Congratulations to Mary McCarthy, this week’s rightwing hate magnet. Whether or not she committed a crime remains to be seen, but you can practically smell the flopsweat as the rightwing blogosphere dances chanting around her burning effigy in an effort to drive away unpleasant visions of a fading party and a presidency sunk beyond repair.
Don’t get me wrong, McCarthy appears to have committed a breach of some sort (although she now denies it, see link at bottom) and will likely face more retribution for her actions than simply losing her job. That is fine with me, as far as I am concerned anybody who breaks the law should be ready to go to jail. If you broke the law for what you see as a good reason, fine, go to jail and feel good about it. Movement-wise jail did no harm to Martin Luther King or Ghandi. It is also fine with me if rightwingers want to spin elaborate theories in which every one of their hated enemies will get sucked into a web of conspiracy and go down en masse. Good luck with that guys, I’m sure that those Wilson indictments are just around the corner.
Apparently among other crimes McCarthy gave money to the Democratic party. Score one for the Partisan Activist smear. By the same logic convicted spy Larry Franklin must damn the entire neoconservative circle in which he ran, correct? The Wolfowitzes and Perles who feted Franklin and treated him like a cherished pal must answer for their questionable connections. Hearings, I say, we need hearings! Or not. You see, Larry Franklin was a Republican so what he did was ok, and even if it somehow hurt America it certainly does not say anything bad about Republicans even though he was tightly knit into their leading circle. Just one low-ranking bad apple. It makes no sense to exonerate Franklin’s friends and indict McCarthy’s, but good luck telling that to someone when they have a good simmering hate on.
Another logical pretzel holds that America does not really disappear foreign suspects into gulag-style prisons that operate outside any sort of legal oversight, but McCarthy damaged American security by making people think that we do. Huh? If you want to hang her for treason, as some commenters and a particularly frothy emailer clearly do, then you have to figure that she damaged actual operations. You can’t have it both ways.
Anyhow the NYT story casting doubt on the prisons story comes to no conclusion for or against – the official claiming to have found no incontrovertible proof has hardly claimed that they do not exist, and his opinion appears far from unanimous among commissioners. Eventually the truth will out and somebody will be proven wrong, but the facts remain too unclear to justify the joyous dancing that the article engendered.
Other points on the same subject:
Note the sadly unsurprising way that the president has set about to clean up the intelligence service:
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.
That’s right folks, the real problem with intelligence is that it is not partisan enough. I suppose that with Iran we won’t have those pesky dissenters getting in the way of a unanimous threat assessment they way they did with Iraq.
Finally, this will undoubtedly provide more meat for the partisan frothing. Rand Beers indeed.