CIA = Cluelessness In Action

By: Thomas Lindaman

There’s another story coming about involving a former CIA operative, and this time the names Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson aren’t involved. This time, the person in question is Mary McCarthy, a veteran CIA officer who was fired for leaking classified information to the Washington Post’s Dana Priest, among others, regarding alleged secret CIA-run prisons for suspected terrorists around the world.

And as you might expect, Democrats instantly came to McCarthy’s defense. On “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, came out and said the leaking was wrong, but added, “.I think it is totally wrong for our president in secret to selectively declassify certain information and empower people in his White House to leak it to favored reporters so that they can discredit political enemies.”

And in case you thought it was only House Democrats making complete fools of themselves on national television, perennial Presidential candidate and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry also weighed in, this time on ABC’s “This Week.” Kerry’s statements not only echoed Harman’s, but added a new twist. Kerry said, “A CIA agent has the obligation to uphold the law and clearly leaking is against the law, and nobody should leak..But if you’re leaking to tell the truth, Americans are going to look at that, at least mitigate or think about what are the consequences that you, you know, put on that person.”

In short, the Democrats seem to be saying it’s wrong to leak, but it’s okay to leak.

And, yes, I’m as confused as you are.

Democrats, God love ‘em, are doing their best to try to connect the McCarthy situation to not only Valerie Plame, but to the President’s decision to “leak” information to the press that would help his case for going into Iraq. But their comparison is faulty on significant levels that people who should be paying attention can get.

First, let’s take Harman’s notion that the President is “totally wrong” for declassifying information and “leak” it to reporters. As Commander In Chief, the President has the ability to declassify information, since he is the Big Kahuna of the military. That’s one of the perks of being President. Once you declassify something and make it public knowledge through the media, it’s not a leak anymore. It’s called news.

And the information that was released didn’t out Plame, nor did it discredit Wilson. Wilson discredited himself when he lied in his report to Congress. Not even the ill-fated 9/11 Commission gave Wilson’s findings the time of day. Yet, it doesn’t matter at all that Wilson has been caught in more lies than Al Gore on the campaign trail, Wilson’s held in higher esteem than the man who has consistently been proven to have told the truth, George W. Bush. Sorry, but that dog don’t hunt.

And speaking of dogs, that brings us to John Kerry. Kerry’s doing what he always does: playing both sides in the hopes nobody notices. If leaking is illegal, which it is, then no amount of honesty makes it legal. Try telling a judge that at least you were honest when you confessed to murdering 3 people and see how far you get.

And the other part of this is we don’t know for sure if McCarthy was telling the truth. Recent news reports have come up empty with facts to support these “secret terrorist prisons.” What does that say about the quality of McCarthy’s work? Not much, and certainly nothing positive.

But perhaps the biggest double standard at work here is that both Kerry and Harman have said the President lied to get us into Iraq. I can’t say I know what Harman has said about our intelligence leading up to Iraq, but Kerry’s on record as late as 2004 as saying Saddam Hussein was a threat with WMDs. If Bush was lying, then Kerry was. And if Kerry was lying about Hussein when he was running for President, what’s to say he’s telling the truth now when he’s thinking about running for President?

Put simply, the Democrats aren’t credible when it comes to the firing of Mary McCarthy, or on any CIA issue for that matter. But, if Harman and Kerry are any indication, they’re all members of a different CIA.

Thomas Lindaman is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. He is also Publisher of

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