Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Isn't Secrecy Wonderful

The CIA leak investigation probably won't end up with any prosecutions if this article is correct.
Cobb said McCarthy "didn't have access to the information attributed to her," meaning knowledge of the locations of those prison facilities and other details about their operation. But other former CIA officials said that McCarthy was involved in an inspector general's review of agency detention operations that was triggered by the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq, and that she would have had access to a great deal of sensitive information about the CIA's prison facilities.

That knowledge may now afford her some protection from prosecution, current and former officials said, because a trial would risk spilling other secrets and require the government to prove that information she disclosed was classified.

The CIA routinely videotapes polygraph sessions, meaning it probably has a record showing whether she confessed to disclosing classified information. But officials said it was unclear whether her statements during the examination, or under subsequent questioning, could be used in a trial.

"A court might say that anything derived from the polygraph is poisoned fruit," said a former CIA attorney who asked not to be identified.
Fascinating how a crime, which could have been of far greater magnitude, can go unpunished due to the requirement of keeping the information secret and the Constitutional protections against secrecy in prosecutions. Can you imagine trying to pick a jury for this trial? Circus wouldn't even rise to the correct description. Fair trial is pretty much out because of it. The polygraph and subsequent statements may not be admissable in criminal court, but they at least were sufficient to purge her.

I also find it interesting that some of the more liberal politicos have been calling Bush a hypocrite about his release, or "leak" if you must, of information on Wilson's report on Iraq's seeking Uranium in Niger, and yet they have come out and are trying to justify McCarthy's actions as a whistleblower. Who's the bloody HYPROCRITE now? Look at Harmon and Kerry twisting and spinning:
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."

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."

"Discredit political enemies" is an interesting charge when he released the truth about what Wilson actually lied about to the press.

Then you have people like Stephen Kohn, who is Chairman of National Whistleblower Center. They seem to think McCarthy has whistleblower status and protections.
Stephen Kohn, chairman of the National Whistleblower Center, said he believes McCarthy could have a strong case to contest her firing.

"If she was blowing the whistle on something that's illegal, it's our position you cannot classify the illegal conduct of government. You can't say that's a secret," Kohn said.

Of course, I'll jam a fact into this ludicrous contention. Remember that thing called the Whistleblower Protection act? Let's keep it simple from the article related to the same discussion about the NSA "whistleblower."
The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 and the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998 set out mechanisms for employees to report wrongdoing if they "reasonably believe" there's misconduct. Most whistle-blowers can go to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and the US Office of Special Counsel. Those in the intelligence communities are supposed to go to their agencies' inspectors general or members of the congressional Intelligence Committees.
Oh, and here is the actual wording from the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989.
Sec. 1213. Provisions relating to disclosures of violations of law, gross mismanagement, and certain other matters
    `(a) This section applies with respect to--
      `(1) any disclosure of information by an employee, former employee, or applicant for employment which the employee, former employee, or applicant reasonably believes evidences--
        `(A) a violation of any law, rule, or regulation; or
        `(B) gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety;
      if such disclosure is not specifically prohibited by law and if such information is not specifically required by Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or the conduct of foreign affairs; and
    (i) Except as specifically authorized under this section, the provisions of this section shall not be considered to authorize disclosure of any information by any agency or any person which is--
        `(1) specifically prohibited from disclosure by any other provision of law; or
        `(2) specifically required by Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or the conduct of foreign affairs.
      `(j) With respect to any disclosure of information described in subsection (a) which involves foreign intelligence or counterintelligence information, if the disclosure is specifically prohibited by law or by Executive order, the Special Counsel shall transmit such information to the National Security Advisor, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate.
      I'm going to guess that working for the CIA in the Internal Affairs office probably has legal restrictions against public disclosure that are codified in the law. I've heard of no evidence that shows she tried any of these things to bring the 'wrong-doing' to light.

      I find it frustrating to see violators in some of the most dangerous positions for gaining information that can actually harm the security of the US and there being no clear way of prosecuting them.

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