There seems to be much less than meets the eye to the case of Mary McCarthy, the CIA officer fired for talking to Dana Priest. First, I am glad to say, that she will not be taking me up on the offer of helping fund her retirement as the CIA is still going to pay her pension. In fact, the total penalty seems to be ten days' salary as reported by R. Jeffrey Smith and Dafna Linzer in the Washington Post
"[Ty] Cobb said ... that her firing 10 days before she was to retire"
the senior intelligence official confirmed that McCarthy was preparing to retire and said she will retain her government pension despite the agency's decision.
The motives for the dismissal are still more interesting. McCarthy denies that she revealed classified information. More to the point
The statement by Ty Cobb, a lawyer in the Washington office of Hogan & Hartson who said he was speaking for McCarthy, came on the same day that a senior intelligence official said the agency is not asserting that McCarthy was a key source of Priest's award-winning articles last year disclosing the agency's secret prisons.
(yes her lawyers name is Ty Cobb who sure aint gonna hurt his batting average in fact I consider his fee in this case a steal. Quite "the group" they make).
McCarthy denies having told Priest about the secret prisons. She would not have known operational details.
Cobb said that McCarthy, who worked in the CIA inspector general's office, "did not have access to the information she is accused of leaking," namely the classified information about any secret detention centers in Europe. Having unreported media contacts is not unheard of at the CIA but is a violation of the agency's rules.
The existence of prisons in secret locations was, of course, universally known to anyone who followed the news. In 2004, the Bush administration constantly repeated (and exagerated) the number of top Al Qaeda operatives who had been captured. The location of the prisoners was not made public. Thus they were being kept in secret prisons. The existence of secret prisons was as secret as the design of the US flag. Never has there been a more open secret.
Ah yess open secrets. The instant that McCarthy was fired with pension 10 days before her retirement, the world new she had donated money to John Kerry (takes about 5 clicks to get here)
Given the almost complete absence of any other reason to fire her, might the firing be the CIAs effort to show they are not soft on Democrats ? Recall
The White House also has recently barraged the agency with questions about the political affiliations of some of its senior intelligence officers, according to intelligence officials.
It seems that Smith and Linzer placed that key fact at the end of their older article because they are still investigating the issue. The more recent article is calling foul as loud as news reporters are allowed to scream.
I wonder if John Collinge and Alvin Krongard are worried. Ellen Hemmindinge is already safely retired.
And notice that only 5 people who donated in 2002 or 2004 list their employment as the Central Intelligence Agency. Come on guys you can't all be covert.
hmmm 3 more in 1998 or 2000 and Krongard is probably not pleased that I keep mentioning him.
3 more in 1994 or 1996
One more in 1990 or 1992 (and she has the same last name as the candidate)
update: Hope I haven't gotten Alvin Krongard in trouble. Someone came here after google blog searching "Krongard". I do hope the evil opponents of CIA agents who are active citizens aren't using google -- the idea of Big Brother googling is scary.