Good Leaks, Bad Leaks, Mary McCarthy, and Neo-McCarthyism

Larry Johnson comments on the firing of whistleblower Mary McCarthy:

I am struck by the irony that Mary McCarthy may have been fired for blowing the whistle and ensuring that the truth about an abuse was told to the American people. There is something potentially honorable in that action; particularly when you consider that George Bush authorized Scooter Libby to leak misleading information for the purpose of deceiving the American people about the grounds for going to war in Iraq.

David Corn promises to follow this story and has this clever phrasing:

especially since I expect the partisans on the right to argue that anyone who wanted Libby or Roe prosecuted for leaking (vis a vis Valerie Wilson) should call for the same in this case. Not necessarily, for as the White House said recently, there are good leaks and bad leaks. And leaking about CIA abuses is not the same as leaking to discredit a policy critic.

Yes – put me down as saying Ms. McCarthy’s leak was good. But if they decide to prosecute her, I think Dirty Harry captured my view of this: “Go on punk, make my day”. After all, Abbe Lowell intends to call Condoleezza Rice to testify in what has been called an authorized leak matter.

Corn also catches this part of the continuing story as reported by the Washington Post:

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. 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.

Corn is right about this:

Seems to me this deserves more than a sentence. Is there now a partisan loyalty oath at the CIA? McCarthyites snooping about among the spies? If I could order up a Post investigation, I would say dig deeper here.

Update: Corn’s prediction about the rightwing’s reaction to Ms. McCarthy’s firing is already coming true. Jonah Goldberg pulls a Robert Novak trolling the FEC records to see if she contributed to Kerry’s campaign right after Andy McCarthy posted an extended version of the same thing. The Belmont Club reaches back to the 1998 bombing of -Shifa chemical weapons factory to smear her, Richard Clarke, and to dust off the canard about Saddam and Al Qaeda working together.

I have a suggested new title for the National Review: McCarthyism R’ Us.

Update II: Drudge provides the views on Senator Kerry on this matter. KLo decides to slam Senator Kerry. I guess KLo believes telling the truth is treason. Go figure.

Update III: Mark Levin does the dirty work in a post entitled Who is Mary McCarthy. Catch the comparison to the Valerie Plame leak:

I must say, however, that the media’s sickening hypocrisy knows no bounds. They came to the defense of Joe Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, who worked behind-the-scenes to get her husband that “fact-finding” trip to Niger. They demanded an investigation into who “leaked” Plame’s identity to Bob Novak – which ensnared their own reporters. They hoped they would critically wound the president, and they failed. Clearly Plame was not undercover and the revelation of her identity was not a crime. Lewis Libby now stands accused of lying about a crime that never occurred and the media think that’s a good thing.

Document the lies. Wilson’s wife was the one who sent Joe to Niger. She was not undercover. No crime ever occurred. I trust the readers of National Review are not so stupid not to realize how much the NRO writers lie to them. So why repeat such transparent lies over and over again?

Update IV: First, Tom Maguire notes I need to brush up on my Dirty Harry lines. Next, Mark Levin says Senator Kerry is a traitor, whileTaylor Marsh notes that Levin is Rush Limbaugh’s cabin boy. Taylor calls these rightwingers on their game with lots of links that detail what is going on here.

Final Update: It seems that Jonah Goldberg first thought trolling through Mary McCarthy’s FEC records was all important but then he changed his mind:

Assuming McCarthy is the leaker, I think some people – perhaps even yours truly – might be putting too much emphasis on the partisan donation thing. I think it’s relevant, but hardly dispositive – indeed, given the paltry supply of facts, nothing is settled. I have no doubt there are plenty of ardent Democrats and Republicans in all branches of the defense bureaucracy who would never dream of leaking classified information solely out of partisan ardor. And, I sincerely doubt that, if McCarthy’s guilty, her motives were anything like transparently partisan. Most people align with political parties because they have certain beliefs, not the other way around.

I ask you – is Goldberg principled or just plain goofy?