The Media Circling the Wagons Around McCarthy

Updated

The New York Times has an article out today that introduces the memes the rest of the media will pick up to defend Mary McCarthy, the CIA officer who was fired for leaking classified information to Washington Post reporter Dana Priest.

1. She disagreed with Clinton’s decision to bomb a suspected chemical weapons (aspirin) factory but didn’t undermine Clinton; therefore, she couldn’t have done it now:

In 1998, when President Bill Clinton ordered military strikes against a suspected chemical weapons factory in Sudan, Mary O. McCarthy, a senior intelligence officer assigned to the White House, warned the president that the plan relied on inconclusive intelligence, two former government officials said.

Ms. McCarthy’s reservations did not stop the attack on the factory, which was carried out in retaliation for Al Qaeda’s bombing of two American embassies in East Africa. But they illustrated her willingness to challenge intelligence data and methods endorsed by her bosses at the Central Intelligence Agency.

2. It was Bush’s fault! The Bush administration’s heavy-handed tactics forced her to go to the media. She was protecting the United States:

Others said it was possible that Ms. McCarthy, who began attending law school at night several years ago, made a campaign contribution to Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004 and had announced her intention to retire from C.I.A., had grown increasingly disenchanted with the often harsh and extra-legal methods adopted by the Bush administration for handling Al Qaeda prisoners and felt she had no alternative except to go to the press.

If in fact Ms. McCarthy was the leaker, Richard J. Kerr, a former C.I.A. deputy director, said, “I have no idea what her motive was, but there is a lot of dissension within the agency and it seems to be a rather unhappy place.” Mr. Kerr called Ms. McCarthy “quite a good, substantive person on the issues I dealt with her on.”

3. The Bush administration was out to get her because she was a Democrat:

When the Bush administration took office in 2001, Ms. McCarthy’s career seemed to stall. A former Bush administration official who worked with her said that, although she was a career C.I.A. employee, as a holdover from the Clinton administration she was regarded with suspicion and was gradually eased out of her job as senior director for intelligence programs. She left several months into Mr. Bush’s first term…

…Several associates of Ms. McCarthy say she returned to the C.I.A. in 2004, taking a job in the inspector general’s office. That year, public records show, she contributed $2,000 to Mr. Kerry’s presidential campaign, identifying herself as a “government analyst.”

4. She was framed! CIA Director Porter Goss targeted her as the CIA’s sacrificial lamb:

After an article last November in The Washington Post reported that the C.I.A. was sending terror suspects to clandestine detention centers in several countries, including some in Eastern Europe, Porter J. Goss, the agency’s director, ordered polygraphs for intelligence officers who knew about certain “compartmented” programs, including the secret detention centers for terror suspects.

Polygraphs are given routinely to agency employees at least every five years, but special ones can be ordered when a security breach is suspected.

Government officials said that after Ms. McCarthy’s polygraph examination showed the possibility of deception, the examiner confronted her and she disclosed having conversations with reporters.

But some former C.I.A. employees who know Ms. McCarthy remain unconvinced, arguing that the pressure from Mr. Goss and others in the Bush administration to plug leaks may have led the agency to focus on an employee on the verge of retirement, whose work at the White House during the Clinton administration had long raised suspicions within the current administration.

“It looks to me like Mary is being used as a sacrificial lamb,” said Larry Johnson, a former C.I.A. officer who worked for Ms. McCarthy in the agency’s Latin America section.

These are the excuses the MSM will use to defend Mary McCarthy and, by extension, defend themselves since they are the folks who are publishing the leaks.

On a similar note, Newsbusters reports on several journalists’ reactions:

Bob Schieffer expressed anger and alluded to the “she was framed” meme about McCarthy’s firing:

At least one leading mainstream journalists isn’t too happy about the revelation Friday that on Thursday the CIA fired an official who admitted being the leaker of top secret information about CIA prisons overseas used to hold al-Qaeda suspects. Bob Schieffer didn’t withhold his personal opinion from his newscast as he introduced a CBS Evening News story by asserting that “it is no secret that the current administration does not like its people hanging out with news reporters without permission” and he described the firing as “a first — a dubious first, to be sure.”

