Apr 22 2006

The Leak Investigation Is Huge

The Washington Post confirms my suspicions on how Mary McCarthy was detected through a series of polygraph tests (not the ‘gotcha’ single round you would see in a sting).

CIA officials said the career intelligence officer failed more than one polygraph test and acknowledged unauthorized contacts with reporters. The “officer knowingly and willfully shared classified intelligence, including operational information” with journalists, the agency said in a statement yesterday.

So, while the sting operation idea intrigues me, the information so far looks like someone caught in a net, and reporters being fed bogus stories and believing them hook, line and sinker. As you can tell, I think the sting operaiton line gives too much credit to the journalists being fed this nonsense. Interestingly enough, and in line with what I posted last night, Priest may not be the only reporter:

The CIA’s statement did not name the reporters it believes were involved, but several intelligence officials said The Post’s Dana Priest was among them.

We have heard over and over there are multiple investigations ongoing, many kicked off after the NY Times leaked the NSA surveillance details. The Washington Post breaks news that many of these in the CIA are being passed over to the DoJ for further investigation:

The CIA has filed several reports to the Justice Department since last fall regarding the publication of classified information and has launched its own internal inquiries which include administering polygraphs to dozens of employees. The intelligence agency is sharing its findings with the Justice Department but is continuing to pursue some avenues of investigation on its own.

Well, since so many people are now on alert it would seem future opportuntities for a sting are out of the question. But this has all the indications of being a massive, never before seen house cleaning.

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.”

The effort has been widely seen among members of the media, and some legal experts, as the most extensive and overt campaign against leaks in a generation, and has worsened the already-tense relationship between mainstream news organizations and the White House.

Emaphasis mine. And it is about time. More on the investigations from the Post:

The Justice Department is conducting several leak inquiries, including one into reports last December in the New York Times about a secret domestic surveillance program by the National Security Agency. Officials said it is possible the department could file criminal charges in connection with that investigation and others, but it is unclear whether the department is also investigating the disclosures about CIA-run prisons.

I like to see the word ‘unclear’ here for a lot of reasons. It means people are under investigation, but it also means these investigations are being done professionally and with respect to people’s right to privacy and innocence. The media is too often tipped. The Mary McCarthy story broke after the investigation and as she was being fired – which is pretty good for DC.

And in a sign Ms McCarthy may be a cooperating witness we get this tidbit:

Intelligence officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the dismissed officer identified by others as McCarthy has not been charged with any crime and is not believed to be the subject of a Justice Department investigation.

Is this source correct or simply displaying wishful thinking? Not sure, but other reporting stated an investigation was normal in these cases, a standard response. So why not here? And there are evidently some people under serious scrutiny:

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.

To be barred from discussing even unclassified information means someone is on probation or is being looked at seriously. It seems some of these folks may know their situation and are looking to the media to help them out. Not sure how the post would get this tidbit without someone being gagged as the source.

Addendum: Tom Maguire has lots on McCarthy’s political donations, which are quite significant. And of course someone at Free Republic sees a link to Joe Wilson – we shall see. Seems thin to me. On the other side Kurt at Flopping Aces is digging deep into McCarthy’s background, which connect to one General Zinni.

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “The Leak Investigation Is Huge”

  1. Jlmadyson says:

    CIA Canning Officer for Leaking Classified Info Is a Good Start



    I am not a believer in conspiracies as a general rule.

    First of all, they are extraordinarily difficult to prove. Secondly, I tend to follow Occam’s Razor which in essence states “”When you have two competing theories which make ex…

  3. CIA leak story grows…

    By the time I booted up the computer this morning, so much good work had already been done on this expanding CIA leak arrest story that I think I'll just do some linking and quoting. First, Ace, who shares my cynicism, notes how the mainstream mes…

  4. granitroc says:

    I recall one of the first things Clinton did upon entering the Whitehouse was to fire top level department of Justice types. I wonder if he did the same with CIA and NSA. I point this out because one of the first things Bush II did was leave many Justice, CIA, and NSA appointees in place when he came into office.

    In hindsight, Clinton’s paranoia made perfect sense. He didn’t want Bushies (I) to thwart his plans. Similarly, Bush IIs actions made no sense, given the eight years of lawlessness under Clinton. Bush has now reaped the result.

    Some say don’t look for conspiracy theories. Why not? While I don’t live in Washington, I firmly believe like minded people will conspire to get their boy (or girl) in power. The house cleaning at CIA and elsewhere is long over due.

    Bush has been thwarted EVERY STEP OF WAY during his administration, effectively castrating most of his initiatives. I hope Bush has belatedly learned who his friends are and who his enemies are. But clearly it is too late in his administration to make up for lost time.

    The only salvation he can find now is to “out the cabal”, the leadership at the Democrat party and the willing servants at the mainstream media. If a firestorm erupts, than the electorate will give the Dems their just desserts and a true conservative agenda can BEGIN to be enacted.

  5. momdear1 says:

    Has everyone forgotten Algore’s
    “Reinventing Government” project? Using taxpayer’s money, the Clintonistas bought out old line, career civil servants with huge early retirement bonuses and other incentives, and replaced them with affirmative action, anti American, ultra liberal, Clinton loyalists who are now embedded in lifetime civil service jobs, where they actively work to undermine any policy or project that is not on their approved list. Our military, foreign policy, and intelligence agencies are not the only agencies that are actively working against the Bush Administration. All government agencies are inflitrated with these malcontents and traitors who never miss an opportunity to promote liberal causes and undermine and defeat Bush Administration policies . How else would it be possible for anti American and seditious NGO’s to receive generous yearly funding from government agencies?

    Under present Civil Service Laws, it will be fifty years before we will be rid of this trash.

  6. And On That Note…

    Related to the previous post we find this article. In it, the EU official investigating the alleged CIA secret detention facilities has, to date, found no evidence that these centers actually exist. While there has been testimony consisting o…

  7. GroupIntel says:


    Another kind of CIA-related “outing” took place late yesterday: Mary McCarthy was identified as at least one of Dana Priest’s sources in the CIA “secret prisons” article. That would be the story that earned Ms. Priest a Pulitzer Prize. I wrot…

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