For some reason everyone thinks CIA employee Mary McCarthy leaked information about secret prisons to the press. Right-wngers are calling it treason. Others are calling here a hero.
But both McCarthy AND THE CIA say she didn’t leak that to the press.
For the first few days after the action was announced, the agency and the White House let stand the impression that McCarthy had been a source for the stories about secret U.S. detention centers in Europe that won a Pulitzer Prize for The Washington Post’s Dana Priest. But when McCarthy’s lawyer said she had no part in that transaction, CIA officials confirmed that was the case — leaving it unclear exactly what she had done to bring down the punishment. [emphasis added]
A former CIA officer who was sacked last week after allegedly confessing to leaking secrets has denied she was the source of a controversial Washington Post story about alleged CIA secret detention operations in Eastern Europe, a friend of the operative told NEWSWEEK.
he fired official, Mary O. McCarthy, “categorically denies being the source of the leak,” one of McCarthy’s friends and former colleagues, Rand Beers, said Monday after speaking to McCarthy. Beers said he could not elaborate on this denial and McCarthy herself did not respond to a request for comment left by NEWSWEEK on her home answering machine. A national-security adviser to Democratic Party candidate John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign, Beers worked as the head of intelligence programs on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council staff and later served as a top deputy on counterterrorism for President Bush in 2002 and 2003. McCarthy, a career CIA analyst, initially worked as a deputy to Beers on the NSC and later took over Beer’s role as the Clinton NSC’s top intelligence expert.
McCarthy’s lawyer, Ty Cobb, told NEWSWEEK this afternoon that contrary to public statements by the CIA late last week, McCarthy never confessed to agency interrogators that she had divulged classified information and “didn’t even have access to the information” in The Washington Post story in question.
… A counterterrorism official acknowledged to NEWSWEEK today that in firing McCarthy, the CIA was not necessarily accusing her of being the principal, original, or sole leaker of any particular story. Intelligence officials privately acknowledge that key news stories about secret agency prison and “rendition” operations have been based, at least in part, upon information available from unclassified sources.
The CIA officer fired last week for unauthorised contacts with the media denied allegations that she was the source that led to The Washington Post’s award-winning story on secret CIA detention centres, says a lawyer and a friend.
“She did not leak any classified information, and she did not have access to the information apparently attributed to her by some government officials,” said Washington lawyer Ty Cobb, representing veteran CIA analyst Mary McCarthy.
… A friend of Ms McCarthy also asserted she was not the Post’s source. “She was not the source for that story,” said Rand Beers,
Mr Beers — who headed intelligence programmes at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration — said Ms McCarthy authorised him to make a brief statement.