Nina Totenberg used the “It’s Bush’s fault” meme:

“One of the things that a civilized and democratic society is supposed to do is have a system of checks and balances. And this administration did not allow that system of checks and balances to exist. Congress didn’t know about this stuff by in large, it didn’t approve of this stuff by in large. And the administration has not tried to institute any sort of mechanisms, legal, any legal mechanisms to put, have anybody from outside check them.”


Update:
The AP has a story about the Mary McCarthy’s firing from the CIA for leaking classified documents; however, the photo directly below the headline is of Scooter Libby. He’s not even mentioned in the story. File this one under diversion. Hat tip: The Corner

The Spin--and the Buck--Stops Here
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  • virgo

    I saw them (jounalits and lib pundits) all up in arms about this on CNN, how dare they charge Her!its politically motivated! as if that has anything to do with it?
    the prosecutor if there is one? will be treated like Ken Starr and You are of course right the media is circling the wagons.

  • http://myerskatt.blogspot.com Kitty

    I have posted what appears to be the only picture of Mary McCarthy. I found the picture doing a search on AltaVista. The shot was linked to CSIS, but you won’t find any trace of her there now. I also found the same picture, also linked to CSIS, at Dogpile. So far, those are the only two search engines which list her picture. Google does not, Lycos and Yahoo! do not.

  • mak44

    As usual, you already have labeled this as a left/right issue w/ your snide implications about the MSM.

    What McCarthy has done, if correctly charged, is help to expose an issue already under investigation by several European governments.

    It appears that the Liar-Murderer Bush and his fellow war-criminals have a huge propensity to classify, not what must be kept secret from the enemies of the U.S., but rather what they must hide from the American people to keep information dark as to their criminal behavior.

    It already has been demonstrated by the Historian Laurence Britt (http://www.oldamericancentury.org/14pts.htm)that Bush has accelerated every one of the 14 points of commonality evidenced in the 20th century Fascist regimes.

    And the righties never do seem to be troubled with the all-to-common Fascist odor that emanates from the Republican leaders.

    1984 was sadly titled twenty years too early.

  • virgo

    What do you work for the mainstream media or something , because you obviously view them as some sort of truth telling industry which they clearly are not.
    if their “criminal behavior” is so dark and hidden than how do you know about it?
    whoever your historian is ? he,s sure got you twisted..

  • bill

    Most excellent sting operation.

    Now that the EU confiorms there were no secret prisons, does she have to give back the pulitzer?

    Or do we now go forward with, well, there could have been secret prisons — fake but accurate.

  • George

    As usual, the MSM has already made this a left/right
    issue. That didn’t originate here. The woman
    admitted wrongdoing yet the MSM still tries to
    paint her as the “sacrificial lamb.”

    She is the criminal. Period. End of story.

    It is the CIA that has been breaking the law
    and hiring liars (e.g. Joe Wilson) in an attempt
    to discredit this administration. I suspect
    there will be more of these “sacrificial lamb”/
    criminals headed out the door at the CIA.

  • George

    By the way, I understand Mary O. McCarthy approved
    Joe Wilson’s trip to Niger. Maybe she used her
    MSM connections to hook him up with gig to write his
    lies for the NY Times.

  • hi

    Hi, on point #1 you say ‘Saddams’ factory. This is incorrect. It was supposedly Bin Ladens factory.

  • mak44

    Most of the contributors to this site are evidence that the extreme right is composed of the most ignorant P.O.S.’s around.

    Not likely that there will be a USA by the 22nd century-hell with this pack of idiots; we’ll be lucky to make the quarter century.

    What a group of fascists!!!!!!!

  • Zelsdorf

    Mak44. Your comments prove you are an idiot. I say that because you are not smart enough to think for yourself. After all, just how smart can you be if you believe everything is Bush’s fault. I am sure you believed in the great right wing conspiracy against Bill Clinton, as opposed to the facts of his administration. Once again proving my point. Too stupid to believe the truth about Clinton and not smart enough to recognize the truth about Bush. The media has really stripped you of your sense, if you ever had one, of right and wrong.

  • Master Shake

    Ah, nothing like the reasoned discourse encouraged by fine individuals such as mak44.

    In words you may understand (but it’s probably far beyond your intellect): “mak44 is a poopy-head!”

  • Master Shake

    Oh, and interesting link, mak44.

    I’m sure you and your moonbat brethren are just as outraged by the fascist regime of Franklin Roosevelt. Or of any other administration during wartime.

