Carol Platt Liebau: A Whiff of Hypocrisy

Monday, July 18, 2005

A Whiff of Hypocrisy

Here's my weekly column -- an excerpt is below:

For many Democrats, professing an overwhelming concern for CIA secrecy is like a lot of Republicans shrieking in fury that someone didn’t obtain all the government benefits for which he was eligible. It could be true, but it doesn’t exactly comport with long-standing perceptions of the party’s priorities.

After all, it was in President Clinton’s Pentagon that Morton Halperin was chosen to serve as assistant secretary dealing with democracy and human rights. That’s the same Morton Halperin who openly championed Philip Agee, the man who “outed” CIA agents all over world (and whose nefarious activities prompted the drafting of the law at the center of the Rove controversy). It was then-Representative Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) who admitted that he violated his oath of secrecy as a House Intelligence Committee member to reveal information about allegations of CIA involvement in the murder of a Guatemalan revolutionary (according to this Newsmax piece quoting a 1997 House Intelligence Committee Report, none of the allegations turned out to be true). And it was Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) who resigned as vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee after leaking classified information to a reporter.

Of course not all Democrats would behave this way -- and of course some Dems are honestly concerned with the well-being of the agency. But perceptions matter . . . and it's fair to say that Dems have never come across as being the first friends of CIA secrecy.

So for liberals to be up in arms about Rove not mentioning the name of a woman who wasn't a covert operative of the CIA -- well, shall we just say that it appears to be little more than the crassest political opportunism?


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