Saturday, April 22, 2006

NYT: CIA confirms secret prisons

With the European Union whitewashing the issue of secret prisons, don't expect to see the New York Times standing tall. Which is why they crouch in "C.I.A. Dismisses A Senior Officer Over Data Leaks" -- written by David Johnston and Scott Shane.

Mary O. McCarthy has been dismissed after an investigation by the CIA. In dismissing her, and Pat Roberts might want to crow a little less over the dismissal, the CIA (and others) are confirming the secret prisons. That's your headline, that's your article, if you're paying attention. "C.I.A. Dismisses Senior Officer For Leaking Info on Secret Prisons."

The firing and public statements (by Porter Goss, by Roberts and others) confirms the validity of the secret prisons program. (Across the Atlantic, certain members of the European Union reach for the smelling salts.) One day after the EU whitewash is reported in the paper, the spin cycle on the Maytag still spinning, 'damage control' ends up confirming what could have been the subject of debate.

Which might lead some to wonder about Goss' timing in firing McCarthy? Not in the paper of record though. (Not in print, I should say.) For those who 'live by the public record' and frequently die by it without ever examining the subtext (no, I'm not referring to community members), we'll walk through slowly. Anonymice at the CIA say that "the case involved in part information about secret C.I.A. detention centers that was given to The Washington Post." We're also told that the agency's "inquiry focused in part on identifying Ms. McCarthy's role in supplying information for a Nov. 2, 2005, article in The Post by Dana Priest, a national security reporter." That's the article (for which Priest just won an award) that "reported that the intelligence agency was sending terror suspects to clandestine detention centers in several countries, including sites in Eastern Europe."

Stay with us. This "leak prompted the C.I.A. to send a criminal referral to the Justice Department" however, "[l]awyers at the Justice Department were notifed of Ms. McCarthy's dismissal. . . [unnamed official or officials at the Justice Dept. say] that her termination could mean she would be spared criminal prosecution."

So those who only believe what's clearly stated to them in the public record (or only when it suits their own purposes) would do well to look at the context of the report and not just the text. (There's actually quite a bit more context, but we'll leave it at that.) Jess had told me that a few "visitors" had written to say, "You don't know that there was a whitewash!" in regards to yesterday post. And to dispute the claim that there was ever any motive by members of the EU to use the disclosures of the secret prisons as a club against certain would be members of the EU.

You're a little late to the party. Thanks to the highlights found by Dominick and other members, this community has been following the secret prisons issue for many months prior to Priest's article. (As well as to grasping that Democracy Now! and other programs are news resources -- and not just hugging the wall of the mainstream and humping pedistrian coverage.) With not attempt to take anything away from her article, anyone following the European coverage (as opposed to depending upon the three sisters and the hybrid in this country) was well aware of the prisons. But for those who don't believe anything until it's in the Washington Post, the Times or the other two (and then only sometimes), the story today isn't, as written, that McCarthy was fired. It has to do with why she was fired. And Shane and Johnston's article (as well as the headline writer) may tiptoe around the obvious but it's in the article.

Martha notes this from Dafna Linzer's "CIA Officer Is Fired for Media Leaks: The Post Was Among Outlets That Gained Classified Data" (Washington Post):

Priest, who also won the George Polk Award and a prize from the Overseas Press Club this week for her articles, declined to comment yesterday.
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."

Also in the New York Times, Mark Mazzetti offers "Former C.I.A. Official Says Intelligence Was Ignored." Yet another example of someone coming forward and yet we're still not supposed to say "Bully Boy Lied" when, in fact, he did. The intel (presented to the American people by the administration) was cooked. We were lied into war and the media helped get the lies out by not questioning them. For many people, the news of another person coming forward (Tyler Drumheller, in this case) will be greeted with be one more name to the list. But some people still refuse to accept that Iraq had no WMD (some of them even believe that they did and that American forces found them -- proving that you don't have to abuse drugs to suffer from distorted reality). The firing of McCarthy, far from sending a chilling warning to potential whistle blowers, may in fact lead to even more coming forward.

The people's right to know is what's at stake. Too much is done in the name of "national security" and too much is kept from a public that is supposed to give consent to the governing.
Drumheller can be seen on this Sunday's 60 Minutes and Brent noted this article (AFP) at Common Dreams for those who don't want to fool with the Times:

But the operative, Tyler Drumheller, said top White House officials simply brushed off the warning, saying they were "no longer interested" in intelligence and that the policy toward Iraq had been already set.

Already been set, while the people were being told it hadn't been. They wanted their illegal war and they got it. Now they need to be held accountable.