    Although, it appears more that you are outraged by any expression of patriotism or concern for national security, which you apparently equate to fascism. This certainly explains the positions taken by the Dems.

  • John Goodman

    These two knuckleheads are proving the very point mak44 was making!

  • http://casebolt.blogspot.com Rich Casebolt

    “One of the things that a civilized and democratic society is supposed to do is have a system of checks and balances”

    However, that system is also NOT supposed to obstruct the execution of the primary responsibility of government … protecting our right to live freely.

    The kind of transparency has, in the past, tied our leaders down like Gulliver, impairing our ability to both keep our intentions/strategy/tactics out of the hands of our enemies, and inhibiting our leaders flexibility to act decisively when called for.

    This kind of transparency is consistent with the Leftist worldview that America is rich enough to bear any burden — and that our mere poseession of wealth and power makes us less trustworthy than rogues who have demonstrated their ability to perpetrate evil through their actions.

    Two errors in judgment, that have been systematically applied over the decades, by the same people who would now criticize a man whose actions liberated millions as a jingoistic “cowboy”.

    Two errors … whose effects on civilization make any errors committed by this Administration appear trivial by comparison.

    To the critics, I have only one thing to say in conclusion …

    … COWBOY UP!

  • John Anderson

    The MSM (and mak44) still seem unaware that there are channels – including going directly to Congress rather than your bos[ses] – for whistleblowers. This is not whistleblowing, it is a criminal disregard for anything but personal satisfaction/aggrandizement by “going after” an agency or administration at any cost to others.

  • Master Shake

    And what point would that be? Other than that on top of his head, that is.

    That illegally disseminating classified information is only bad if Republicans do it?

    That it’s fun to regurgitate your DNC-approved talking points, even when they have been countered by later reporting?

    That expressions of patriotism are “fascist”?

    That namecalling by liberals is reasoned argument?

    Or was he just making a point via example that leftist loons have abandoned any pretense of logic or reason?

    Just looking for clarification.

  • John Goodman

    One sentence for Rich “which one came first, the chicken or the egg?”

  • Lee

    The only thing I see in a circle are the narrow-minded jerks doing what they do best — blame the MSM and demoncrats for wrongs they, the jerks, imagine will happen next.

    “These are the excuses the MSM will use to defend Mary McCarthy and, by extension, defend themselves since they are the folks who are publishing the leaks.”.

    Come on Kim, it’s no fun to see the dogs all up in a lather, and barking… lol!

  • John Goodman

    Master, how do you expect me to take you seriously if you yourself are namecalling in your critic of namecalling?

  • Master Shake

    Just a tip for the lefties: lots of swearing, excessive punctuation, and namecalling is only considered reasoned discourse on your blogs. It would be nice if you at least pretended to be rational when posting on “enemy” blogs.

  • Master Shake

    John Goodman,

    It’s called “humor”. As has been exceedingly apparent lately, that is something in which your side is utterly lacking.

  • http://casebolt.blogspot.com Rich Casebolt

    John — this isn’t a chicken-and-egg problem; it is a question of protecting against DIFFERENT threats.

    The checks and balances are supposed to protect my life and liberty from a dysfunctional government … they are not designed to protect my life and liberty from external threats, yet protecting my life and liberty from those threats is a legitimate function of our government that must not face obstruction, either.

    Without the right to live, the rest of the rights don’t matter much.

    The transparency that the critics of this Administration seek, OTOH, is DESIGNED to tie our leaders’ hands, inhibiting their ability to flexibly respond to threats and surprise our enemies … for the critics see the possible threat of a rogue America as a bigger problem than the demonstrated threat to civilization presented by thug regimes like Saddam & Sons.

    They are more worried about those who might shred paper, than they are about those who do shred people.

  • mak44

    Anazing; most of the above posters absolutely demonstrate my point that they are more than willing, like a pack of Pavlovian puppies, to gobble up whatever crap that the Bush war-criminals crap out.

    Trump up a threat to US security and you crypto-fascixts (Republicans) will accept and tolerate any abuse. Bush & his lies about the alleged Iraqi threat are no different than the Nazis & their Reichstag fire. Of course, back then, anything was necessary to protect Germany from the obvious (Reichstag fire) threat of the Bolsheviks. And thru complacency, a fascist dictatorship was ushered in.

    You idiots who are mush-brained enough to believe that Iraq was a threat to the US security are beneath pity. And therefore, you not only accept, but trumpet the very type of abuses you claim to abhor.

