Friday, April 21, 2006

The Friday Night News Dump

In a rare occurrence, the CIA fired an officer who acknowledged giving classified information to a reporter, NBC News reported on Thursday.

The officer flunked a polygraph exam before being fired on Wednesday and is now under investigation by the Justice Department, NBC reported.

The leak pertained to stories on the CIA’s rumored secret prisons in Eastern Europe, sources told NBC. The information was allegedly provided to Dana Priest of the Washington Post, who wrote about CIA prisons in November and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for her reporting.
So, will this result in something more than a firing? Will there be criminal charges filed against the leaker? That's not stated in the article, but federal law was violated in the leaks of classified information, so it stands to reason that someone may be facing criminal charges in the coming weeks for this leak.

But that's not all:
CIA Director Porter Goss told the Senate in February that leaks to the media had damaged national security. Subsequently, Goss ordered an internal investigation on leaks involving classified security data.

The probe led to the fired CIA officer, sources told NBC.

This leak is not linked to the recent scandal in the CIA involving undercover agent Valerie Plame’s identity being revealed, NBC reported.

Separately, the Justice Department is investigating a New York Times stories about the National Security Agency’s domestic warrantless eavesdropping. Times reporter James Risen won a Pulitzer on Monday for his reporting on the issue.
So, the Pulitzers appears to be headed toward a 2-0 record in getting those who leaked classified information to reporters for major stories that adversely affect national security into serious trouble for their efforts to undermine national security. Way to go.

And someone, somewhere, will write the story about the leakers and themselves become eligible to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Excellent judgment by those who leaked the classified information, and even better judgment by the reporters who thought that it was their duty to provide such information to the general public and let the terrorists know our means and methodologies to prevent future terrorist attacks.

AJ Strata has more, as does Michelle Malkin, and Small Town Veteran.

Confederate Yankee thinks that the CIA officer didn't do a good job at CYA. No kidding. There's apparently confusion over whether the officer was fired for the wiretap/NSA story or the secret prisons story. Oh, and Porter Goss is actually living up to his reputation and putting his money where his mouth is by clearing out the deadwood and the leakers - the kind of people who put our national security at risk.

Wizbang notes that the name of the fired officer is Mary McCarthy. From MSNBC:
Intelligence sources tell NBC News the accused officer, Mary McCarthy, worked in the CIA's inspector general's office and had worked for the National Security Council under the Clinton and and George W. Bush administrations.

The leak pertained to stories on the CIA's rumored secret prisons in Eastern Europe, sources told NBC. The information was allegedly provided to Dana Priest of the Washington Post, who wrote about CIA prisons in November and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for her reporting.

Sources said the CIA believes McCarthy had more than a dozen unauthorized contacts with Priest. Information about subjects other than the prisons may have been leaked as well.
Isn't that special. Oh, and apparently she gave $2,000 to Kerry's 2004 campaign.

Right Wing Nut House surmises that the secret prisons story might have been part of an internal mole hunt to find leakers. It's tempting to think that this is the case, but the facts don't quite support that conclusion at this point in time.

Also blogging the CIA leak story developments tonite: Ace of Spades, In the Bullpen, Kesher Talk and Dr. Sanity both notes that this is a long time coming, Stop the ACLU, Flopping Aces, Power Line, and memeorandum.

Meanwhile, in another Friday night news dump, Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV), is leaving the House Ethics Committee under a cloud of ethical misdeeds. He's been accused over the past several weeks of enabling friends and former colleagues to profit from their relationships with Mollohan.
The Wall Street Journal reported two weeks ago that Mollohan steered millions of dollars to nonprofit groups in his district _ with much of the money going to organizations run by people who contribute to the lawmaker's campaigns.

Also, a conservative group filed a complaint with federal prosecutors this year questioning whether Mollohan correctly reported his assets on financial disclosure forms.

While Mollohan's troubles threaten to become a major campaign problem for Democrats, Pelosi, of California, said in a statement that Mollohan decided on his own to step down and that she accepted his decision.

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