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CONGRESSIONAL FATAL SIN OF PRIDE

 


By Geoff Metcalf

March 14, 2005

NewsWithViews.com

"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." - P.J. O'Rourke

The inability of certain Congress critters to keep their pie holes shut on security matters creates inevitable consequences. An obvious consequence of leaked secret stuff is the constitutional responsibility of advice, consent and oversight is undermined big time.

Hey, if Senators can’t be trusted to keep top-secret stuff SECRET, guess what…there will be natural (and although inappropriate, understandable) reluctance for spooks to fully inform congress. That’s a bad thing.

“Loose Lips Sink Ships” was (and is) a military admonition of caution.

A few years ago leaks of classified information prompted the president to limit top-secret briefings to just eight House and Senate leaders. Some may argue that’s eight too many…or 97 too few.

There ARE consequences to what we do and don’t do, and nowhere more so than in the arena of intelligence.

If one were to offend the sensibilities of political correctness the immediate draconian consequences are axiomatic: Crucify the bastard! However, if ‘certain people’ outrageously break law, policy and procedures with intelligence matters, accountability drifts on the wind of partisan proclivities.

In December 2004 intelligence types were allegedly seeking a criminal investigation into the outing of a top-secret spy-satellite program by some disagreeable Democrat Senators.

The Bush administration was major league torqued over leaks about a new covert generation of satellites.

The premature, inappropriate Congressional brain flatulence was articulated by Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Ron Wyden. Although the petty partisan hacks didn’t ID the satellite program or give details, a Washington Post follow-up identified the program for what it is.

The details included in the Post make clear that people with intimate knowledge of the program leaked details.

"At a minimum, what they did was irresponsible," said an official. It was way more… Once upon a time discussions were under way about whether to ask Senate Republicans to consider removing Rockefeller and Wyden from the committee. That was December. I haven’t been able to find ‘Jack’ since.

Despite the vacuous incompetence of the Senate Ethics Committee (as worthless as mammary glands on a bull), in the interest of maintaining the fiction of credibility, the ‘form’ of an investigation should have been imperative.

Meanwhile a criminal grand jury allegedly is still looking into whether former National Security Adviser Berger should be charged for removal of documents from the National Archives. [Read] This is (or should be) a big deal.

  • Berger admitted he removed as many as 50 top-secret documents from the archives, calling it an "honest mistake". Not even!
  • He also acknowledged he destroyed some documents, but claimed it was by accident. Accident my Airborne fourth point of contact!
  • The pilfered documents were classified "Code Word," the highest security classification, above Top Secret. Hell-o!?!?!

Meanwhile Sandy says he made "an honest mistake". BULLFEATHERS! It was neither “honest” OR a “mistake”. That he got caught…THAT was the mistake.

The unaccountability and lack of consequences for egregious (criminal?) ineptitude is sadly, routine in the 87-square miles surrounded by reality.

Senator Pat Leahy, was annoyed with the Reagan administration's war on terrorism in the 1980s. At the time he was vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

  • "Leaky Leahy," allegedly threatened to sabotage classified strategies he didn't like.
  • Leahy ‘inadvertently’ disclosed a top-secret communications intercept during a [1985] television interview.
  • "The intercept...made possible the capture of the Arab terrorists who had hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro and murdered American citizens…
  • The reports cost the life of at least one Egyptian operative involved in the operation."
  • In July 1987, it was reported Leahy leaked secret information about a 1986 covert operation planned by the Reagan administration to topple Libya’s Moammar Gaddhafi.
  • U.S. intelligence officials said Leahy; along with the Republican panel chairman sent a written threat to expose the operation directly to then-CIA Director William Casey.
  • Weeks later, news of the secret plan turned up in the Washington Post, causing it to be aborted.
  • A year later, as the Senate was preparing to hold hearings on the Iran-Contra scandal, Leahy had to resign his Intelligence Committee post after he was caught leaking secret information to a reporter.

He should have been indicted, tried and sentenced.

Leahy’s Iran-Contra leak was considered to be one of the most serious breaches of secrecy in the Intelligence Committee's 10-year history. But that was before Sen. Richard Shelby leaked that we were tapping Osama bin Laden’s satellite phone. Bin Laden immediately stopped using it, and denied us the opportunity to find and kill the s.o.b..

Cicero said, “A nation can survive its fools, even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within…for the traitor appears not a traitor…He rots the soul of a nation…he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.”

© 2005 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's Web Site: www.geoffmetcalf.com. While you're at it - pick up a copy of Geoff's latest book!  E-mail: geoff@geoffmetcalf.com


 

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Cicero said, “A nation can survive its fools, even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within…for the traitor appears not a traitor…He rots the soul of a nation…he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.”