    And Ms. McCarthy’s exposure of the E. European secret prisons does not give the Enemy any sort of info that they could possibly use to harm this country. It simply exposes the Bush war-mongerers for the pigs that they are. And it exposes, or ought to expose, just what a crypto-fascist Bu8sh & Cheney are.

    You righties glory and wallow in hypocrisy. If you believe this Iraqi war is about protecting the US, you are fools. And if you believe that the US Constitution empowers an appointed war-criminal Pig-in-chief to expend other peoples’ lives to liberate a foreign oppressed people as a charge of responsibility, you are worse than insane.

    Why aren’t all you war-loving hawks signing up to march off to Bush’s criminal war as opposed to sending someone else’ son or daughter to die? Perhaps you could enlist the 2 pretty silly things, Barb & Jenna, to lead your battle group to save America.

    Or are the pack of you war cowards like the murder-in-chief who hid out from Viet Nam in the National Guard or the Cheney pig who got 5 deferrments because he had “other things to do.”

    Amazing how chicken hawks are so ready to have others do the dying!!!!!

  • virgo

    To Rosannes husband
    John the chicken came first as it was created by God to serve its purposes in this world..

  • George

    Hey mak44, Bush got an honorable discharge. How
    about you?

    We didn’t start this war. Saddam Hussein started
    it in 1991.

    You are the hypocritical one. Saddam murdered,
    tortured, raped, and oppressed on a scale like
    no other buy yellow-bellied cowards such as
    yourself were perfectly happy to let it
    continue. Your lazy, selfish ass wouldn’t have
    lifted a finger to stop the brutality.

  • Harry Mallory

    “And Ms. McCarthy’s exposure of the E. European secret prisons does not give the Enemy any sort of info that they could possibly use to harm this country. It simply exposes the Bush war-mongerers for the pigs that they are.”

    So, what has been exposed? So far, the EU intel cheif says he cant find them. Why is that? Shouldnt the “corporate” press be able to simply drive the guy right up to the gates?

    So what exactly got exposed?

    Enlightened liberals like yourself do a lot of name calling and acusation throwing and hand-ringing about evil Nazi neo-cons and about how ignorant the rest of us are. Where’s the freaking evidence already!

  • http://hengineer.blogspot.com Henry

    Correction, Saddam didn’t technically start the GWOT, the Arab countries did in their fight against the creation of the state of Israel. The idea of the “arab terrorist” has been around even since before then.

    Only it wasn’t “terrorist” it was “assassin”. The start of the word assassin began during the crusades and the fact that europeans thought that creeping around at night wasn’t knightly and was beneath them. However, they were able to recruit some arabs over to “God’s side” (I say that because the Europeans thought it was anyway), and used THEM as assassins AGAINST the arabs.

    Oh and while I may not serve in the military, I serve in the United States Merchant Marine, been to more countries than you have brain cells, mak44, and the ships I sail on supply the navy will goods and services. Think before you speak. Most conservatives are the ones more likely to pick up a gun and fight in the first place.

  • wave_man

    mak44,
    Go stick your head back up in that place where it belongs. Keep it there. We don’t need your greenhouse gas.

  • John Goodman

    Get you facts right pal. The guy you are looking for is the European Union’s anti-terror coordinator, Gijs De Vries. That guy has no power on the European Intel agencies what so ever. He can’t even force his own wife to tell him the truth. His “investigation” consisted of asking x prisonners and witenesses. Nice try.

  • frank

    “…Pavlovian puppies…Bush war-criminals crap out…crypto-fascixts (Republicans) Nazis & their Reichstag fire…You idiots who are mush-brained…Bush war-mongerers..pigs…crypto-fascist Bu8sh & Cheney…fools…war-criminal Pig-in-chief…insane…war-loving hawks…Bush’s criminal war…war cowards…murder-in-chief…Cheney pig…chicken hawks…”

    Exclusive Invitation to: mak44

    You are cordially invited to the Armstrong Ranch for a little quail hunting.

    Dick has promised not to shoot anyone in the face.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    ’til after 4:30PM

  • mak44

    Dear Pavlovian Puppies

    The War-Criminal Bush rings the bell & all you yipping mindless puppies come running to yip approval for his criminal war.

