Agam's Gecko
Saturday, April 29, 2006

py vs. spy, and the civil servants who have been at war with their own bosses for the past five years -- the times just get interestinger and interestinger. It's no secret that there are precious few secrets kept within certain agencies of the US government, when the mass media has been full of sensational stories of secret US torture gulags across Europe, and the kerfuffle over what they present to be massive domestic eavesdropping programs. These are the most lucrative of the news media's currencies, and these two big media products have recently won highly coveted Pulitzer prizes. They're also based almost entirely on "unnamed sources" and variations on that type of hidden foundation.

The new CIA director Porter Goss has apparently been working to clean house, and this week the first leaker in this recent wave of "unauthorised disclosures" became publicly known. It's still not clear exactly what she leaked or to whom, but a CIA official who has close ties to Democratic Party activists, has been fired after failing some polygraph tests. Porter Goss led the way on that, submitting himself to the same tests and showing an example for the rest of his agency.

I find it very interesting that Mary McCarthy, the first exposed of what may be a number of civil servants to follow, worked in the CIA's Inspector General's office. This is the place where people who wish to report improper practices -- who want to be "whistleblowers" in the legal, prescribed way -- would go to report them. It is just not possible that someone in her position would not know how to go about this, if she was unhappy with something going on in the CIA. The story that there are groups of officials in various agencies and departments (State, for another) who were "at war" with the Bush administration, is not something new. This is just the first glimpse at a big problem. There are surely a number of worried people right now, in some of those 'shadow government' circles.

I'm very pleased to report that Allahpundit is writing regularly again (if you don't know already), and he has a primer on the case, and an update. The new site looks great, by the way -- a collaboration between Allah (is in da house), the indefatigable Michelle Malkin, and Bryan Preston. Allah calls it an "internet garage band." Daily video editorials from Michelle on the front page Vent.

In the antique media's reporting on the agent who violated her oath, practically the only named sources have been Ray McGovern and Larry Johnson, both former CIA agents who have been campaigning against Bush for years. McGovern had a long service before joining up with Mother Sheehan, but Johnson was only in the Company for four years. He's always introduced or cited as "retired intelligence expert" or something to that effect. He also has a blog. Take a little trip over here to see how "intelligence experts" sometimes conduct themselves. A real eye-opener. If you're stuck for time, skip the article and the first half of comments, to see how he deals with facts contrary to his world view. How this guy ever got a job at CIA is a mystery to me, after reading that. "Unhinged" doesn't begin to describe it.

To save even more time though, just read this instead. Absolutely hillarious, but a truthful synopsis of Johnson's dealing with dissidents on his own site. Keep in mind while reading, that the Larry Johnson side of the satirical dialogue is not satire. They are all real responses he made to well informed people who disagree with him. Larry is part of several groups which have encouraged government officials to break the law and release classified info to the media, as part of an effort to bring down an administration in a time of war. McGovern is right in there with him, and if these guys are any indication, it's no wonder the intel agencies have been so screwed up, too busy doing other things to do their jobs.

One more about the Dana Priest story (for which she gladly accepted a Pulitzer) of last November, which the early reporting on the McCarthy story indicated may have been sourced from this fired official. Dan Riehl took another look at the story Priest wrote on the 'secret prisons' story, and found it virtually the same as another story Priest had written back in 2002. Can one plagiarise oneself? Is it not strange to recycle a 3 year old, little noticed story into an earthquake-inducing Pulitzer prize sensation? You decide.

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