any of the administrations justifications are close to plausible.

Posted by ujedujik at April 24, 2006 12:52 AM

"recently a couple conservatives have been saying that the journalists that won the pulitzers for reporting on the secret cia prisons and the nsa warrantless surveillance should be jailed."

Some of the same publications making this argument have previously praised Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz, who has been publishing leaks of intelligence information for over a decade. Bill Gertz puts a top secret intelligence report on China in the appendix of his book and he gets praised. A different journalist reports on a secret prison in a newspaper and conservatives call for his head. If conservatives _really_ cared about this, they would call for Gertz to be arrested.

Posted by Tom Shembough at April 24, 2006 07:07 AM

I don't know whether the journalists who publish secrets can or should be arrested/jailed.

I do know that I and many others were very unhappy with the people who were leaking things to Bill Gertz, and feel that THEY should be arrested.

Same applies to Ms McCarthy.

Posted by Lurking Observer at April 24, 2006 07:50 AM

I know I don't watch the news and listen to talk radio, but I haven't heard anyone make a peep about the journalist being arrested. The question is why isn't the CIA leaker, if it is indeed Mary McCarthy, not in jail? The journalist is simply mentioned, because her newspaper identified McCarthy as the potential source for the classified information.

i dont know the law, but i assume if the leak is found to expose something illegal, then that is protected whistleblowing.

You can leak to Congress and gain whistleblower status, but not to the press. (You don't know the shift key either, but I digress).

Posted by Leland at April 24, 2006 07:50 AM

Ok, I see Bill Bennett and Scott Johnson, as well others, are parading the phrase "Pulitzer Prize for Treason". I think that is a dumb idea and will backfire. Reporters will report news, and these reporters reported important news. I may disagree with the disclosure of the information, but I wouldn't expect a journalist to sit on this.

I still think the leaker should be put in jail. If the leaker was so righteous about the US activities being wrong, then they could have easily told someone in Congress about it. That is the mechanism available to them that comes with legal protections.

Posted by Leland at April 24, 2006 08:14 AM

The decision to fire her was made internally at the CIA. Any decision to arrest and prosocute her will be made by the Justice Department, on their schedule.

Posted by triticale at April 24, 2006 03:46 PM

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