Category Archive 'Sandy Berger'
07 Sep 2006

Maybe Sandy Berger Can Steal the Script

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The Clintonistas, including Bill himself, can dish it out, but they certainly can’t take it. Howls of outrage are continuing, and increasing hourly, from an ever-growing assortment of Clinton Administration officials, including the former friend of Monica’s himself.

The Washington Post reports virulent attacks on the ABC program from half the Clinton Administration.

Top officials of the Clinton administration have launched a preemptive strike against an ABC-TV “docudrama,” slated to air Sunday and Monday, that they say includes made-up scenes depicting them as undermining attempts to kill Osama bin Laden.

Former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright called one scene involving her “false and defamatory.” Former national security adviser Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger said the film “flagrantly misrepresents my personal actions.” And former White House aide Bruce R. Lindsey, who now heads the William J. Clinton Foundation, said: “It is unconscionable to mislead the American public about one of the most horrendous tragedies our country has ever known.”..

The fierceness of the debate reflects a recognition that a $40 million miniseries — whose cast includes Harvey Keitel, Patricia Heaton and Penny Johnson Jerald — can damage Clinton’s legacy in the anti-terrorism fight on the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Among the scenes that the Clinton team said are fictional:

Berger is seen as refusing authorization for a proposed raid to capture bin Laden in spring 1998 to CIA operatives in Afghanistan who have the terrorist leader in their sights. A CIA operative sends a message: “We’re ready to load the package. Repeat, do we have clearance to load the package?” Berger responds: “I don’t have that authority.”

Berger said that neither he nor Clinton ever rejected a CIA or military request to conduct an operation against bin Laden. The Sept. 11 commission said no CIA operatives were poised to attack; that Afghanistan’s rebel Northern Alliance was not involved, as the film says; and that then-CIA Director George J. Tenet decided the plan would not work.

Tenet is depicted as challenging Albright for having alerted Pakistan in advance of the August 1998 missile strike that unsuccessfully targeted bin Laden.
“Madame Secretary,” Tenet is seen saying, “the Pakistani security service, the ISI, has close ties with the Taliban.” Albright is seen shouting: “We had to inform the Pakistanis. There are regional factors involved.” Tenet then complains that “we’ve enhanced bin Laden’s stature.”

Albright said she never warned Pakistan. The Sept. 11 commission found that a senior U.S. military official warned Pakistan that missiles crossing its airspace would not be from its archenemy, India.

“The Path to 9/11” uses news footage to suggest that Clinton was distracted by the Republican drive to impeach him. Veteran White House counterterrorism official Richard A. Clarke, who also disputes the film’s accuracy, is portrayed as telling FBI agent John P. O’Neill: “Republicans went all out for impeachment. I just don’t see the president in this climate willing to take chances.”

O’Neill responds: “So it’s okay if somebody kills bin Laden, so long as he didn’t give the order. . . . It’s pathetic.” The Sept. 11 commission found no evidence that the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal played a role in the August 1998 missile strike, but added that the “intense partisanship of the period” was one factor that “likely had a cumulative effect on future decisions about the use of force against bin Laden.”

The New York Post even quotes the great man himself demanding that the network change the program:

BUBBA GOES BALLISTIC ON ABC ABOUT ITS DAMNING 9/11 MOVIE INSISTS NET PULL DRAMA

September 7, 2006 — WASHINGTON – A furious Bill Clinton is warning ABC that its mini-series “The Path to 9/11” grossly misrepresents his pursuit of Osama bin Laden – and he is demanding the network “pull the drama” if changes aren’t made…

The movie is set to air on Sunday and Monday nights. Monday is the fifth anniversary of the attacks.

Of course, if the Clinton Administration didn’t do any of these things, why is it that Sandy Berger was arrested, and convicted, for removing and destroying top secret documents from the National Archives?

UPDATE

Senate Democrats threaten Disney with litigation and legislative reprisal.

And the Network censors the program under pressure.

After much discussion, ABC executives and the producers toned down, but did not eliminate entirely, a scene that involved Clinton’s national security advisor, Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger, declining to give the order to kill Bin Laden, according to a person involved with the film who declined to be identified because of the sensitivities involved.

“That sequence has been the focus of attention,” the source said, adding: “These are very slight alterations.”

In addition, the network decided that the credits would say the film is based “in part” on the 9/11 commission report, rather than simply “based on” the bestselling report, as the producers originally intended.

ABC, meanwhile, is tip-toeing away from the film’s version of events. In a statement, the network said the miniseries “is a dramatization, not a documentary, drawn from a variety of sources, including the 9/11 commission report, other published materials and from personal interviews.”

Cable networks have broadcast more than one Michael Moore film (which really travestied the truth) without the Congressional Republican leadership twisting any arms, as I recall.

22 Apr 2006

And Just Who is Mary O. McCarthy?

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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.

UPDATE

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.

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FURTHER UPDATE

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.

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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.

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