Skip to comments.Truth-Telling [looking at the defenders of Mary McCarthy]
Posted on 04/24/2006 8:36:42 AM PDT by 68skylark
Sweetness and Light has noticed that the press has quoted two former counterterrorism experts in defense of Mary McCarthy but omitted one interesting detail, which may or may not be relevant. Here's ABC News report quoting the first expert, Ray McGovern to the effect that McCarthy had a higher duty to "defend the constitution".
To supporters, McCarthy is a woman of conviction who exposed actions she believed were against the law.
"This a matter of principle," said Ray McGovern, a former fellow CIA analyst, "where she said my oath, my promise not to reveal secrets is superceded by my oath to defend the constitution of the U.S."
The second quote, cited by Sweetness and Light, is from a Washington Post feed, and features the second expert, Larry Johnson, who argues that McCarthy was fighting a "whitewash".
Since the revelation in 2004 of prisoner abuses by U.S. military personnel at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the CIA inspector generals office was charged with examining allegations of torture and other ill treatment of detainees by CIA officers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. The allegations arose, according to sources, from complaints made by others within the agency about wrongdoing. ...
Larry Johnson, a former State Department counterterrorism expert who worked briefly for McCarthy at the CIA in 1988, said Saturday that if McCarthy was really involved in leaks, she may have concluded that the investigation was a whitewash, and why not tell the press? ... I am struck by the irony that Mary McCarthy may have been fired for blowing the whistle and ensuring the truth about an abuse was told to the American people.
Then Sweetness and Light notices that both Ray McGovern and Larry Johnson are associated with Daniel Ellsberg's The Truth-Telling Project. For those who are unfamiliar with the name Daniel Ellsberg, here's the Wikipedia entry.
Daniel Ellsberg (born April 7, 1931) is a former American military analyst who precipitated a national uproar in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, the US military's account of activities during the Vietnam War, to The New York Times. His release of the Pentagon Papers succeeded in substantially eroding public support for the war.
Ray McGovern's role is described on this Truth-Telling Project web page.
The Truth-Telling Coalition, comprised of high-level national security truth-tellers, as well as non-profit whistleblower organizations, provides a personal and legal support network for each other and for government insiders considering becoming truth-tellers. Current coalition members include Sibel Edmonds, Daniel Ellsberg, Frank Grevil, Katharine Gun, Ray McGovern, Coleen Rowley, the Project on Government Oversight, and the ACLU. (Bios and info on members will be available on the Truth-Telling Coalition Website, currently under construction.) To see press coverage of the Truth-Telling Coalition, see the Press Coverage page.
Mr. Larry Johnson's involvement is described on this Truth-Telling Project petition to the Danish Government asking for charges to be dropped against "Danish fellow truth-teller, Mr. Frank Grevil" for
leaking three classified threat assessments to a Danish newspaper in January/February 2004, in order to substantiate claims made verbatim to the same newspaper. These documents demonstrated that his employer at the time, the Danish Defense Intelligence Service, provided unbalanced intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction prior to the decision of the Danish Parliament to join the so-called "Coalition of the Willing" in March 2003.
The association of McGovern and Johnson with Daniel Ellsberg's Truth-telling Project neither invalidates their views nor necessarily portrays them in an unfavorable light, unless one happens to believe that being associated with Daniel Ellsberg is pejorative in and of itself. One might even argue that neither the ABC News nor the Washington Post had any duty to inform their readers who these former intelligence and counterterrorist officials were. But the connection is an interesting one to know. Ask yourself: would you rather not have known?
It is probably impossible to banish bias from human beings. But it is important to recognize its existence explictly. People like McGovern and Johnson make a contribution to the debate, as would the John Birch Society, but their viewpoints should be recognized for if their submissions are not to becoming misleading. Without this explicit recognition we skew the sample. The newspapers in quoting these analysts endorsements of McCarthy without qualification are doing no different than presenting a product endorsement from a tout. The tout may well be right about the superiority of his product but it helps if the public knew where they were coming from.
Good work. I like Belmont Club, but posting him on FR with all the hyperlinks is a chore. Thanks.
Formatted text (with reference links) can be helpful at times. If you view the HTML source for a webpage, sometimes you can do a simple cut and paste.
The Declining Terrorist Threat
By LARRY C. JOHNSON
July 10, 2001
WASHINGTON — Judging from news reports and the portrayal of villains in our popular entertainment, Americans are bedeviled by fantasies about terrorism. They seem to believe that terrorism is the greatest threat to the United States and that it is becoming more widespread and lethal. They are likely to think that the United States is the most popular target of terrorists. And they almost certainly have the impression that extremist Islamic groups cause most terrorism.
None of these beliefs are based in fact. …
I'm sure that before she went to the press, she went to congress and the AG to complain, and I'm sure it's documented. And I'm sure that the Easter bunny hid those eggs in the backyard.
Bush's biggest mistake was not cleaning house on Clinton political appointees immediately. - Sleeper cells would be a more appropriate title.
Also the EU AG says he can't find a trace of the prisons whose exposition won a Pulitzer prize - or is that now the Chrles Foster Kane award for creative journalism.
She deserves the Rosenburg Treatment.............
Statement from Daniel Ellsberg
The Truth-Telling Project encourages whistleblowing in the national interest. It urges current and recently retired government officials to reveal the truth to Congress and the public about governmental wrongdoing, lies and cover-up. It aims to change the norms and practices that sustain the cult of secrecy, and to de-legitimize silence that costs lives.
It is becoming increasingly clear that a dominant practice of the Bush administration is cover-up, on urgent matters of life and death. Cover-up of the real motives for the war and of the foreseeable costs and problems of the occupation. Cover-up of Presidential inattention before 9-11 to warnings of imminent attacks by Al Qaeda. Above all, concealment of the judgment of the Administrations own counter-terrorism chiefs that war in Iraq is a disaster for the war on terrorism.
There are surely hundreds if not thousands of officials within the Bush administration who know about these and other cover-ups and the dangers they conceal, but who have not spoken out. I am now leading an effort, called the Truth-Telling Project, to encourage such insiders to go to Congress and the press and tell the truth, with documents. I believe we are in a national crisis, which justifies and requires acts of unauthorized truth-telling. I am calling for such patriotic whistle-blowing to take place right now.
I am devoting myself full-time to encouraging patriotic revelation of the lies, cover-ups, and abuses of the Bush administration. The Truth-Telling Project aims to reach current insiders, as well as journalists, lawyers, lawmakers, and the American public with a message transcending party or administration:
Truth-telling to Congress and the public is not disloyal in America: it is an expression of the higher loyalty officials owe to the Constitution, the rule of law, and the sovereign public. It is a courageous, patriotic, and effective way to serve our country. The time to speak out is now.
Daniel Ellsberg, August 2004
Kent Tyler ...
Kent Tyler ...
He wants national security secrets to be given to the press on a regular, sustained basis. That kind of advocacy should probably be a crime, IMHO, if it isn't already illegal.
I wonder why that was omitted from the story...
How about that NO PRISONS HAVE BEEN FOUND. The EU did an investigation and found no evidence. Now does this mean she lied to the reporter, and will the reporter have to give back the Pulitzer?
So when will someone release FDR's still classified papers?
We'll see. If a trial would do more harm than good to national security, it might not happen.
For example, those known to exist transcripts of the FDR-Churchill trans-oceanic telephone calls would be very interesting.
Thank goodness that may not be true. There are courtrooms that certainly can be used to try espionage cases. It's the same method they used to try Robert Hanssen and I just hope they stick it to her! If they truly want to make an example of her, they're going to have to try her.