Selective Leaking

Tom Joscelyn brilliantly lays out a prior instance in which CIA agent Mary McCarthy, the leaker just fired from the CIA, entered the public record: her involvement in the bombing of al-Shifa, one of the targets in Sudan that the Clinton adminstration attacked in 1998.

As Joscelyn relates, McCarthy initially opposed the bombing of al-Shiva because she wasn’t convinced that the intelligence linking Iraq, al Qaeda and the production of nerve gas at that location was solid. She later changed her mind, as the Sept. 11 Commission related, and joined in the assessment by Richard Clarke and others that nerve gas was being produced at al-Shifa under an agreement between Saddam’s Iraq, which supplied the technical expertise, and al Qaeda. Joscelyn summarizes:

Now, of course, Clarke and Benjamin argue that: (a) the decision to strike al-Shifa was justified because (b) the intelligence connecting Iraqi chemical weapons experts to al Qaeda’s chemical weapons efforts was sound, but (c) this doesn’t mean that Iraq and al Qaeda had a significant relationship because (d) somehow this collaboration occurred without either party realizing that it was working with the other! Sound bizarre? It is.

In the lionization of Ms. McCarthy that is sure to come over the coming months, it will be interesting to see whether the Washington Post or any other news outlet mentions her involvement in the al-Shifa controversy.

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