April 25, 2006
The CIA has fired an employee it says was the source of a leak to The Washington Post that revealed overseas interrogation centers for suspected terrorists.
The alleged leaker, Mary McCarthy, was named a special assistant to Bill Clinton and senior director for intelligence programs by Clinton’s national security director, Sandy Berger. You may recall Berger had his own problems keeping secret documents secret.
McCarthy reportedly failed a lie detector test and was dismissed. The Washington Post reporter who printed the leaked secrets won a Pulitzer Prize. But at what cost to the nation?
CIA employees, as well as other who handle secret information, take an oath not to disclose it to unauthorized people. If McCarthy did this, as charged, she violated that oath. The dictionary defines such behavior as traitorous. If she is prosecuted and convicted, she should receive the same penalty as anyone else who does such things in war time.
It is outrageous that unelected people take upon themselves the authority to possibly undermine their nation by leaking its secrets.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.