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We should consider ourselves fortunate to live in John Kerry World. Most of us thought that we would have lost the humorous inanity that the Senator and erstwhile presidential candidate brought us throughout 2004, but he has been considerate enough to continue with his silly pronouncements well past his expiration date. Today on ABC's This Week, Kerry gave George Stephanopolous a tortured explanation of how he opposes leaks in all circumstances while trying to excuse Mary McCarthy for hers:
SEN. KERRY: Well, I read that. I don't know whether she did it or not so it's hard to have a view on it. Here's my fundamental view of this, that you have somebody being fired from the CIA for allegedly telling the truth, and you have no one fired from the white house for revealing a CIA agent in order to support a lie. That underscores what's really wrong in Washington, DC Here.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's one issue of hypocrisy but should a CIA officer be able to make decisions on his or her --
KERRY: ... Of course not. Of course, not. A CIA agent has the obligation to uphold the law and clearly leaking is against the law, and nobody should leak. I don't like leaking. But if you're leaking to tell the truth, Americans are going to look at that, at least mitigate or think about what are the consequences that you, you know, put on that person. Obviously they're not going to keep their job, but there are other larger issues here. You know, classification in Washington is a tool that is used to hide the truth from the American people. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was eloquent and forceful in always talking about how we needed to, you know, end this endless declassification that takes place in this city, and it has become a tool to hide the truth from Americans.
STEPHANOPOULOS: These --
SEN. KERRY: So I'm glad she told the truth but she's going to obviously -- if she did it, if she did it, suffer the consequences of breaking the law.
A leak, by its nature, involves releasing actual classified or sensitive information, so any leaker can be said to have "told the truth" as part of the process. In this case, however, we still have no independent verification that McCarthy's story of a chain of torture chambers across Europe was anything other than either McCarthy's exaggeration of transit stops for captured terrorists or a mole hunt. Two European investigations conducted after the leak (and the attendant diplomatic damage) have found exactly nothing.
While it is touching to see Kerry offer support for a campaign contributor, I suggest that he revisit the law on releasing classified information and just leave his remarks at that. McCarthy had plenty of other options for addressing her concerns, but she chose to expose secret data rather than do her job in protecting it. The White House has the authority to declassify and release information and did so to answer the questions of the media about the true pre-war intelligence estimate of Iraq. That's not hypocrisy; that is responsiveness, especially since Kerry and his fellow primary candidates had made such an issue of White House "secrecy" all during their campaigns.
We all wish Senator Kerry the best of luck in his primary campaign for the 2008 presidential election. His laughable attempts to eat his cake and have it too on almost every topic will provide some needed comic relief in the next contest.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on April 24, 2006 12:49 AM
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