Mary McCarthy’s ties to the Clinton Administration and Kerry campaign (and via Beers implicitly to the Pouting Spooks VIPS organization) were identified by Rick Ballard of YARGB (writing at Just One Minute):
National Security Advisor Samuel R. Berger announced today the appointment of Mary O’Neil McCarthy as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Intelligence Programs. Mrs. McCarthy succeeds Rand Beers.
Hat tip to AJStrata.
The New York Times reports:
Public records show that Ms. McCarthy contributed $2,000 in 2004 to the presidential campaign of John Kerry, the Democratic nominee.
Tom Maguire finds the Times’s report just a bit short of complete:
However, per public records at Open Secrets, we can easily find the $2,000 donation to Kerry, a $5,000 donation by Mary O. McCarthy to the Ohio DNC, a $2,000 donation by a Michael J McCarthy from the same address (Husband, brother, bro-in-law, dad? I’ll guess hubby), and a $500 donation to Barbara Mikulski, all in 2004.
Spook86 draws upon an insider’s understanding to put McCarthy’s rank & career in perspective:
Ms. McCarthy had been an agency employee for 22 years at the time of her dismissal. She had strong ties to the Clinton Administration; disgraced former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger (of “Secrets Down My Pants” fame) engineered her appointment as Special Assistant to the President for Intelligence Programs in 1998. Before that, she held a similar post at the National Intelligence Council (NIC), and previously served as National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Warning (1994-1996), and the Deputy NIO for Warning (1991-1994).
You’ll note that many media accounts describe the leaker as an “analyst,” suggesting that she was, at best, a mid-level staffer. That was hardly the case; few analysts make the jump from a regional desk at Langley to the White House. A “National Intelligence Officer” is the equivalent of a four-star general in the military, or a cardinal in the Catholic Church. There are only a handful of NIOs in the intelligence community; they are in charge of intelligence community efforts in a particular area. As a senior officer for Warning, Ms. McCarthy was tasked, essentially, with preventing future Pearl Harbors. Observers will note that McCarthy’s tenure in that role coincided with early strikes by Islamofacists against the United States, including the first World Trade Center bombing, and the Khobar Towers attack. It could be argued that Ms. McCarthy’s performance in the warning directorate was mediocre, at best–but it clearly didn’t affect her rise in a Democratic Administration.
Equally interesting is her meteoric rise within the intelligence community. According to her bio, she joined the CIA as an analyst in 1984. Within seven years, she had rise to a Deputy NIO position, and reached full NIO status by 1994. To reach that level, she literally catapulted over dozens of more senior officers–and I’m guessing that her political connections didn’t hurt. By comparison, I know a current NIO, with a resume and academic credentials more impressive than Ms. McCarthy’s, who reached the position after more than 20 years of extraordinarily distinguished service. McCarthy’s rapid advancement speaks volumes about how the Clinton Administration did business, and sheds new light on the intelligence failures that set the stage for 9-11. We can only wonder how many other political hacks climbed the intel food chain under Clinton–and remain in place to this day…
.. I also detect the whiff of sour grapes in her motivation for leaking information to the Post. At the time she talked with reporter Dana Priest, Ms. McCarthy was apparently working in the CIA Inspector General’s Office. The agency, citing the Privacy Act, hasn’t divulged her pay grade or title at the time of her firing, but it seems certain that she was not at the NIO level. After the rarefied air of the Clinton White House, McCarthy had been banished to a relative backwater at Langley, and she was likely upset by the apparent demotion.
And look who admits knowing her, but “doesn’t consider her a friend,” Pouting Spook, VIPs member, and Plame Pal Larry Johnson himself:
Let me state at the outset that the officer in question, Mary McCarthy, is an old acquaintance. I hasten to add that I do not consider her a friend. She was my immediate boss in 1988-89 and was instrumental in my decision to leave the CIA and take a job at the State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism. Mary, in my experience, was a terrible manager. I left the CIA in 1989 despite having received two exceptional performance awards during my last eight months on the job because I could not stand working under her.
But Johnson is ready to perform some pretty demanding intellectual acrobatics to defend her:
I am struck by the irony that Mary McCarthy may have been fired for blowing the whistle and ensuring that the truth about an abuse was told to the American people. There is something potentially honorable in that action; particularly when you consider that George Bush authorized Scooter Libby to leak misleading information for the purpose of deceiving the American people about the grounds for going to war in Iraq. While I’m neither a fan nor friend of Mary’s, she may have done a service for her country.