Brad recommends Cindy Sheehan's "Raging Grannies and Raging Americans" (Common Dreams):

This morning I attended the beginning of the trial for the NYC Raging Grannies who tried to enlist in the Army last October and were arrested for blocking the entrance to the recruitment center in Times Square. Their average age has to be somewhere in the high 60's with the oldest one being 90. Eighteen of them came to trial today and they proudly marched slowly (many with canes and walkers) up to the defendant benches to defend their and YOUR rights to peaceably gather to dissent from a government who has gone way out of control and to express their disgust with the Iraq war and to stand up and be counted and say: "You are not committing these crimes in our name!" We need to distance ourselves from leadership who are war criminals to not be accused of this ourselves.
Everyone in this country who has not tried to shut down a recruiting station or has not gone down to sit in at their Congress-coward's office to demand an end to the war or who have not attended a march, written hundreds of letters, come to Crawford; or otherwise stepped out of their comfort zones to repudiate the Bush regime and call for indictment of the same need to be abjectly ashamed of themselves.
If the darling Grannies, who should be able to be home baking brownies if they want to, or running marathons, or reading books, or painting portraits, or shopping, or doing whatever else makes them happy, put their bodies on the line for peace—so your child won't have to go off to a war based on lies to die and kill innocent people--why can't you?
Today, I, and my co-defendants in our arrest at the US Mission to the UN, delivered subpoenas to Peggy Kerry (Sister of John Kerry and NGO rep to the UN, who arranged our appointment for us), the US Mission to the UN, and the management company who owns the very public building that holds coffee shops and restaurants and their security. Our trial is next week on April 26 th and we want to know who refused to take our petition when we had an appointment and we want to know who gave the order to arrest us instead of taking our petition that was signed by tens of thousands of women from all over the world.

Mia notes Thomas P. Healy's "Out Now" (CounterPunch):

Anthony Arnove's new book, Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal (The New Press, 2006) is tailored after Howard Zinn's 1967 brief against the Vietnam War. Arnove has worked closely with Zinn on Voices of a People's History of the United States and a collection of interviews, Terrorism and War. Zinn provides both a foreword and afterword to Arnove's book. Arnove spoke with Counterpunch from his home in Brooklyn.
TH: How do you envision generating the political momentum to accomplish immediate withdrawal?
AA: We know from history--recently from the history of the Vietnam War--that public opinion and political protests can change the nature of the debate around a war and change the calculus of power. Right now I think if we want to change the calculus of power the first thing we need to do is to see that we have to pressure the Democrats just as much as we have to pressure the Republicans. It's not as if the Democrats are on our side in this fight--they're not.
So it's a mistake for us to put our energy and resources into persuading the Democrats to somehow be some animal that they're not or hoping that the Democrats are somehow going to become a standard-bearer for our movement--they are not. They will respond only to the thing that the Republicans respond to: a mass groundswell of opposition. Protest. Disaffection that threatens their power to the point where they see we're losing in Iraq, we're losing at home, and each day that we stay in Iraq, things get worse for us. In order to maintain some control over the system, in order to maintain some credibility for future U.S. imperial projects, we need to pull out. And that's going to involve a greater degree of mobilization, protest and disruption of business as usual. I think it's also going to involve gaining some clarity about who the targets of our protests are and on the nature of the Democratic Party that, unfortunately, the antiwar movement has lacked.

We're supposed to be noting that book at The Third Estate Sunday Review tomorrow. What we can note right now is Trina's "Cookie Marshmallow Cups in the Kitchen" where she provides a new recipe and shares some thoughts on immigration; Cedric's "Hawaii and we're overrun with Fluff" where he addresses what topics take up a great deal of space (reality TV) and what topics are less discussed; and Kat's "Ben Harper, Carole King, Carly Simon and Guns and Butter" where she addresses music (Harper, Simon and King) as well as KPFA's Guns and Butter. Also, Wally's "THIS JUST IN! FREE SPEECH DIED TODAY!" went up late yesterday in case anyone missed it. Ruth goes up later today. We're moving away from first thing in the morning. I did delay this from posting -- and will change the time on the entry -- so that other members posting today could be mentioned. Originally, Ruth was covering one show. She'd do multiple entries a week. Now she's doing one entry and attempting to cover multiple shows. So we're going to try posting later and see if that takes some of the pressure off. (And it is pressure. That's why Isaiah tries to get his latest comic in by Friday when possible. The closer Sunday looms, the more he becomes convinced he can't visualize anything for The World Today Just Nuts.) (That's not: Ruth should have her entry done on Friday. She has a busy week, including watching her grandson, and the reason for posting on Saturday is to allow her time to rest and figure out what she wants to highlight. Expecting it so soon on Saturday puts too much pressure on her -- my opinion.)

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