The CIA fired a long-serving intelligence officer for sharing classified information with The Washington Post and other news organizations, officials said yesterday, as the agency continued an aggressive internal search for anyone who may have discussed intelligence with the news media...
The CIA did not reveal the identity of the employee, who was dismissed Thursday, but NBC News reported last night she is Mary McCarthy. An intelligence source confirmed that the report was accurate...
The CIA said the firing was the result of an internal investigation initiated in late January of all "officers who were involved in or exposed to certain intelligence programs."...
Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. said people who provide citizens the information they need to hold their government accountable should not "come to harm for that."
"The reporting that Dana did was very important accountability reporting about how the CIA and the rest of the U.S. government have been conducting the war on terror," Downie said. "Whether or not the actions of the CIA or other agencies have interfered with anyone's civil liberties is important information for Americans to know and is an important part of our jobs."...Dozens of employees at the CIA, the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies have been interviewed by agents from the FBI's Washington field office. Others have been prohibited, in writing, from discussing even unclassified issues related to the domestic surveillance program. Some GOP lawmakers are also considering tougher penalties for leaking.
McCarthy's sin? Revealing that the U.S. is operating a string of secret prisons for interrogating prisoners out of the public eye and beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. courts -- a practice that the writ of habeas corpus prohibits and that every other civilized country, starting with England in Shakespeare's time, has rejected. Dangerous to national intelligence? Bah. Dangerous to those who would ignore the civil liberties on which America's greatness, and late and lamented reputation as a beacon of hope around the world, were based. If arrested, she will be a political prisoner. Let's hope she's not shipped to a gulag overseas.
This thoroughly un-American administration disgusts me even more than usual today. A pox on them.
Update, April 21: more analysis in the Comments.
Update 2, April 23: Additional posts on this topic here and here.
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