Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ol' Sully Gets One Right

As Andrew Sullivan rightly points out, the discussion of the Mary McCarthy affair overlooks some vital context.

Note that in Caesar-con (as in, he believes that there is a dictatorship clause in the constitution like thee was in Rome) Andrew McCarthy's recent article on her, nowhere is there any notion that there is something wrong if we were, as Mary McCarthy claimed, interrogating suspects in prisons in foreign countries (allies in Eastern Europe, no less) without those countries' consent.

If it turns out that these charges [i.e., of our runing secret prisons in Eastern Europe] are unfounded, then that is one thing. But if they are correct, then one has to ask whether folks like Mary McCarthy are attracting so much bile because of true concern for the purposes of the anti-leak law and for national security, or because folks like Andrew McCarthy are upset that anyone would take any steps whatsoever to stop the U.S. from clandestinely doing whatever it wants, screw our allies' national sovereignty. (Although it is also possible that if such prisons existed, that they existed with the (at least tacit) consent of the home countries).

"Why Isn’t She in Cuffs?" asks Andrew McCarthy.

He actually answers his question in the piece when referring to why the leak was such a big deal:

The so-called "black site" prisons were later publicized by Dana Priest of the Washington Post, jeopardizing not only the detainee intelligence stream but, just as importantly, America's relationship with the cooperating governments — on whom we rely because of our global dearth of intelligence assets, and who are now incentivized to cut-off information exchanges because they believe (with some obvious justification) that our intelligence community is not trustworthy.

Doesn't he realize that if Mary McCarthy is charged with a crime, it will reek of cover-up to all of these same allies, making them trust us even less?

Whether or not it would be appropriate from a legal and moral standpoint to charge her with a crime, it would severely damage our relationship with our allies. (Not in Thailand maybe, or in Afghanistan, but definitely in Eastern Europe).

That is all.

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