Thursday, December 22, 2005

"Depends from what network"

Some interesting reading, sometimes hilarious, from Hardball.

Baer is a former CIA field worker. Gaffney is a former assistant secretary of defense:
MITCHELL: Do you have any indication that journalists are being eavesdropped upon?

BAER: I‘ve seen it happen, yes. Not usually intentionally, but if you‘re going to track a terrorist or somebody with one of these organizations, the journalists are getting close to them, you would follow the journalist. But how ...

GAFFNEY: No, but Bob, I think if you were doing the field operations, you would almost certainly want that journalist, if you could figure this trail out, to help lead you to where the terrorist is and put him out. That would certainly be, I think part of field—the trade craft of this.

MITCHELL: Bob, would you have hesitated to follow a reporter if you thought the reporter would lead you to Osama bin Laden?

BAER: Well, we could have. John Miller from ABC went to Iraq. Peter Bergen did for CNN. They met bin Laden and we could have, you know, fired a hellfire down the signal and killed both the journalist and bin Laden. Of course you have to have ...

GAFFNEY: Would have waited till the journalist got out of the way.



BAER: Depends from what network.

MITCHELL: But Bob, seriously, do you really think—how do you think people in the field feel about all this because the “New York Times” reported that its initial sources of the James Risen story included intelligence officers who were very concerned about this program. They felt it went too far.

BAER: They‘re upset. There‘s a revolt in the intelligence community against torture, against tapping American citizens‘ phones.

MITCHELL: Now, wait a second. The White House says we don‘t torture.

BAER: Well, we outsource it to countries like Syria and Egypt. You know, call it what you will. Yes, people are upset. They‘re upset in the intelligence community. You see a lot of people leaving. I hear a lot of complaints myself, and people in the CIA that are involved in interrogations are, you know, running for their lawyers.


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