Guardian column: Secrets

Here’s my latest Media Guardian column inspired by Ms. Miller about the web and the changing nature of secrets: At Media Guardian or here.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    No matter what the secret, like a priest in his confessional, one must protect the source if the source requests protection. That’s simply non-negotiable, whatever the price that has to be paid. In our case, we’re paying very little, the source of the secrets we’re publishing being rather desperate to unload their story. More on that later.

  • Angelos

    Judy Millier is “protecting” no one, in whistleblower sense. She is protecting a spy-exposing traitor, and she is trying to conceal how involved she was with carrying the White House’s water, with WMD, with Niger, etc. She’s been on their marching orders since day one.

    In this administration, “anonymous source” means a hack that Karl sent out to spread a lie. WaPo dutifully prints it, Hannity and O’Reailly et al dutifully repeat it on TV, and moron wingers dutifully and unquestioningly accept it as fact.

    Whistleblowers need protection from this administration. This administration doesn’t need protection, its need a full dressing down.

    And its coming. Oh boy, is it coming.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Hey, Angelos, you’re sounding pretty excited there, buddy. Maybe we could stick the lot of them in the Colisseum with a couple of lions or have a few wild horses tear them from limb to limb. Or maybe we could just be prosaic and set them all on fire. Let me know. I’ll have your guys call their guys. Me? I can get you some gasoline cheap. Lions are gonna cost a little extra though.

  • Angelos

    No need for lions. Drawn-n-quartered sounds about right.

    You bet I’m excited. This country has gone to shit in just 5 years. It’s about time the perpetrators start facing the music.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Music, huh? Okay, I can swing that, but it’s gonna cost extra. How’s about a rhumba? That’d go nicely with the horses, right?

    My Uncle Paulie and a couple of his buddies got a cool band – “The What?” – all the rage in the Heights. They’ll love ‘em to bits!

  • http://www.blogtemps.com Enigma

    “All is fair in love & war”, or is it, “all is fair in profiteers love for war”?

    Eitherway, Judith Miller is a scumbag that acted as a plaything for the Bush administration in their build-up to cinematic fear. Now she has a book deal and a nice ‘nest egg’.

  • tonynoboloney

    I’m a pretty sharp guy, involved in local politics for many years. Dealt with the press on many stories. But I confess I’ve been having a hard time wrapping myself around exactly what this Judith Miller story is about. After having visited this site for a while though, I have learned to read Angelos and take the exact OPPOSITE stance and find that puts me about dead center. Thanks for the insight Angelos.

  • Angelos

    That’s funny Tony. Of course, it doesn’t actually say anything. But that’s nothing new.

    It doesn’t address the fact that Judy printed every claim she was handed by the White House press machine. She knew for A FACT there were WMD. She knew where it was too! She was embedded! There was yellowcake from Niger. She knew it! How dare a mere former-ambassador to and expert on the region, who had worked for both Bush Sr. and Clinton, who had extensive contacts in and knowledge of the area, how dare he I way, come to a conclusion different than hers? How dare he do it in her own newspaper? This is Judy Fucking Miller we’re talking about here, she IS the NYT!

    She was going to get him! And, conveniently enough, the White House had the same designs. Judy and Scooter got together, and with some help from Dick and Karl, hatched a plan. The funny thing is, they got together BEFORE Wilson’s op-ed in the Times was published. She had an advance copy! Hell, her buddy the publisher might have even come to her with it and asked her what she thought, how does she explain the inconsistencies with her own “reporting.”

    Feed a little morsel to Novak somehow. Make it sound like Wilson just got that job because of nepotism, and try to discredit him that way. Whether Novak knew what he was doing or not, we still don’t know.

    But this was no accident. It’s just a matter of how high up we’re talking. Libby is a definite, and Rove is getting more and more likely. Cheney, we don’t know yet. But it’s no secret how anti-Wilson he is, of course. Thing is, that’s the main survival skill of the Bush clan. Never do the dirty work yourself. HW did it, W does it, Jeb does it. Everything they touch is filthy, and they are very involved in the filth, but the path to them is always littered with lesser bodies.

  • Angelos

    Bring back preview!!!!

  • http://marycalvo marym

    Jeff, you ask “If conspirators in the White House wanted to out CIA spy Plame, couldn’t they just post it on a forum?”

    No. Without the White House cachet, no one would pay any mind. It had to be direct info, from Reliable (sic) Sources, before it would provide the knowledgeable aspects to push the reporter on to publish.

    Novak sure is escaping intact for outing a U.S. undercover agent. You have to wonder what cards he’s holding as well.

