Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hate. Shoutbox. Freeper.

I don’t know if “inspired” is the right way to put it, but let’s just say I was “motivated” to use this post title after reading this from Digby via Atrios.

“Rope. Tree. Journalist.” huh? Wow, that speaks volumes about any thought of right-wing intelligent dialogue, doesn’t it?

In a similar vein, I noted that the Philadelphia Inquirer’s “Blog Cabin” feature appeared today (a regular Wednesday thing). In the past, I’ve pilloried the paper for trying to find out what “the blogosphere” (I hate that term) thinks of whatever issue is raging at the moment, when in fact the paper inevitably came up with some topic that nobody cared about.

Lately, however, they’ve been “on the mark” with this feature, compiling both intelligent posts and wingnut idiocy about topics that are genuinely relevant. Today, the topic is former CIA employee Mary O. McCarthy, who was fired by the agency for allegedly leaking information to the press about the agency’s overseas prisons, a charge McCarthy denies (and by the way, she has compiled a sterling record of service during her time with the agency, which is conveniently forgotten by those who seek to tarnish her good name).

Here are the “Blog Cabin” posts:

Not only was Mary McCarthy branded a traitor all weekend - complete with angry protests that she was not yet imprisoned - but anyone associated with her was all but branded a traitor as well. They don't need to wait for evidence or know any facts. ... That is just a microcosm of the same distorted, indescribably undemocratic and plainly un-American dynamic that has guided most of the radical policies of this administration for the last five years.
Typically sound and well-written analysis from Glenn Greenwald. Reading his blog is a genuine pleasure, and I’m sure his new book is chock full of the same good stuff.

The Washington Post ran a sympathetic profile of fired CIA analyst Mary McCarthy on Sunday. Astonishingly, the article didn't mention that McCarthy donated some $7,500 to Democrats in 2004, including $2,000 to Sen. John Kerry and $5,000 to the Ohio Democratic Party. ... Assume Mary McCarthy made something on the order of $120,000 at the CIA. After taxes that comes to something like $70,000. If that's right, she contributed 10 percent of her take-home salary to political campaigns! Astonishing. How many other Americans tithe to politicians?
This was a sloppy bit of editing by the Inquirer.

“Sympathetic” of course being in “the eye of the beholder” for freeper Barone, who I believe is an editorial writer for U.S. News and World Report. And maybe the reason the Post didn’t report on her campaign contributions is because IT IS BLEEPING IRRELEVANT! Since when is contributing to the Democratic Party a crime in this country?

Barone, however, in typical wingnut fashion, may have accidentally stumbled onto the truth in this whole mess. McCarthy is a Democrat working for Bushco, so to their way of thinking, she must be abused, humiliated and ultimately fired, regardless of the facts.

(And by the way, how ironic is it that a person who probably is innocent of any wrongdoing being persecuted for political reasons is named McCarthy?)

It sounds as if the CIA and the administration have found the perfect scapegoat in Ms. McCarthy. She acknowledges an acquaintanceship with reporters, and worst of all (or best, depending on your bookings on cable TV talk shows), she gave money to John Kerry's campaign. To the Bush administration, that makes her the poster child for everything that's wrong with the intelligence community that led them down the garden path to invading Iraq; remember, in the eyes of the Bush administration, you always have to have someone else to blame your failures on ...
I’m in total agreement with Bobby Cramer on that.

If McCarthy really thought that the program either violated the law or the public interest, she had other avenues to take. ... She could go to the FBI or the Department of Justice ... If that didn't get her concerns addressed, Congress has at least two standing committees on intelligence, as well as judiciary committees, foreign relations committees, and so on. McCarthy has extensive political connections and would have had immediate support for her efforts.

Did she choose any of those paths? No. ... She chose a path that any fool with the lowest-level clearance working on the most mundane project knows to be criminal ... and people want to applaud her for it.
McCarthy chose “a criminal path”? Talking to the press can be stupid at times, but when is it “criminal”?

First of all, Captain Ed, McCarthy has denied the charges, as I mentioned earlier (though I'll admit that failing a polygraph doesn't look good). Second of all, all of the governmental bodies and agencies you mentioned are controlled by the Republicans. Do you SERIOUSLY BELIEVE that they would have given her a fair hearing?

What about her secrecy agreement? I have not spoken with Mary McCarthy in 10 years, but it seems clear to me she realized that she was confronted by an unwelcome choice between her oath to defend the Constitution of the United States and the secrecy agreement. ... Agency alumnae, at least those of my vintage, believe we must always give priority to the Constitution. Mary chose well and, in so doing, offers an example to emulate.
Well said, Ray (would that the current administration had shown such respect for the document that serves as the cornerstone of our republic).

And by the way, speaking of McCarthy, “Crazy Curt” Weldon has given us another reason to vote him out of office. He has demanded that challenger Joe Sestak return the $350 donated by McCarthy to his campaign.

That’s right, $350 (and by the way, I purposely linked to Free Republic for additional laughs…so McCarthy may be “Able Danger,” huh? Why doesn’t Weldon look under Dubya’s desk for A.D., since Bush looked there for the WMDs?).

See, Weldon is in a snit because he’s been linked to about $2K of Tom DeLay/Abramoff dough, and he’s trying to deflect that any way he can. The problem is that $350 is about what it costs for appetizers for 4-6 people at The Monocle (an upscale dining joint near Capitol Hill). In a town where the Repugs write tax laws to give back billions to their benefactors, complaining about $350 amounts to an insult to our intelligence.

I’ve said that Weldon should be voted out of office, but that really isn’t enough. Once Sestak is elected, Weldon should be committed to a sanitarium.

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