Monday, April 24, 2006

Rand Beers On Mary McCarthy

According to Rand Beers, whom she was hired to replace at the NSC, Mary McCarthy categorically denies being the source of the prison leak story. Though this is as yet unconfirmed by McCarthy herself who did not reply to attempts to contact her.

Rand Beers, who has been publicly very critical of the Bush Administration, after working for it for two years, was a national security advisor to Democratic Party candidate John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign.

Notice, however, that even if this is true, it is a very narrow denial. She is denying only that she was the source of the prison leak story. She could have been a confirming witness about it, a second source, as opposed to the primary one. And she could have leaked other stories.

Indeed, "CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano re-affirmed on Monday that an agency official had been fired after acknowledging “unauthorized contacts with the media and discussion of classified information” with journalists." This appears to mean that McCarthy had more than one set of contacts with journalists, which is exactly what she is alleged to have confessed to.
The officials, who asked for anonymity because they were discussing sensitive information, said that McCarthy had been fired after allegedly confessing during the course of a leak investigation based heavily on polygraph examinations that she had engaged in unauthorized contacts with more than one journalist regarding more than one news story. The only journalist so far identified by government sources as one of the unauthorized persons with whom McCarthy admitted contact is Washington Post reporter Dana Priest, who last week won a Pulitzer Prize for revealing details of a secret airline and prison network that the CIA operates to detain and interrogate high-level Al Qaeda suspects...

A counter-terrorism official acknowledged to NEWSWEEK today that in firing McCarthy, the CIA was not necessarily accusing her of being the principal, original, or sole leaker of any particular story. Intelligence officials privately acknowledge that key news stories about secret agency prison and "rendition" operations have been based, at least in part, upon information available from unclassified sources.
And then, to finish strongly, Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff introduce the ubiquitious Larry Johnson, who informs us, after the authors have introduced several caveats to explains why he suggest he certainly couldn't be biased in her favor, that:
[H]e "never saw her allow her political [views] to cloud her analytical judgment." Johnson maintains the Bush White House is "really damaging the intelligence community" by sending a message to career officials that "unless you are a partisan of the party in power, you cannot be trusted."
Really? And I thought that was precisely the ethos of such folks as Larry Johnson, who is on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

But back to the article.
This message, Johnson says, is destroying the intelligence community's "professional ethos."
But then Johnson didn't ever work with her while she served under an Administration with which she strenuously disagreed, such as she currently does, as the amount of her political contributions to various Democrats in 2004 inform us tacitly. The amount was just short of $10,000 dollars, on the salary of a government official. (She has been contributing again recently, this year, to the campaign of Joseph Sestak, director for defense policy on Bill Clinton's National Security Council - see this post at Sweetness and Light for more details.)

What's that about her political contributions to various campaigns in 2004?

Oh that's right. Hosenball and Isikoff could not be bothered to introduce the information. It might shake the narrative line they are trying so carefully to trace between the cracks and pits of their presentation.

For a contrasting view, and in my opinion, a far more perspicacious one, see Andy McCarthy's discussion of Mary McCarthy's political donations.
Now we find that an intelligence officer who was leaking information very damaging to Bush was a Kerry backer to a degree that was extraordinary for a single person on a government salary, and, even more extraordinarily, gave $5K of her own money to Democrats in the key swing state (Ohio) that, in the end, did actually decide the election.

From where I sit, that's pretty damn relevant.
But, then, I guess Hosenball and Isikoff must have figured the news of her political contributions to Democrats was already all over the net, put there, I might add, by centrists and republicans, not by journalists. And here they wanted a coup, with their "testimonial" from Rand Beers. His words conclude the article:
"She worked for me on the most sensitive national security material there is and I had no reason to think she ever did anything like what's been alleged to have been done here," said Beers. McCarthy was a "quality intelligence officer who handled the matters with skill and understanding," he added.
So she didn't leak any information damaging to Clinton while she worked with Beers. But then she was a Clinton supporter, and it was under Clinton's Administration that she rose high. So her motivations were simply otherwise currently. How she acted in the past is in no way determinative of her current behavior.

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