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Posted by on Apr 25, 2006 in At TMV | 8 comments

Is Mary McCarthy A Traitor Or A Patriot?

Or is she neither?

Ethics question of the day: Is it right to do something you know is wrong, perhaps even illegal, for the sake of a greater good?

Mary McCarthy at the CIA leaks highly classified information on a sensitive topic that compromises both the United States and some key allies. She clearly broke the law. It will make future espionage deals with foreign capitals more difficult. It has serious consequences. She certainly had political motives. All that has been well-observed and roundly condemned on the right.

But what if her object is, in part, to expose, and thus end, U.S.-sanctioned torture? What if she wanted to restore dignity to the American flag?

Discuss.

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Copyright 2006 The Moderate Voice
  • So now there was torture? Who reported that? What you mean to say is there could be torture in a foreign prison. And we might disagree on what constitutes torture. And you vote, and I vote, and we write the president, and our representatives, and hopefully this country does the “right” thing.

    But then along comes Mary McCarthy and our votes don’t count. Her vote cancels out the president, the director of the CIA, me, you, everyone. She doesn’t honor her oath to secrecy, she’d rather decide US policy.

    And you can cheer now, if you agree with her, but what about when your guy is in power? Do you think that US policy should be decided by disgruntled employees?

  • Jim S

    And of course there is the fact that she denies being the leak. In addition there is some speculation that she was a convenient target because of previous closeness to the Clinton administration.

  • Sometimes, yes, I do believe that policy should be decided by “disgruntled” employees. There is something called “ethical behavior” and another thing called “obeying the law.” If a “disgruntled” employee believes that his or her superior is acting unethically or breaking the law, they are duty-bound to report it. Now, we can disagree about what qualifies as “ethical” and “unethical,” and there will always be gray areas between “legal” and “illegal.” But so long as the United States is a signatory to various anti-torture treaties, it is outright illegal to permit suspected torture to occur.

  • Elrod

    lumberjack,
    This is a constitutional democracy, not mob rule. Just because the President was elected doesn’t mean he can do whatever he wants. I don’t know enough about Mary McCarthy to make a judgment about what she did. I’m inclined to view her action as conscientious and necessary – a whistle blower if you will. But I don’t have all the facts.

  • JP

    Elrod, how many people have to blow the whistle before people wake up and DEMAND some answers?

  • Given what is known about the case, to even suggest that the woman is a traitor is ludicrous.

    This is not the Rosenbergs. This is a woman, if she did it, who’s a modern Deep Throat, who incidentally was not too long ago lionized when revealed.

    Bush’s lies are every bit as costly as Nixon’s. Can Porter Goss and put her in charge of the FBFI.

  • Laura

    According the Americablog, she wasn’t the leaker and was fired 10 days before she was to retire.

    Here’s the post from Americablog:

    The Bush administration said explicitly last Friday that a CIA agent was fired for leaking classified information, assumed to be regarding the existence of secret CIA prisons in former Soviet gulags in Eastern Europe.

    Today we find out they were just kidding.

    She didn’t leak any classified information.

    She didn’t say anything about the secret prisons.

    Oh, she’s still fired, we just don’t know why. Then why was she fired? And why did the Bush administration tell the world that she was a leaker when she wasn’t?

    They fired this woman ten days before she was due to retire. Then they lied about why. Sounds to me like this was one more bit of retribution by George Bush against a woman whose expert analysis of the facts didn’t toe the Bush pro-war line.

    Someone on the Hill needs to launch a major investigation of this case because it’s beginning to look like this impeccable public servant just got screwed.

  • BrianOfAtlanta

    She failed multiple polygraphs before reportedly confessing that she was the leaker. Now she says she was not the leaker.

    Let her go to trial, and if she is found to have leaked, then put her away for a long, long time. In the meantime, I think the CIA has good cause for canning her.

    This is a consitutional democracy, not mob rule.

    Yes, but in this case Ms. McCarthy and those who support her are the mob who are thwarting the will of democratically elected officials and the intent of the US Constitution. CIA officials aren’t elected. News reporters aren’t elected. Presidents are. Ms. McCarthy may be morally in the right to some, but she can’t claim to have the will of the people or the Constitution behind her in this.

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