Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

CIA Fires Analyst Over Leak

The CIA has fired a senior analyst, identified as Mary O. McCarthy, allegedly for leaking information to Dana Priest of the Washington Post, about secret prisons abroad that hold or have held suspected terrorists. (See another story from Reuters here.) The firing has re-ignited accusations that the Bush Administration is attempting to silence media critics, this time from within by preventing disaffected members of the bureaucracy from talking to the press. Meanwhile, Priest won a Pulitzer Prize last week for her reporting. Did McCarthy go to the press rather than use internal means to object to policies with which she disagreed? Were such effective means available to her? Is what she did (if she did it) whistleblowing or treason? The blogosphere is already out in force discussing the question. Does all this mean there is a new meaning for "McCarthyism"?

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