- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The CIA officer fired for purportedly leaking classified information to reporters was a colleague of senior Clinton administration national security officials and has contributed money to Democrats.

Mary O. McCarthy was promoted by President Clinton’s national security adviser, Samuel R. Berger, and was a colleague of Rand Beers, who went on to be the principal national security adviser to the 2004 presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat.

Mrs. McCarthy gave $2,000 to the Kerry campaign in March 2004, federal campaign records show. That fall, she gave $5,000 to the Ohio Democratic Party. Ohio decided the presidential election, giving the nod to President Bush by two percentage points. She also gave $500 to the Democratic National Committee.

Although former intelligence officials say she was not openly partisan during her tours at Langley, she owes her most prestigious post to the Clinton administration. Conservatives have complained that some in the CIA bureaucracy have waged war on the Bush administration with several leaks designed to embarrass him.

In 1997, after a tour as a CIA officer, she worked at the White House National Security Council under Mr. Beers, who was the top NSC official for intelligence. Mr. Berger then promoted her to succeed Mr. Beers, who transferred to the State Department. Mrs. McCarthy left the NSC in Mr. Bush’s first year. She attended law school, worked as a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and then resumed a CIA career, working for the agency’s inspector general this year.

Her attorney, Ty Cobb, told Newsweek and The Washington Post that she was in the process of retiring when the CIA fired her. He denied that Mrs. McCarthy supplied classified information to reporters or was the source of the Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning stories on purported prisons in Europe for top al Qaeda leaders. Mr. Cobb did not return a phone message.

His statements are in conflict with assertions from anonymous intelligence sources that Mrs. McCarthy admitted after taking a polygraph test that she broke agency rules and discussed classified programs with the press.

CIA Director Porter J. Goss sent an e-mail to CIA employees on Thursday saying the fired officer “has acknowledged having unauthorized discussions with the media in which the officer knowingly and willfully shared classified intelligence, including operations information.” He did not identify the officer, but other intelligence officials told reporters that it was Mrs. McCarthy.

Mr. Goss has declared war on CIA leakers, saying they are doing grave damage to national security in a time of war against terrorists. He has called on the Justice Department to impanel a grand jury to bring criminal charges.

At the agency, he instituted several targeted probes.

“As you know,” he said in his memo to employees, “because of my deep concern over the critical damage being suffered due to leaks to the media, in January I directed the Office of Security to conduct single-issue polygraph exams of officers involved in or exposed to certain compartmented programs. Further, this agency filed criminal reports with the Department of Justice on the most egregious media leaks that contained classified intelligence and national security information.”

Mr. Goss said it was in the “course of these investigations” that the fired officer admitted wrongdoing.

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