T Nation

National Security Leaks


Apparently the CIA has a network of prisons in which it keeps suspects outside of U.S. territory.

The Post's decision to publish the article raises several questions. Is the existence of the prisons classified information? If so, did a government official give that classified information to someone -- a reporter, perhaps -- who was not authorized to receive it, in possible violation of the 1917 Espionage Act? Did that official give other classified information to the paper which does not appear in the article, the disclosure of which might also constitute a violation of the Espionage Act? Should the Department of Justice open a criminal investigation of this matter? Should the president order government officials, including those at the CIA, to sign waivers releasing reporters from any pledges of confidentiality made in the reporting of this story? Should Dana Priest or other journalists be forced by a court to reveal the content of their discussions with confidential sources? In the not-too-distant past, none of these questions would be particularly urgent. Now, in the post-Plame world, they are.



Whether its the military, corporate, or government level, is the media (newspapers,television) the only way for a person with secret info. to find solace? What are the motives behind each leak whether it's moral or vindictive?

these are questions on my mind also.



Aren't you outraged by this leak? Don't you want to question the political motives of the leaker, and explore the national security implications?


Quite possibly. Be careful of what you ask for.

The existence and locations of the facilities -- referred to as "black sites" in classified White House, CIA, Justice Department and congressional documents -- are known to only a handful of officials in the United States and, usually, only to the president and a few top intelligence officers in each host country.

However, at the same time, it doesn't look like enough information has been revealed to cause issue at this point, and it looks like the WP checked with government officials and asked what would be appropriate to report.

The Washington Post is not publishing the names of the Eastern European countries involved in the covert program, at the request of senior U.S. officials. They argued that the disclosure might disrupt counterterrorism efforts in those countries and elsewhere and could make them targets of possible terrorist retaliation.

However, I think everyone should understand the long term threat involved in having government run secret detention centers where the interred have no rights. All you need to do get some innocent people mired into this and you have a world of hurt.

Yes, I know, it's a war, a war on terror dammit, but eventually this thing will be abused if it is allowed to continue indefinately.

Honestly, while it is great to talk about any and all means necessary, I question whether it is really necessary. Shoot and kill people when they are caught planning and committing acts. Do your best within the framework of civilized authority to combat it.

Don't resort to shady practices which are perhaps at best a single step above the antics of terrorists themselves. When are people going to learn that doing things like this just serves to reaffirm the viewpoints of enemies?

Those stories we all dismiss as silly conspiracy theories are believed around the world, partially, because of things like this.

Personally, I believe the US should be a beacon during troubled times. It should act as a paragon of both virtue and strength. You don't do that by covertly maintaining little torture camps outside of the country and breaking all of your own laws within them with glee -- since they aren't on your own soil and the laws don't have to apply.

What, if anything, does the US really stand for these days? And if it stands for it, should it not uphold it?

Sigh. As much as I bash the Bush administration on here, I have a lot of hope for the US, and would like it to represent something important and progressive for humanity, but honestly, I keep being let down.


You, me and most of the USA have this same hope and are constantly being let down as the years go on.


Wow - when did you become a spokesperson for "most of the USA"?

Let down? Please. Most of the folks doing the bitching about all of this was let down in November 2000, and have failed to get over the fact that they lost, and lost again in 2002, and again in 2004.

This crap is getting really old.


Perhaps removing evil dictators from power and trying to institute democracy and freedom would be a good place to start.

The US is not perfect, but compared to every other country that has ever existed it easily comes out on top.


It is pretty easy to sit back and let someone else fight the war and then question the tactics used and claim they should operate on a higher standard.

We already do operate on a higher standard. We are not targetting civilians. We are not kidnapping and beheading people.

If rough treatment is what it takes to get information from these murderous terrorist assholes, so be it.

If it saves one American soldier or one innocent school kids life it is worth it.

And in spite of all the bullshit, the tactics being used work. They do not work on everyone, but they work on enough people to make it worthwhile.


Is that the best you can do?


Hey BB-

Your assertions have been defanged by a Canadian...


