Real Domestic Espionage Ring?
The reason that I select these two is that they show a very disturbing trend of reporting highly-classified leaks with important National Security implications with absolutely no consideration for the possible impact it could have on the war effort, and with apparently no scrutiny into the possible motivations of the leaker(s). More on that in a moment.
First, let us consider the national security aspect of these leaks. Had the leakers knowingly leaked this information directly to al Qaeda operatives then it is a slam-dunk case of treason. The knowledge that they can no longer, as Mohammed Atta did, call from the United States anywhere in the world without an increased likelihood of interception is pretty important information for a clandestine terrorist operation on the run. If we were relying on these intercepts being unknown as a means of hoping to catch some unguarded "chatter" (if?), well, al Qaeda has now been duly warned.
And whether true or not the reports of "black site" interrogation prisons, shades of Abu Ghraib, and the implication of questionable interrogation techniques gives propaganda to our enemies to paint America as the Great Satan. The first leak, is obviously the more serious of the two, but both were clearly intended to impede the war effort.
Earlier, I pointed out that if these leaks were given directly to al Qaeda then the case for treason is quite strong. However, if you were in possession of some information that you wanted to get to Osama and his merry men, how exactly would you go about it? Give Zarqawi a ring on his cell phone? Look him up under "Terrorist Mastermind" in the Baghdad Yellow-Pages? Smoke signals?
The truth is it would be very difficult to get the information directly to the intended recipients. On the other hand a leak to a well-known reporter for a prestigious newspaper who is know to be, if not actually sympathetic to the Cause, unprincipled enough to not care. Since the beginning of this war, the direction of the press has been clear and unrelenting. Anything that harms the war effort is trumpeted, anything helpful is given short shrift if it is mentioned at all.
Treason is a pretty harsh charge to level at anyone in the higher ranks of our government. However, that treason most likely was not the intent of these leaks. We now know who the leaker of the "black sites" story was. Her name is Mary McCarthy. What is more interesting is what the Post's story omits. First, she was a heavy contributor to the Democratic Party. She was the Special Assistant to the
President and Senior Director for Intelligence Programs to President Clinton appointed by Sandy Berger. You remember Sandy Berger don't you? The Clinton Administration who stole classified documents, destroyed them, and then couldn't remember what they were exactly, or why he stole them?
Couldn't have been anything too important. I mean, what's a year in the slam, and $100,000 fine (the maximum penalty he faced)? Most people are willing to risk that to save a dime a gallon on gasoline.
So we have a story that was leaked by a Partisan Democrat who is linked to another Partisan Democrat who has also broken the law in regards to classified material as the source of a story that is potentially damaging not only to the President and the Republican Party, but to our relations with the EU, and the reporter in question doesn't question the motivations of the source?
The more damaging leak, of course, was the leak of our intelligence gathering operations involving tapping the telephones of foreign nationals believed to be involved in terrorist organizations. Who was that leaker, and what are his or her connections to the Democratic party? How many people even knew about this program, and why did the New York Times withhold the story at the request of the Administration on National Security grounds, only to release it during the run up to the 2006 elections?
Certainly not because the war has ended.
After spending so much time on the Valerie Plame non-story, why are reporters not looking into these questions?
Who leaked the eavesdropping story needs to be found. Their identity is critical because there is a suspicious pattern here. Maybe the leaker was some non-entity in the NSA who was mad because he didn't get his raise. But if it turned out to be a highly placed Democratic partisan then the question has to be raised: are these just hyper-partisan individuals who are unfit for their positions, or is this a wider strategy of the Democratic Party? If it is, it is a story to make Watergate look like just a little fun between friends.
What does Howard Dean know? And when did he know it?