  • Andy Freeman

    > Novak sure is escaping intact for outing a U.S. undercover agent.

    The only thing “undercover” about Plame’s CIA affiliation is that she had been covert.

    However, we recently saw the outing of an ACTIVE CIA operation, together with names, operational details, etc.

    I’m still waiting for the folks who get excited about Plame to give a damn.

    If you’re only concerned about outing of CIA agents when doing so might be politically damaging to a particular party, you’re not actually concerned about outing CIA agents.

  • Angelos

    But Andy, it wasn’t on CNN or Fox! It can’t be real, if it didn’t come from a licensed journalist…

    But speaking of damaging, it keeps getting beter and better.

    To hell with Rove, looks like Cheney is getting letters too. Too much fun.

    It’s for the best though. It will keep child-molesting Oregon Christians and DWI-getting Texas Representatives off the front pages.

    Wouldn’t want anything to get in the way of the “morals” message. It’s a good thing no one’s getting any blow jobs!

  • Andy Freeman

    > But Andy, it wasn’t on CNN or Fox!

    Actually, it was, but it didn’t break there.

    And, I’m still waiting for the outrage.

    You folks don’t care about secrets, agents, etc. You’re only interested in taking down a president.

    There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s dishonest to suggest that you have any other interest.

  • http://marycalvo marym

    AF:

    Excuse, please, the news that Novak reported was untrue as well, then? High standards, indeed.

    “Us folks” didn’t share whatever your outrage is, I suppose, over the CIA operation you think was and should not have been exposed, you might want to pass on what you are referring to?

  • Andy Freeman

    > “Us folks” didn’t share whatever your outrage is

    I know – that’s my point. Your outrage has nothing to do with “the law”, “outing cia agents”, etc. Those are just excuses for attacking someone you don’t like.

    One of the “outings” that you’re ignoring was an active CIA transport operation. All of the assets, agents, contacts, operations, burned. And you don’t care. In fact, the only reaction has been that the outing was good because it hurt the US in the middle east.

    Like I wrote, the only thing that might have been covert about Plame was that she had been covert in the past. She was OPENLY employed at the CIA at the time and had been for several years. The “threat to national security” pales in comparison to burned active operations.

    BTW – Didnt Leahy get someone killed recently by outing them?

  • http://marycalvo marym

    Sounds exciting Andy, but you don’t cite any real facts so it’s hard to understand why you’re trying so hard to accuse anyone of being so indifferent to your news, when you don’t seem to have references to any real events. If you are looking for reactions, maybe you want to give some background on what it is you’re looking for reactions on.

  • Andy Freeman

    Does MaryM really want to play the “we didn’t know” card? Surely if the issue is important enough to track wrt the past covert status of someone who was openly employed by the CIA, actual active operations would rate somewhat higher.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6999272/site/newsweek/page/2/
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/31/national/31planes.html?ex=1275192000&en=6087acc3480a296c&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rs

    Prediction – MaryM still won’t care.

  • http://marycalvo marym

    From item 1: ‘Bush also signaled that Negroponte would preside over a major shift in power in intelligence gathering.’
    2: ‘When the Central Intelligence Agency wants to grab a suspected member of Al Qaeda overseas and deliver him to interrogators in another country, an Aero Contractors plane often does the job.’
    3: Same article as 2.

    No doubt, the CIA has lost some of its influence – as in #1. And In #2 & 3, you are citing an article which does ‘out’ a CIA operative airline co. Do I care? seems like pivotal importance to you, and I will give you credit for actually turning up something that reflects your original contention, that there had been an ‘outing’ of a CIA operation – however, it is an operative that is actually identified, not an operation. That’s the difference between revealing that Kevlar makes defective bulletproof vests and announcing that a particular agent is wearing one, isn’t it?

    Since the CIA operation in Costa Rica that ferried armed Contras into neighboring Nicaragua was ‘outed’ by Sr. Arias (President of Costa Rica), I really am not sure that everything is harmful that makes public an operation of dubious value, either. Sr. Arias received a Nobel Prize, after ordering Mr. North out of his country where he was directing armed operations illegally.

    Now there I can get indignant – that this country would stoop to illegal wars.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Marym, it’s evident you do not approve of the war. That’s reasonable in my view. Approving of (or being indifferent to) the ‘outing’ of an American serviceman or woman fighting for their country however, is not.

    I think what Andy is saying is true – your desire is to see your own country (I’m assuming you’re American) and the people serving in her forces, beaten and humiliated.

