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What a Real Outing Looks Like

The topic of my Townhall column this week is the L.A. Times "outing" of three North Carolina pilots who worked for Aero Contractors and flew CIA rendition flights. I do a bit of comparing the case of the NC pilots to that of Valerie Plame.

Don't expect the same type treatment the Plame case received to be applied to this story. The L.A.Times story ends with this quote about one of the rendition missions, "On the flight back to Washington, after the snow had cleared, the rendition team celebrated by ordering 17 shrimp cocktails and three bottles of fine Spanish wine, according to catering invoices obtained by the prosecutors. " I don't remember seeing much attention paid to Joe and Valerie Wilson's cocktails, but I guess that is because their story was about how they were victims of an outing.

Read more in my previous post, An Outing in My Neck of the Woods.


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» Eclipse Ramblings linked with A actual outing of Covert Agents

Comments (15)

During World War II, there ... (Below threshold)

During World War II, there were plenty of American reporters "imbedded" with the troops. They and their editors were unabashedly pro-American in their reporting, and any details about which any question existed they might compromise security were omitted by default. The public's "right to know," it was recognized, should take a back seat to our soldiers' "right to live."

In Vietnam, the media began moving towards a "neutral observer" approach. They saw themselves as suppliers of information and exerted no self-control, although they still respected the authority of military censors.

The movement towards this neutral posture was most certainly completed by the time, during the early days of the Afghan War, Mike Wallace responded to a hypothetical of being in position to see enemy troops preparing an ambush of US forces by saying he would not warn the Americans of the impending attack, lest he lose his "objectivity." The Press no longer felt any obligations to those who defend the Freedom of the Press with their lives.

Today the pendulum seems, in many cases, to have swung beyond neutrality. Old Media disdains Bush and is reflexively opposed to the use of American military power in the furtherance of our national interests. They now emphasize anything which could hurt our troops and their morale. They ignore, or bury in jumped paragraphs in the back pages, any positive developments when possible.

It's a shame that American journalists behaving as if they were Americans has become a memory.

It's a disgrace that these pilots will now spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders, and for . . . WHAT, exactly? The story obviously could have been told without publishing enough info to identify them, and their names and addresses add nothing to the readers' benefit from the story (unless the "readers" happen to be terrorists, of course).

Of course, the LA Times is losing circulation, market share, and advertising revenue faster than a drunken lottery winner loses money in Vegas, and their rather complete abandonment, some time ago, of any reasonable standards no doubt plays a large part in that.

Faster, please.

"Don't expect the same t... (Below threshold)

"Don't expect the same type treatment the Plame case received to be applied to this story."

Plame was CIA employee. You yourself state these men were employees of Aero Contractors.

It isn't the same as the Plame case. No CIA employees were outed.

End of story.

Plame was CIA emp... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:

Plame was CIA employee. You yourself state these men were employees of Aero Contractors.

It isn't the same as the Plame case. No CIA employees were outed.

Oh so it's ok then if they and their families lives are threatened? At least no CIA operatives were outed.

Oh, OK Lee. I understand. ... (Below threshold)

Oh, OK Lee. I understand. So all the contractors who have been murdered, tortured and injured in Iraq don't matter because they aren't real US troops, just contractors. Thanks for the clarification.

Dan Irving: Threatening tho... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Dan Irving: Threatening those who are trying to protect us is more than OK with the trolls, it's mandatory.

It's not like the Plame cas... (Below threshold)

It's not like the Plame case because outing a CIA employee (Plame) is a crime, and these guys aren't CIA employees.

I didn't address whether outing these guy is a good idea or not. That's a different question.

By the way, if these guys are found guilty of crimes will you nutcakes still stand by them?

I didn't address w... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:
I didn't address whether outing these guy is a good idea or not. That's a different question.

So how about answering it.

It's not like the Plame case because outing a CIA employee (Plame) is a crime...

Wrong. It's illegal to "out" a covert CIA employee or one who had been covert within the previous five years. Ms. Plame was neither.

"It's not like the Plame ca... (Below threshold)

"It's not like the Plame case because outing a CIA employee (Plame) is a crime, and these guys aren't CIA employees."

Sorry, Lee. Just being a CIA employee does not provide anyone with any legal protection. Covert CIA operatives have that shield. And the shield is applicable for five (5) years after field operations have been concluded. The CIA, itself, stated for the record that Plame did not warrant such protections. Whether these persons are afforded such protections, I do not know.

Correction: Valerie Plame'... (Below threshold)

Correction: Valerie Plame's status as a Covert CIA agent is still being disputed. I misspoke earlier regarding her status.

The fact remains that Libby has never been charged with the "outing" in this situation but the individual who admitted he did in fact "out" Ms Plame has not been charged with any crime.

Go figure!

No correction from this cor... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

No correction from this corner. The only notable "dispute" about her covert status is proffered by the Kos-Kids and their tools, the moron-trolls here at Wizbang. When the actual "outer", Richard Armitage, is charged with that specific crime, I'll eat my words.

And I'm still waiting for Lee to answer the question about whether it's OK to "out" CIA subcontractors in all circumstances, or just when they are hired during Republican administrations.

Old coot you don't expect a... (Below threshold)

Old coot you don't expect a coward to do that do you?

It starts getting boring pi... (Below threshold)

It starts getting boring piling on Lee. But it's so hard to resist because he's been particularly indolent lately.

If this were the other way around, a war for which Lee's democrats were rooting, the families and the very lives of these men would be paramount to him. And Lee would be insisting that the courts handle it without the media deliberately endangering either.

Not once has he addressed that other than to say he hasn't addressed it. He has thrown out opinions about every aspect of this except the actual point.

Lee? Other trolls? Bueller?... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Lee? Other trolls? Bueller?


Conspicuous in their absenc... (Below threshold)

Conspicuous in their absence, aren't they?

Sorry, trolls - having a bu... (Below threshold)

Sorry, trolls - having a busy day today.

"So how about answering it."

Not enough info for a response, sorry. I've only read about this story here, and would need to read more before giving an opinion -- and I never take what I read at Wizbang as the whole story - there are almost always huge chunks of facts missing, and trying to figure out the spin versus the facts is pointless here.

If/when I am up on story I will give an opinion - but sorry - not enough info here - and in fact - just misinformation - such as Lorie's mistaken opinion that this is "like the Plame case". These guys aren't CIA employees - it isn't like the Plame case at all.

I'm happy to see that no one answered my question of whether you nuckleheads would still support these guys if they are found guilty. That makes me feel totally justified in ignoring the trolls on this thread from this point forward.

And what would you guys do without me? Apparently you need me to poke you into thinking, or you just don't have anything to say! Pitiful.






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