    How many of you have the guts to watch CBS 60 Minutes Sunday nite & see a former CIA officer reveal the lies & misuse of intelligence on Iraq by Bush & Cheney?

    At least Pavlov’s dogs were created dogs, they couldn’t help it; you Bush yipping brainwashed puppies are salivating fools who willingly surrendered your god-given human intellect to become little Bush mindless puppies. Bush rings the bell & you come running for your milk bones.

    And the German masses cheered the Fuehrer just as you Republicans cheer the murdering Bush while he leads this country to destruction.

    So why don’t you cowering puppies enlist for this Great Cause?????????

  • http://omniverse.blogspot.com/ Omni

    Don’t we shoot traitors anymore?

  • docjim505

    Omni,

    Sadly, I don’t think we do. Quite aside from the lib’s general aversion to the death penalty (unless it’s applied to Eric Rudolph, Ken Lay, or George Bush), they really don’t see that the unauthorized dissemination classified material is wrong in this case. “She was doing it for noble purposes!” I’ve read lefty posts that call for her to be awarded a medal, fer cryin’ out loud.

  • virgo

    Mak44
    now i see your problem ! your trusting Dan Rather and that CockandBullShit CBS for your “unbias”news info , Dan and Scheiffer have some nerve misleading you this way.

  • mak44

    Actually Virgo, I get my news from a multitude of sources & rarely if ever watch CBS. However tonite I will watch 60 Minutes to hear the former CIA officer expose what f…ing liars & war criminals Bush & Cheney are in regard to their DELIBERATE LIES about WMD.

    You, on the other hand will run to Fox News for your daily Pavlovian diet of Repub propaganda.

    BTW Haven’t heard any of you Pavlovian Puppies yipping to sign up to go to Iraq yet. As typical, you yellow-bellied cowards are taking the Bush/Cheney way out of war while others die & come home as mangled Bush meat.

    Let’s have war & send others’ loved ones to do the dying while we get all honked up w/ jingoistic patriotism.

    You people are the 1920′s German Volk reincarnated.

    Hark, I hear the bell ringing; start salivating you mindless war mongerers.

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net/ Marc

    mak44:

    Why aren’t all you war-loving hawks signing up to march off to Bush’s criminal war as opposed to sending someone else’ son or daughter to die?

    Well that was expected wasn’t it?

    A variation of the chickenhawk crapola.

    The answer my friend is us facists are going to restart the draft and send your type to the front lines.

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net/ Marc

    And BTW, I spent my 20 plus years in the US Navy
    and feel very proud that I had a hand in removing Saddam from Kuwait and targeting a few tomahawks Clinton sent his way as a result of his planning to assinate a US President.

  • ed

    Hmmmm.

    re: chickenhawk

    You know I’m just waiting for when there’s a Democrat in the White House, and at this rate I’ll be waiting a long time, and he/she/it decides to invade another country. When the Democrats and liberals try and justify it I’ll be vastly amused to come out and shout “chickenhawk”.

    Indeed I won’t bother replying to the, hopefully, substantive arguments made in favor of such a military action. No I’ll just borrow a leaf from the Democrat’s playbook and just put my fingers in my ears and repeat “chickenhawk” endlessly as if it were really an adequate response in of itself.

    It’s funny. I spent some time working on a web based Eliza style program.

    WikiPedia: Eliza

    Online Eliza

    But gave that up because, really what’s the point? How can you possibly parody something that is already a parody?

  • ed

    Hmmmm.

    How many of you have the guts to watch CBS 60 Minutes Sunday nite & see a former CIA officer reveal the lies & misuse of intelligence on Iraq by Bush & Cheney?

    See? How on earth could I possibly parody THIS?

    Courage? 60 minutes?

  • Mak44

    I want to repent for all my anti american lies ive told on here ! Bush is my hero ,please forgive me you repubs.
    sincerely Mak44

  • Robert

    Torture is wrong…and it is counter-productive.

  • http://www.yippee-ki-yay.us/ McGehee

    But then again, so is trolling…

  • anthony

    seems to me that the bush admin screwed up iraq and this whole “war on terror” from the get-go, and now that the true patriots — McCarthy, the retired generals — have started calling the president and his lackeys on their idiocy, they now try to get you lapdogs to parrot their party line. too late, people, everyone knows what the GOP has done to this country.

  • virgo

    Yeah , made it stronger than ever with no help from your types.

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