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McCarthy Gave Money To Able Danger Foe

From the Delaware County, PA, Daily Times:

Weldon blasts Sestak’s ties with fired CIA senior analyst

William Bender, Of the Times Staff

The senior intelligence analyst who was fired Thursday by the CIA is a supporter of Democratic congressional candidate Joseph Sestak, which U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon’s campaign charged is further evidence that the former Navy admiral cannot be trusted on national security issues.

Mary McCarthy was dismissed for leaking classified information about the CIA’s secret overseas prisons to The Washington Post, several media organizations reported Saturday.

Sestak, who served as director for defense policy on Bill Clinton’s National Security Council, received two donations from McCarthy last month totaling $350. McCarthy also contributed $2,000 to Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.

Weldon’s campaign reiterated that Sestak accepted contributions from former Clinton National Security Adviser Samuel "Sandy" Berger and former CIA Director John Deutch — both of whom have admitted to mishandling classified information.

"‘Where will this end?" asked Weldon campaign spokesman Michael Puppio. "Sestak and the Clinton people are attempting to infect Delaware County with these scandals."

Berger, who last month hosted a Washington fund-raiser for Sestak and contributed $1,000 to his campaign, pleaded guilty last year to a misdemeanor charge of removing and destroying classified material from the National Archives.

Deutch was pardoned by Clinton in 2001 for storing classified intelligence reports on personal computers linked to the Internet. He gave $500 to Sestak’s campaign.

"The guy is in the campaign 2½ months and he’s got contributors who are national criminals and the scandal is following him," Puppio said of Sestak. "Now," he added, "a fired CIA employee who may face criminal charges as a result of this also gave" to the Democrat’s campaign.

Sestak campaign spokeswoman Allison Price said Weldon’s "silly" attacks and "conspiracy theories" are signs that he is desperate to hold on to his seat.

"Joe is an extremely strong candidate. He was a three-star admiral. Of course Weldon is going to throw anything at the wall and see what sticks," she said.

Price said Sestak stands by his former colleagues in the Clinton administration and is proud of the work they accomplished in the 1990s. "These are people that know Joe and support Joe and know that he is capable," she said.

McCarthy, who was reportedly serving in the CIA’s inspector general’s office at the time of her firing, was appointed by Berger in 1998 as special assistant to the president and senior director for intelligence programs.

Weldon officials also suspect McCarthy leaked information to the media last year in an attempt to debunk the congressman’s book, "Countdown to Terror," which is highly critical of the CIA. Weldon plans to call for a FBI investigation "to see what national security information she leaked and who she leaked it to," Puppio said.

Sestak entered the 7th District race in February and is widely regarded as the strongest Democratic challenger Weldon has ever faced.

In some previous elections, the 10-term Republican hasn’t acknowledged his Democratic opponent. This year, however, his campaign has launched a full assault on Sestak, labeling him as a candidate who was "handpicked" by former Clinton officials to oust Weldon.

Sestak has previously told the Daily Times that no individual or organization asked him to run for Congress and that the decision was solely his own.

Bear in mind that the benefactor of Mary McCarthy's illegal leaks was Dana Priest. Dana Priest was our one party media's go to reporter for stories about Weldon and his "crackpot" theories about Able Danger and other CIA lapses.

Such as this paradigm of objective reporting that appeared in the Washington Post:

Lawmaker's Book Warns of Iran

Weldon Accuses CIA, Colleagues of Ignoring Secret Information

By Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 9, 2005; A08

Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), whose flair for drama has included lugging around a replica of a suitcase-size nuclear bomb, alleges in a new book that Iran is hiding Osama bin Laden, is preparing terrorist attacks against the United States, has a crash program to build an atomic bomb and, as a Shiite country, is the chief sponsor of what is a largely Sunni-directed insurgency in Iraq.

In "Countdown to Terror: The Top-Secret Information that Could Prevent the Next Terrorist Attack on America . . . and How the CIA Has Ignored It," Weldon accuses the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and his colleagues on the House and Senate intelligence committees of ignoring his trove of information.

These secrets, he says, come from "an impeccable clandestine source," whom Weldon code-names "Ali," an Iranian exile living in Paris who is a close associate of Manucher Gorbanifar. Gorbanifar is a well-known Iranian exile whom the CIA branded as a fabricator during the 1980s but who was used by the Reagan White House as a middleman for the arms-for-hostages deal with Iran.

Switch Iran for Iraq, and Gorbanifar for Ahmed Chalabi — an Iraqi exile whose claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction were distrusted by the CIA but were embraced by the Defense Department and the White House — and Weldon's book reads like the conservative argument for the invasion of Iraq.

Weldon, who has become a leading conservative voice on weapons of mass destruction and other defense issues, acknowledges this upfront, in a way: "The intelligence community may be avoiding Ali like the plague, despite his excellent intelligence, because they want to avoid, at all costs, drawing the United States into a war with Iran." But, of Ali's tip that Iran was planning a terrorist attack against a U.S. nuclear reactor that would destroy Boston, he says that "this alone is a reason for a military response, a legitimate casus belli."