Zap, there is nothing wrong with that as a goal. However, the means used to work towards such as goal are significant. I know you think the ends justify the means, but they don't, they really don't. That is the same style of thinking that allows terrorism.

Oh boo hoo. Considering Canada was and is in Afghanistan, fighting terorrism, I don't think you get to make this claim. The war in Iraq has had a lot of reasons cast upon it.

There are many ways to fight terrorism, but Iraq may not be such a good example of that.

Wow, you must be suffering from some serious cognitive dissonance on this issue. So, now because there is an example of someone behaving with even lower standards than yours, you feel justified?

Nice logic. Why don't you shut up, stop waving the flag, and think about what you are saying before you open your mouth, just for once.

Look, I'm all for getting information, but at the same time, the rule of law, which supposedly the US is a nation of, isn't something to be thrown away when it is no longer convenient.

I'm also all for saving lives, but the ends do not justify the means. Sometimes, to live under your own principles, you have to take risks. Do you want to live under the principles for which your nation stands or don't you?

The "if it saves one" line is not necessarily correct. It sounds nice. It is very hard to argue against... but freedom has a price. Living up to your own principles has a price. Are you willing to pay that price? According to you, apparently not, the price is too high if it costs even one life. I guess your principles don't mean as much as you claim they mean.

Whether or not something can be made to work, again, is not the issue. The issue is whether you will allow yourself and your country to sacrifice your principles in order to reduce risk. You, according to your own words, are very willing to throw away your principles.


Does everyone in the USA feel that principles are not worth dying for? Isn't freedom a principle? Didn't people die for that? What the hell exactly does the US stand for?

In reading on these boards I'd think it stood for might makes right. I'd think it stood for the ends justify the means.

Again, congratulations.


If you wave that flag any harder the stars are going to fall off...


I'm disappointed that a Barrister seems unable to grasp the differince between this leak and the Valerie Plame leak. Both "leaks" have nothing in common, in fact, they are quite opposite.

The Valerie Plame leak (has Novak the rat been arrested yet?) was organised by high ranking officials to punish a whistleblower. The man hadn't done anything illegal, but just because they didn't like that he spoke his mind, they decided to out his wife as a CIA agent. This is illegal.

The publication about secret CIA prisons is entirely different. For one, the existence of these prisons could have been discovered by investigative journalism. Laugh all you want, but some people DO take their job seriously. So it IS possible.
These prisons have been linked with torture. I know Dubious thinks very lightly off torture. We'll have to keep that in mind when he faces his judges in The Hague. Do you think he'll hold up under pressure? My guess is he sings like a canary at the slightest provocation. The man has a history of finding his cohones only when his own precious person is very safe.

Anyway, enough daydreaming. Back on topic.
The Bush's seem to think, keeping prisoners out of the country gives them the right to torture them. They are wrong. Torture is illegal. The whole conceps of keeping people in secret prisons is illegal. The logic that was developed to keep them abroad and deny them basic rights is devious. People who think that up should be kept under close observation. Under no circumstances should they be allowed to attain any leadership position.
My personal advise, I'd watch out to give them a drivers license. Voting rights are definately a no-no.

For a few centuries, waging armies had the notion that POW should be treated with some respect at least. The fact that Dubious, the self proclaimed leader of the free world, casts this aside so easily, is highly disturbing.

What's also disturbing is the eagerness with which this BostonBarrister defends the rights of traitors and his enthousiasm to prosecute independant journalists who acutally do their job.

Mr. BostonBarrister, you would have made a great prosecutor in Saddam's Baath party.

Let's hope your official career in the US justice system will be short and unsuccesfull. It will certainly make this world a better place.


With respect to what? I can rub my belly and pat my head at the same time if that ewould be more entertaining for you.

I'm not sure what there is left to say. It seems to me that the ABB crowd has yet to come up with aything different, or of any substance for that matter, since Florida in November 2000.

The Bush admin will continue to let them down. That is what they are looking for. That is what keeps them going. They are still looking for a way to win in 2000. It bleeds through in their rhetoric. And it is getting very old.

