Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Mary McCarthy - failure

I was in the intelligence business off and (mostly) on for 26 years. I've worked at levels ranging from local unit to national agency, and had access to classified material at the highest levels the government authorizes. I know the intel system as well as, and perhaps better than, most in the system. What Mary McCarthy did was a devastating blow to what most intelligence analysts hold most sacred - the national classification system.

The system is there for a reason. It's there to protect intelligence information, methods, processes, and sources from inadvertant or deliberate exposure that would harm the ability of the United States to be prepared for any consequences or circumstances, and thus to protect the American people from harm. I've still got a piece of paper here that says I won't disclose any of that type of information for 70 years after my retirement from the Air Force, or the year 2061 (my 115th birthday).

Some people feel that who sits in the White House, or who serves in Congress, is more important than the security of the nation, or the sanctity of intelligence information. They have consistently "leaked" classified information that has caused great harm to the ability of the United States to collect, analyze, interpret, report, and distribute information on a need-to-know basis to those with the responsibility of developing and implementing policy based upon that information. There's a word for such people - traitors. That's not too harsh - these are people who have put political considerations above the considerations of the nation and its people. They don't deserve to remain in the jobs they have, and many of them deserve to be in prison for decades.

We, the people of this nation, have failed to insist that such people be adequately punished, and the result has been more, and more dangerous, leaks. Sandy Berger should be looking at 30-50 years behind bars. Mary McCarthy should be looking at 10-20 years behind bars. Whoever leaked the information about the National Security Agency program to intercept all calls to and from the United States that were reasonably expected to have been made by Al-Qaida operatives or sympathizers, should serve 50-100 years behind bars, with no option for parole or presidential pardon.

At the same time, we need to start cleaning out the cesspool of hate-America "leaders" in our institutions of higher learning, from our government at every level, from political parties and "non-governmental organizations", "think tanks", and other political or political-involved agencies, and insist that anyone who becomes a member of government AT ANY LEVEL know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their first commitment MUST be to the Constitution of the United States, and that everything they say or do be directed to supporting, defending, and bearing true allegience to that document and the people it represents. There is no higher authority in our government. There can be no higher commitment than to that document.

There are a number of ways to protest against action taken by the government or any agency or department under it, within the system. Mary McCarthy worked in the Inspector General's office, which is one of the many different paths for instituting and managing complaints. There are at least three other levels any complaints could have been taken to beyond her office. She was in a position where it was impossible for her NOT to know those avenues existed. She was also in a position to know that when the Management said there were no problems, she had two choices: continue and accept that decision, or retire and seek legal action within a classified framework. She chose instead to feed highly sensitive classified information to the press. This is the work of a political operative, not a dedicated civil servant. She should get what she most richly deserves - a long spell in a maximum-security prison.


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