Saturday, April 22, 2006

Are you allowed to hang a Pulitzer Prize plaque on your prison cell wall?

bumped from 4/21, scroll down for update
CIA Officer Fired for Leaking Classified Info to Media

WASHINGTON — A CIA officer has been relieved of his duty after being caught leaking classified information to the media.

Citing the Privacy Act, the CIA would not provide any details about the officer's identity or assignments. It was not immediately clear if the person would face prosecution. The firing is a highly unusual move, although there has been an ongoing investigation into leaks in the CIA.

"The officer has acknowledged unauthorized discussions with the media and the unauthorized sharing of classified information," said CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano. "That is a violation of the secrecy agreement that everyone signs as a condition of employment with the CIA."

One official called this a "damaging leak" that deals with operational information and said the fired officer "knowingly and willfully" leaked the information to the media and "was caught."…

A Justice Department spokesman said "no comment" on the firing. The spokesman also would not say whether the agency was looking into any criminal action against the officer. One law enforcement official said there were dozens of leak investigations under way.

A second law enforcement official confirmed said the CIA officer had provided information that contributed to a Washington Post story last year saying there were secret U.S. prisons in Eastern Europe...
You gotta love the WaPo headline for the story: CIA Fires Employee for Alleged Leak
The information included highly classified material regarding a network of secret CIA prisons in foreign nations in which terrorist suspects were held, the official said. The prison system was revealed by The Washington Post last year. The Post's Dana Priest won the Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting this week for her stories about the secret prisons and other national security matters.

The fired employee is said to have given information not only to Priest but to other reporters as well…

Priest declined to discuss the firing or to confirm whether the employee provided information for her Priest declined to discuss the firing or to confirm whether the employee provided information for her report . "I don't intend to comment on my sources for that or any other story," she said...
If Priest’s source was female perhaps the two of them can share a cell and laud each other’s righteousness, ad nauseam.

Update:

I was being factitious about Priest’s source being a woman. Turns out, I was right on the money. One can only hope that government charges and punishes Ms. McCarthy and Dana Priest to the full extent of the law for revealing classified operational information in a time of war.


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