Maybe if they had the collective brain power to come up with a real idea instead of wasting their time trying to redress the same old worn out ones there could be something different for me to blast them on. But as long as the loser left continues to try and win in 2000 - there's really nothing new to say. So I'll continue with my effortless retorts as liong as they cointinue with their effortless losses.


The only thing getting old is the fact that you keep harping about 2000 like anybody cares about that anymore. You repeat this and wrap it around yourself like a security blanket.

Nobody cares anymore, talk about something getting old...


This theory has been spouted so many times but it makes no sense at all.

What the hell kind of punsihment is leaking her name?

Why would they single out Wilson and Plame out of the many anti-war voices for this?

Fitzgerald has spent countless hours and dollars investigating this and you can be sure that if he thought this was the case there would be an indictment.

It is not over yet, but it is unlikely there will be an indictment of this nature.

Keep repeating it though, some may believe it is true.


Key point, these murdering scum are not POWs.

They are nonuniformed enemy combatants.

In the past most armies simply killed these people in a painful and gruesome way to discourage other civilians from undertaking acts of terrorism.

Perhaps we should do away with our current treatment and go back to the old ways.


Excuse me? Was anybody talking to you? If you want to pick a fight, go elsewhere please. Nobody mentioned anything about November 2000, 2002 or 2004. You are the one harping on any one thing and the only thing that is getting old is your snide remarks and bitter attitude.

I never made myself a spokesperson for the USA, you did. As usual, you like to throw around labels on people because you can't handle bad news about the object(s) of your cheerleading. If you could get out of your "Shiny happy people bubble" you would realize that the country as a whole is not thrilled with our direction. However, since you are the one to mention about elections, how about the fact that winner of those elections approval ratings are in the toliet? Probably don't have an answer for that because the data wasn't gathered by anyone that doesn't fully believe like you. So you will discredit them as usual. BTW, anything greater than 50% is considered the majority in case you have forgotten. People like you were all to quick to point that out after the 2004 election when it supported your arguements. Conveniently, people like you don't point that out now that approval rating are well below 50%. "Move along, nothing to see here."

Not to mention that travelling anywhere out of the country is more dangerous than ever for American citizens. But you wouldn't know that because you probably haven't left this country in a long while, if ever. My job requires me to do so and it is more scary than it has been in the last 15 years that I have had to travel for business.

So please save all of your bullshit for your friends that think like you (if you even have any friends) and stop looking for a fight every time someone says something that doesn't smack of your rhetoric.


By the way rainjack, I have been let down ever since NAFTA was approved and American jobs have been outsourced to cheaper 3rd world countries. I have been let down ever since the USA spends more time helping other countries than it does its own. I have been let down ever since the government decided that the people should serve it as opposed to the government serving the people. These are not things that have been exclusively the property of the Bush administration. It has been going on for years before them. The Bush adminstration and all their supporters throughout the government are just the ones who have been more blatant about its abuses in power than any other administration in the last 40 years. So the only thing that is getting old is you and your assumptions about others beliefs and opinions. In other words, your crap is trite and boring, move on to something else.


I'll give it up when the ABB crowd is silent about how stupid, or how crooked, or how much of a liar Bush is. Facts have been replaced with commentary. You even strolled down that street yourself. To want so badly for Bush to be impeached, or tried for war crimes - as was suggested by Wreckless - smells of sour grapes and sore losers.

You guys come up with a new game plan, or God forbid, an actual message and the dialogue will be forced to take a turn.

Nobody cares? Ask Dickhead Durbin, Dirty Harry Reid, Algore, MMoore, George "I have all of my billions in off-shore accounts so I can avoid taxation" Soros, Nancy Pelosi, or any of the plethera of folks that continue to say 'selected not elected'.

The ABB/anti-war/anti-neocon crowd has been playing the same song since 2000. Just because they change the speed at which the record is playing doesn't mean that it is not broken, or that it is in any way a new song. You may be fooled, but it is the same freakin' song.