The CIA and former intelligence officers vehemently dispute Weldon's charges.

"The CIA thoroughly pursued this issue and did so on more than one occasion," said CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise.

Other U.S. intelligence sources, who declined to speak on the record because, they said, Weldon is an influential member of Congress who might retaliate against the agency, said Ali is actually Fereidoun Mahdavi. His allegations and connections to Gorbanifar and Weldon were laid out in the April 1, 2005, issue of the American Prospect, a liberal magazine.

Weldon, who according to his book publicist was not available to give a comment yesterday, asserts in his book that the CIA first ignored Mahdavi and then threatened him.

Bill Murray, the former CIA station chief in Paris, said that, after interviewing Mahdavi on several occasions and investigating his claims, the CIA determined he was lying. Mahdavi never gave the CIA anything specific about Iran's weapons capability, terrorist activities or any of the other charges.

"He peddled the same stories to several other governments," Murray said. "He is a fabricator."

The CIA set up a clandestine channel of communications for Mahdavi, which he was supposed to use for talking with the agency and for sending information, said several former intelligence officials. He used it only twice, once to repeat vague information he had already supplied, and a second time to try to persuade the CIA to participate in his plot to overthrow the Iranian government.

"We tried to vet the information and never found anything that was credible," said Murray, who recently retired from the agency. He said he agreed to respond on the record because the allegations in Weldon's book are so absurd.

Mahdavi "wanted $150,000 to start," Murray said. "I gave him a cup of coffee. The American taxpayers work hard for their money. . . . I wasn't going to give him any of it."

Weldon's book is filled with "Dear Curt" memos from Mahdavi. One of his most urgent allegations is that terrorists were plotting to fly a hijacked Canadian airliner into the Seabrook Nuclear Reactor, which is four miles outside Boston. Weldon credits Mahdavi with thwarting the attack and points to the August 2003 arrest in Toronto of 19 men, most of whom were Pakistani and who were initially thought to make up a sleeper cell.

Within a month, however, the Toronto arrests were downgraded to a case of routine immigration fraud. Seven of the men remain in Canada and have applied for refugee status, arguing that the terrorist label they now have makes it impossible for them to return safely to Pakistan.

The chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence committees, as well as the House leadership, were briefed on the CIA's reports on Mahdavi, sources said. The lawmakers were not spurred to investigate the matter further.

A man who answered the phone yesterday at Mahdavi's residence in Paris said Mahdavi, 74, is very ill and could not respond to questions about Weldon's book.

For the record, here is Weldon's letter to the editor of the Washington Post in response to McCarthy/Priest's hatchet job:

Dana Priest's article (June 9, 2005) on my book Countdown To Terror: The Top-Secret Information That Could Prevent The Next Terrorist Attack On America…and How the CIA Has Ignored It is grossly inaccurate on what little of my book is described. Priest also gives the false impression that she interviewed me, when she did not. Priest neglects my book's credible evidence on: Iranian support to the Iraqi insurgency, Iranian support of Bani Sadr, Iranian backing of an assassination attempt against the Ayatollah Sistani, Iran's crash A-bomb program, and Iran's support and direction of an ongoing plot for a major terrorist attack on the United States.

Ms. Priest misleads readers into thinking that I support a war against Iran, when in fact I do not. My book specifically recommends against military action against Iran. Ms. Priest's breathless reporting that CIA disagrees with my book should come as no surprise to anyone who reads the title. For two years I have sought, and CIA has failed to provide, any credible evidence that the source cited in my book is lying, and has failed to explain why his warnings so often come true. In effect, CIA has merely told me, as they told reporter Priest, 'Trust us.'

After the CIA's long record of monumental intelligence failures, also described in my book but unreported by Ms. Priest, Congress needs more than CIA's mere assertion that they are on the job and can be trusted because of their superior intuition. CIA's failure after two years to provide a factual analysis to support their dismissal of the above intelligence is reason enough to enact the sweeping intelligence reforms proposed in my book, and that are the book's most important purpose, ignored by Ms. Priest.

My door remains open to CIA to provide me with sound, factually substantiated reasons, for ignoring the terrorist threats to the United States described in my book.

In its unrelenting quest to inform its readers, the Washington Post did not bother to publish Weldon's letter.

But you really have to wonder what is so important to hide that Mary McCarthy would send money out of state to support some local Congressional campaign. Is because of Weldon's work exposing the gross national security lapses under Clinton and McCarthy's patron, Sandy Berger?

Remember too that her largess is on top of the $10,000 McCarthy and her landscaping husband gave to the Democrats in 2004. (Including $5,000 to the battleground state of Ohio.)

Where is such a lowly paid government employee getting all of this money to throw around?

And what is she afraid of?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 24th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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