  • Andy Freeman

    I wrote: “Prediction – MaryM still won’t care. ”

    As predicted, she doesn’t. She rationalizes it as “the article only identified objects”, but she “confuses” the unremarkable “the CIA has planes” with “the CIA ran specific planes that can be identified from the disclosure”. The second identifies the associated people.

    She also justifies it with “they were doing bad”, suggesting that her standard is something like “I approve of outing bad operations and disapprove of outing good ones”.

    There are two problems – her policy preferences don’t determine crime and Plame wasn’t engaged good operations. She was sitting in VA, waiting for Wilson to come back. Back when she was covert, we have no idea what she was doing.

  • http://marycalvo marym

    NG: You say:”I think what Andy is saying is true – your desire is to see your own country (I’m assuming you’re American) and the people serving in her forces, beaten and humiliated.” – This seems to be rather farfetched from anything I have said, so with Andy Freeman, seems you’re looking to accuse the Other Guy of something bad, regardless of what they’re saying. I suppose this is your idea of the ideal “American”. Sad.

    AF: I note you have gone from saying Plame wasn’t covert at all to the opposite, and your trying to pin motives to my statement are just as worthy of consideration. Obvious from the beginning, as you said, you were going to see anything I said as confirming what you wanted.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Marym, you’re right. I misunderstood what Andy was saying, but in responding to what I accused you of (which I thought, perhaps unfairly, your words were suggesting), I notice you didn’t deny it, i.e., that seeing your country beaten and humiliated is your desire.

  • http://marycalvo marym

    NG: Wow. You really do want to look on that Other Side from you as bad guys, at least you see how warped that is. Why should I deny a completely gratuitous accusation which happens also to be plucked from thin air? In my experience, dignifying anything on that level is wasted breath.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    So you’re not denying it then.

    What I find warped is the desire people have to pull down their own country, and to look at the people who are defending it, covertly or not, as expendable.

    As I said before, it’s evident you do not approve of the war. That’s reasonable in my view. Approving of (or being indifferent to) the ‘outing’ of an American serviceman or woman fighting for their country however, is not.

  • http://marycalvo marym

    NG
    Fortunately the faction of partisan politicians trying to make a love of country a possession of their own political mindset has not kept people of worth from serving their country. If you stand up for them, you will make this country a place that is worth serving. Sadly this administration does make it hard to serve without cheapening.

  • Andy Freeman

    > I note you have gone from saying Plame wasn’t covert at all to the opposite

    No, I haven’t. I’ve consistently stated that it has been several years since Plame was covert. In other words, she was and then she wasn’t. At the time of the “outing”, she hadn’t been covert for years – she was an open cia employee at that time.

    Given her status at the time of the outing, Wilson’s accusation that the “outing” threatened her doesn’t make sense.

    I note that MaryM wants to duck my actual accusation, that she doesn’t care about outing of cia agents, she’s merely using that as an excuse for an attack on those who she doesn’t like politically. I demonstrated that by citing a cia agent outing that she didn’t care about. She was gracious enough to confirm my point by telling us why she didn’t care.

  • http://marycalvo marym

    AF:
    You began by asserting that the only secret re Plame was that she was covert, which is a far cry from the truth, which you have finally come around to. You also began by asserting I would not be incensed about some outing of a CIA operation, which several posts later you supplied some info on – and what you cited was not an operation. If trying so hard to establish that a post showing outrage over Novak’s outing Plame is not indication that some one posting that outrage is, in fact, concerned with national security, but is only trying to make political points, maybe you need to supply more solid evidence that there are other incidents of importance that are not being reacted to? Otherwise you would seem to be the one trying to score political points to distract from the actual events being discussed in Jeff’s post.

  • Andy Freeman

    > You began by asserting that the only secret re Plame was that she was covert, which is a far cry from the truth, which you have finally come around to.

    The truth is that the only thing “outed” was Plame’s covert PAST and I haven’t “come around” to anything else as a review of the above shows. If MaryM disagrees, she should quote the relevant sentences and explain why she interprets “Like I wrote, the only thing that might have been covert about Plame was that she had been covert in the past.” and “At the time of the “outing”, she hadn’t been covert for years – she was an open cia employee at that time.” differently.

    > what you cited was not an operation.

    A regular arrangement of assets used for specific activities IS an operation. Folks associated with those assets or the people NAMED in the article have been burned and MaryM approves. That establishes that MaryM approves of outing of covert activities when said outing furthers her political goals.

  • http://marycalvo marym

    AF
    Very excited, her political goals … ezcuse me you said you had info I was supposed to react to, still waiting for said infol