Saturday, April 22, 2006

A CIA Employee's Downfall.

It is well known now that someone who used to be a fairly high level CIA Employee is now an ex-CIA employee. The employee is reported to be Mary McCarthy. However, I am not at all certain this has been reliably confirmed but I put a fair amount of faith in it as I have yet to hear a contrary report.

The buzz about the blogosphere is she may have been targeted and given some misinformation. She then turned around and leaked that misinformation and was thus tagged as a leaker. I am not so certain about this, but recent report suggesting the EU can not find anything to back up the story she leaked points in that direction. It also may be the USA and the EU had some discussions about the underlying situation and the EU backed off of its tough talk. The funny thing is a Pulitzer Prize may have been awarded on the basis of a bogus story, well it wouldn't be the first time the press has given itself awards in reporting for reporting fiction.

Anyway, at the time the story broke Byron York reported:
In Europe, the reaction [to the Post story] was immediate and intense. The EU said it would launch a probe of both Poland, which is an EU member, and Romania, which hopes to become one. Both countries might be punished if the story were true, EU officials said. Romania denied the whole thing, sort of; in a statement that perhaps sounded more definitive than it was, Romania's premier said, "I repeat: We do not have CIA bases in Romania." In Poland, the new government -- it had been in office for just a few weeks and had played no role in whatever had happened before -- also issued a denial.
But, at least in Poland, the story caused enormous anger and unhappiness behind the scenes. In an interview with National Review, one source with knowledge of the Polish government's dilemma would not address the facts of the story, but called the damage "horrific." The source cited two reasons. First, the Polish government believes that it is now, as a result of the Post story, on al-Qaeda's hit list, setting off fears that Warsaw or Krakow could follow Madrid and London as European terrorist targets. And second, the leak shook the pro-American Polish government's faith in the United States. Poland has been a loyal ally of the U.S., sending troops to Iraq and keeping them there when others withdrew. That decision has been costly not only in lives -- 17 Poles have died in Iraq -- but also in terms of Poland's relations with largely anti-U.S. European governments. And now Poland worries about whether it can trust its most powerful ally. "The next time we are asked to do an operation in common, we will always think twice about your intelligence community's ability to keep a secret," the source said.
Source: National Review Online - THE LEAK -- AND THE DAMAGE DONE (The Corner-Byron York)
That is, the damage done by the leak was true. Now it could very well be a false story of this nature can still cause damage, but I hardly believe the CIA would create such a story just to catch a leaker. If the story was just a setup contrived to catch the leaker than there had better be more behind the scenes, because while the story may be false the damage is real.

One last observation. I would guess the story would have to be sufficiently damaging to entice the leaker. For instance, letting a false story about how the CIA's official breakfast cereal of choice is Coco-Puffs would hardly be the stuff of leaks. In the end though I am not convinced this is a case of a leak plugging operation.