"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, June 11, 2012


Remember the Valerie Plame case?   A State Department official, Richard Armitage, supposedly "outed" Ms. Plame as a covert CIA agent (even though she hadn't been covert for more than five years and was working openly at the Langley CIA headquarters).   A huge media-driven scandal ensued, complete with special prosecutors who went after senior White House officials (notably, Karl Rove) and, ultimately, yielded a "perjury trap" conviction of Scooter Libby of Dick Cheney's staff, who, it turned out, had nothing to do with the original leak.  

So with that standard of vigorous prosecution of "national security" leaks -- I put it in scare quotes because I've never seen any evidence that revealing Valerie Plame's identiy endangered any ongoing operations -- what will happen with the latest leaks to the New York Times of stories about Obama's "kill list" for drone assassinations of al Qaeda leaders and America's involvement in the Stuxnet computer virus that targeted Iran's nuclear program?

The Senate will investigate recent national security leaks to the news media after articles in The New York Times about a “kill list” for terrorists and the use of cyberweapons against Iran, a Senate official said on Tuesday.
Tara Andringa, a spokeswoman for Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the Democratic chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said the committee would hold hearings “pertaining to recent public reports of classified information.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said in a statement: “Today I sent a classified letter to the president outlining my deep concerns about the release of this information. I made it clear that disclosures of this type endanger American lives and undermine America’s national security.” She said she had discussed the possibility of joint hearings with Mr. Levin.

The announcement of hearings came after two Republican senators, John McCain of Arizona and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, called for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the leaks.
“Such disclosures can only undermine similar ongoing or future operations and, in this sense, compromise national security,” Mr. McCain said on the Senate floor. “For this reason, regardless of how politically useful these leaks may be to the president, they have to stop.”

How this story gets treated by the mainstream media in an election year will either (a) result in prosecutions and Pulitzer Prizes; or (b) result in a big fat nothing and reveal the MSM to be completely in the pocket of Obama.

Wanna bet on the outcome?

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