Mary McCarthy, Hobbyist Plane Spotters, Frog Marching & Ty Cobb

Since Sept. 11, 2001, secret renditions have become a principal weapon in the CIA’s arsenal against suspected al Qaeda terrorists, according to congressional testimony by CIA officials. But as the practice has grown, the agency has had significantly more difficulty keeping it secret.

According to airport officials, public documents and hobbyist plane spotters, the Gulfstream V, with tail number N379P, has been used to whisk detainees into or out of Jakarta, Indonesia; Pakistan; Egypt; and Sweden, usually at night, and has landed at well-known U.S. government refueling stops.

Dana Priest
“Jet Is an Open Secret in Terror War”
Washington Post
December 27, 2004

** We now can conclude that Dana Priest did not gather her information from “Hobbyist plane spotters” but rather from a very high level official in the CIA.

Ms. McCarthy had impeccable timing in releasing her information to the Pulitzer winner, Priest. This news on November 2, 2005, made the Secretary of State’s trip to Europe a battle to deflect questions on the pracice of rendition and secret prisons from the agitated European press whose governments had known about the practice for years.

History News Network has this take:

When you look at the timing of the leak you see how Mary O. McCarthy not only tried to prevent Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from enlarging the American anti- terrorist coalition but put significant pressure on its existing coalition partners.

Ms. McCarthy was no whistle blower.

Also, this secretive practice of rendition that Condoleezza Rice defended in her trip was initiated under the watchful eyes of Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger and Richard Clarke:

The CIA’s controversial “rendition” program to have terror suspects captured and questioned on foreign soil was launched under US president Bill Clinton, a former US counterterrorism agent told a German newspaper.

Michael Scheuer, a 22-year veteran of the CIA who resigned from the agency in 2004, told Thursday’s issue of the newsweekly Die Zeit that the US administration had been looking in the mid-1990s for a way to combat the terrorist threat and circumvent the cumbersome US legal system.

“President Clinton, his national security advisor Sandy Berger and his terrorism advisor Richard Clark ordered the CIA in the autumn of 1995 to destroy Al-Qaeda,” Scheuer said, in comments published in German.

“We asked the president what we should do with the people we capture. Clinton said ‘That’s up to you’.”

Scheuer, who headed the CIA unit that tracked Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden from 1996 to 1999, said that he developed and led the “renditions” program, which he said included moving prisoners without due legal process to countries without strict human rights protections.

He accused Europeans of being hypocritical in criticizing the US administration for its anti-terror tactics while benefiting from them.

“All the information we received from interrogations and documents, everything that had to do with Spain, Italy, Germany, France, England was passed on,” he said.

The several leaks from intelligence officials allowed even the BBC to put together a map of the CIA flight routes…

…Or, maybe it was the hobbyist plane spotters?

It is interesting that Mary O. McCarthy’s boss, Sandy Berger, initiated the practice of rendition in the autumn of 1995, but it did not become an issue to the high level CIA Official until autumn of 2005, nearly 10 years later!

In From the Cold says it was because after her meteoric rise in the agency she was banished when the Bush Team arrived in DC:

Ms. McCarthy had been on the intelligence equivalent of the career fast-track; in barely a decade, she climbed from obscure analyst at CIA Headquarters to the National Intelligence Officer for Warning (NIO), a feat of bureaucratic advancement that it simply stunning. A protege of legendary CIA officer Charlie Allen (who now runs the intel shop at the Department of Homeland Security), Ms. McCarthy catapulted over hundreds of more senior officers until she reached the apex of her career in the Clinton White House, as Director of Intelligence Programs–hand-picked by none other than National Security Advisor Sandy Berger.

But with the arrival of the Bush team, McCarthy was apparently banished back to Langley, and wound up with a rather mundane posting to boot.

Today, in another Washington Post article, Ms. McCarthy’s lawyer claims that his client did not leak the information to Dana Priest. But, it wasn’t her innocence that got her a frog march from headquarters last week:

In a statement last Friday, the agency said it had fired one of its officers for having unauthorized conversations with journalists in which the person “knowingly and willfully shared classified intelligence.” Intelligence officials subsequently acknowledged that the official was McCarthy and said that Priest is among the journalists with whom she acknowledged sharing information.

Though McCarthy acknowledged having contact with reporters, a senior intelligence official confirmed yesterday that she is not believed to have played a central role in The Post’s reporting on the secret prisons. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing personnel matters.

McCarthy, 61, who earlier held senior posts at the White House and the National Intelligence Council (NIC), has declined requests for comment. But Cobb said she was “devastated” that her government career of more than two decades will “forever be linked with misinformation about the reasons for her termination,” and he said that her firing 10 days before she was to retire was “certainly not for the reasons attributed to the agency.” His comments constituted the first statement from her camp since her firing became public last week.

The Strata-Sphere says that McCarthy has allegedly already made one error in gullibility and being seduced by “the Rockefeller plan” in promises of a brighter future and ought to be careful.

Right Wing Nuthouse notes that Ty Cobb, the lawyer for Ms. Mccarthy, defended some of the highest profile criminals in the Clinton Administration including cabinet officers, a White House staffer, and a former Senator, and a member of the former First Lady’s staff connecte
d to Whitewater.

Ms. McCarthy’s lawyer can deny all he wants but the fact still remains that Mary O. McCarthy signed a statement admitting her wrongdoing and was later frog marched from the General’s Office. You just can’t spin that.

Wretchard has more on the “Spy verses Spy” game we are witnessing.

Previously:
Finally, a CIA Leak Case with a Leaker and a Leak
One of Time Mags “Best Senators” Faces Polygraph Test for Leaks
Today’s Culture of Treason: Scooter’s Back! & Dana’s Pinko Hubby
“Big Love” – The Media, CIA, Democrats, & Castro Sympathizers
A Starter Web on the McCarthy Connections
Powerline takes another look at the CIA’s war against the Bush Administration, today.
Air Force Pundit, who works in intelligence shares his thoughts about the leak case today.
Tom Maguire is all over this story.

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