"What's black and white and read all over?"

Saturday, April 22, 2006
Posted 9:57 PM by

Fired CIA agent did the right thing

Mary McCarthy deserved to be fired from the CIA for revealing government secrets in violation of her secrecy oath. But she also deserves our country's thanks for taking the moral high ground.The Central Intelligence Agency fired senior analyst Mary McCarthy after she admitted leaking classified information that led to a Pulitzer Prize-winning story about a network of secret CIA prisons, government officials say.

She deserves our nation's thanks in addition to her pink slip.

Agents or private contractors working on the behest of our country kidnapped suspects in President Bush's War on Terror and flew them to the so-called black sites in countries where torture was legal.

McCarthy did the right thing in exposing this Stalin-esque practice. Although violating her secrecy oath in telling the Washington Post cost her her pension, she took the "moral high ground." Her motives were even more pure than those of W. Mark Felt a.k.a. Deep Throat.

It's about time somebody showed the courage of their convictions. It's a shame that McCarthy had no where else to turn to but the blind-eyed mainstream media that let this happen in the first place. She was already working in the spy agency's Office of Inspector General. If the watchers of the spies can't whistleblow, how broke is the system?

These are dark days indeed for the spooks. Bush ignored important intelligence prior to 9/11, cherrypicked contradicting intelligence to launch his invasion of Iraq, felt nothing about outing former spy Valerie Plame, and spent more time investigating McCarthy's leak than his administration spent weighing the moral and political consequences of torture.

It's about time: Convicted Philly councilman calls it quits

Councilman Rick Mariano called the WPEN-AM radio show of fellow Councilman Frank Rizzo Jr. on Saturday afternoon and said he was drafting a letter of resignation to City Council President Anna Verna.

Philadelphia city council Rick Mariano should have stepped down as soon as he was convicted of bribery on March 17, not on May 1, so his replacement could be picked by voters and not his party. In Mariano's defense, he says he went a little nuts after his conviction on 18 counts of corruption.It's about time. Mariano was convicted of 18 bribery and corruption counts on March 17 in federal court. State law let him keep his council seat - and his $102,000-per-year salary - until his sentencing on June 1.

Is Mariano resigning then so his party can appoint his replacement rather than have a special election in the primary - just like Gov. James McGreevey did in New Jersey?

Not according to Mariano.

"I wanted to do it (resign) right away, but going to the federal detention center really threw me out of kilter for about 11 days," Mariano said. "It's taken me a couple of weeks to get my doctors appointments."

I believe him, considering after his indictment he climbed to the top of City Hall in an O.J. Simpson-like standoff and some thought he might jump.

Since getting free on bail, he's been too busy proffering evidence to the FBI in a last-ditch attempt to cut his jail time.

Payola - I'm shocked! Not

Two Northeastern Pennsylvania radio stations have been caught up in the Federal Communications Commission's probe into payola.

All I can say is it's about time.

The federal government went after illegal Internet downloaders at the RIAA's request, but did little about radio payola until New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer started an investigation.As I wrote in my Pave the grass column "Stop or I'll sue" three years ago, the Internet has largely supplanted radio as the primary means to listen to new music in no small part due to the recording industry's continued manipulation of station playlists with an estimated $100 million in annual payola.

The government shouldn't have cracked down on "illegal" Internet downloading at the behest of the Recording Industry Association of America until the RIAA cracked the whip on its members for continuing the clearly illegal practice of paying for radio play.

The government did the opposite, of course.

That is until New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer launched an investigation in 2004 into alleged wrongdoing by music and radio companies. Earlier this year, Spitzer sued Entercom Communications Corp., accusing its executives of running scams to trade cash for airplay of songs.


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