Monday, April 24, 2006

Posting at The American Street

Today I was invited to guest post at The American Street. So head on over there to read my take on the firing of Mary McCarthy and "The Blue Scare" or read what I posted here:

The Blue Scare

When I was asked to take a vacation from my blog and guest post here to represent the conservative viewpoint, I was reluctant at first because like most conservatives I am opposed to quotas. But when it was pointed out that I would not be filling a quota but in fact would be a token conservative, I jumped at the chance, because tokens are something a conservative can definitely support.

Now I know that there are some liberals who will immediately stop reading this post as soon as I reveal that I am a conservative. They will never know what I just said in the previous sentence, for example, or even in this one. Or this one. But for those of you who are still here, I think you can learn a lot from the conservative blogosphere that you will never see in the liberal mainstream media (which is basically all of the media except Fox News and American Idol). For example, some of you might know that CIA analyst Mary McCarthy was fired for leaking to The Washington Post’s Dana Priest the story that the U.S. has secret prisons where prisoners are rendered for torture, a story that won Priest the Pulitzer Prize. But if you meander over to the right side of the blogosphere, you would learn that there’s more to the story than meets the eye. Some conservative bloggers have pointed out that McCarthy donated money to John Kerry’s campaign, which of course makes her loyalty to the current Administration suspect. Although the President doesn’t mind having people around him with different viewpoints, he would prefer that they not express them out loud, which could be very distracting. Some speculate that the ironically named McCarthy may have been singled out deliberately and that she may be the first casualty of a “Blue Scare” that will target disloyal government workers like the Red Scare of the 1950s, a time that still gives conservatives warm feelings of nostalgia.

But The Right Wing Nuthouse’s Rick Moran, who is crazy like a Fox news analyst, takes the speculation a step farther. He has a reputation for thinking outside the box that is only possible for someone free of the Euclidean limitations of the Reality-Based Community. He points out that an investigation by the European Union failed to find these secret prisons that McCarthy tattled to Priest about. A less intrepid reporter might think that something that is “secret” might very well be difficult for an investigator to find, but Moran is not so easily deterred. Instead, he boldly goes where no mainstream journalist has gone before by making a series of brilliant cognitive leaps. “It is very, very tempting to connect those two dots,” he writes, the dots in question being McCarthy’s firing and the mysterious lack of evidence of the existence of secret prisons. Giving into temptation is something that conservatives do quite well although we do feel very guilty about it afterwards. Moran is no exception and he goes on to connect these “enticing” dots for us. He postulates that these “secret prisons” might actually be part of a deliberate misinformation campaign. Karl Rove has been known in the past to put out false information to foil opponents. For example, some people believe that the memos CBS used in its report on Bush’s National Guard service actually came from Rove himself, who knew they could easily be discredited, which would then scare the media away from reporting further on the story (though I don’t generally subscribe to such wild conspiracy theories). But what if a false story about secret prisons was given to McCarthy to see what she would do? McCarthy then unwittingly took the bait and passed the false story on to Priest, making a fool of The Washington Post and the Pulitzer Prize committee. In other words everything Mary McCarthy told Priest was actually a lie, including “and” and “the.”

“Alas, we have absolutely no evidence at this point so it is pure speculation to say that the entire 'secret CIA prison' story was a plant and part of an internal agency leak investigation,” says Moran, lest anyone accuse him of wild speculation. Captain’s Quarters, another highly respected conservative blog, casts such caveats aside. “How do intel agencies find leakers and spies? They pass around carefully designed misinformation to selected individuals considered likely suspects, and see what winds up exposed as a result,” he writes. This theory makes perfect sense to me and it got me to thinking. Maybe this is just one of many sting operations, each with its own target and its own perfectly tailored piece of misinformation. I began to wonder how many of the other unfavorable stories about the Bush administration might actually be artfully manufactured hoaxes, a brilliant strategy designed both to finger leakers and ultimately discredit the liberal media. The NSA spying story? Never happened. Abu Ghraib? Staged photos. The Katrina briefing video? A clever editing job. Photos of Jack Abramoff and Bush? Photoshop. Valerie Plame? Not a CIA agent at all but actually a very nice middle-class housewife recruited to serve her country.

Then all of these stories were fed to various people in the government in order to learn who would leak them to reporters. The reason there seem to be so many of these negative stories in the press lately is that a different whopper was fed to each person in the government whose loyalty might be in question--and apparently there are a lot of seditious leakers out there. Then when one of these stories popped up in the press, the Administration would immediately know exactly who leaked it. It’s a strategy borrowed from Hollywood producers who put serial numbers on scripts and DVDs so that they can be traced back to the exact person who illegally distributed them. So when this “secret prisons” story showed up in the press, Karl Rove knew immediately that the leaker was Mary McCarthy. Unfortunately, the whole Valerie Plame thing got a little out of hand and now Rove finds himself trying to cover up not the leaker of the story (which, of course, he already knows) but the entire sting operation that special prosecutor Patrick FitzGerald threatens to unmask prematurely.

Scientists will tell you that the simplest explanation is usually the best explanation. It’s extremely difficult to believe that the Bush Administration could be quite so incompetent and have violated so many laws without being held accountable. So I think this very simple and elegant alternative explanation makes a lot more sense. Who says that liberals can’t learn a thing or two from conservatives?

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7 comments:

blue girl said...

Just went over to The American Street from Mannion's place and saw you there! Congrats!

Haven't read the post yet...working on deadline, but wanted to say "Great!" before too much time goes by.

Doesn't surprise me you are being recognized -- you are a great writing -- and that comment is NOT sarcasm!!

:)

blue girl said...

...you are great writing and a great writer!!

Unlike me who is a great typing...

hee-hee

Jon Swift said...

Thank you, I am a very flattering.

blue girl said...

Mr. Swift...just read the whole post over at The American Street.

One of my biggest thrills of the day (yeah, call me b.o.r.i.n.g.) is when people start yelling at you. It just cracks me up.

You and Stephen Colbert are messin' with the people from the left coast to the right coast, baby! Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Hey Blue girl,
Did you see Colbert at the white house corresp dinner?! All I have to say is WOW.. that takes SERIOUS balls... its one thing when he does it on his show, but he was literally 5 feet from the President! I think he deserves a congressional medal of freedom for that performance.

wangzi said...

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