Skip to comments.Dana Priest Responds to Criticism of Secret Prisons Story
Posted on 04/28/2006 12:41:03 AM PDT by ordi
Dana Priest Responds to Criticism of Secret Prisons Story
By E&P Staff
Published: April 27, 2006 4:40 PM ET
NEW YORK Ever since she earned a widely-expected Pulitzer Prize earlier this month for her Washington Post exclusive on CIA "secret prisons" in Europe, Dana Priest has been attacked by conservative commentators for supposedly turning classified information into a vehicle for undermining the war on terror. Bill Bennett, among others, not only said she did not deserve the Pulitzer, but should be brought up on charges and possibly sent to jail.
Then she was drawn into the controversy surrounding fired CIA officer Mary McCarthy, who admitted meeting with Priest but not leaking classified information to her.
Priest offered a brief comment to E&P last week but had not responded at length until an online chat on www.washingtonpost.com today. Asked directly about Bennett's wish to see her behind bars, she said, "Well, first, Bennett either doesn't understand the law or is purposefully distorting it. He keeps saying that it is illegal to publish secrets. It is not."
Here are a few relevant excerpts.
Baton Rouge, La.: Given the new information we've learned via the European Union (EU) about the (lack of) secret prisons, shouldn't the Pulitzer (and the monetary prize accompanying it) be returned, or at least held in escrow, until the truth is finally determined?
Dana Priest: You've grossly misread the stories. I suggest going to the newspapers today, which carried stories about the status of the investigations. But I would also say that I will be very surprised if the EU commissions find evidence of the prisons. The governments in Europe are not cooperating in the investigations--no surprise--so they will have to develop their own sources, which is not likely.
* Indianapolis, Ind.: Bill Bennett told Wolf Blitzer the other day that you should be arrested for your story about secret prisons. Wolf asked Howard Kurtz to respond. Howie looked a little stunned at first and then came strongly to your defense. How do you respond to people that are saying you should be arrested?
Dana Priest: Well, first, Bennett either doesn't understand the law or is purposefully distorting it. He keeps saying that it is illegal to publish secrets. It is not. There is a category of secrets that is illegal to publish--names of covert operatives, certain signal intelligence and nuclear secrets--but even with these, prosecution is possible only under certain circumstances. Beyond that though, he seems to be of the camp that the government and only the government should decide what the public should know in the area of national security. In this sense, his views run contrary to the framers of the Constitution who believed a free press was essential to maintaining not just a democracy, but a strong, vibrant democracy in which major policy is questions are debated in the open.
* Anonymous: How does it feel to know YOU helped in putting our security at risk. Just another liberal who does not care about the U.S. Hope you paid McCarthy enough for her to buy a lawyer--but I am sure the Clinton dynasty will help all of you.
Dana Priest: Here's a pen pal for you. His name is Mike. One of several people who shares your distorted view of why the media (myself included, obviously) tries to write about national security issues that are at the heart of what we are doing as a country. Guess the Greek tradition of spirited debate is not your strong suit, or Mike's. He wrote: "Wow, the left wing drive by media has given you an award, when you should be hung from a rope for treason. Congratulations now go burn a U.S. flag." *
Wilmington, N.C.: Are you allowed to share the admin's stated rationale for the secrecy of the prisons you wrote about? I just can't figure the difference between secret and overt facilities as far as the effect of the enemy's knowledge of their existence. I can understand the desire to avoid the revulsion of American (and location country) citizens and their resulting opposition, but, in a democracy, should we not expect information on what is done in our names?
Dana Priest: Sure, and we did so in the original article. The administration asked us not to name the countries for two reasons: first, those countries might be subject to terrorist retaliation. Second, that those countries might decide to cease cooperating with the US on other counterterrorist operations. Len Downie, the executive editor, then decided not to name any countries but to give a regional description (Eastern Europe) and include the fact that they are democracies (important because, as countries trying to live under the rule of law, these black site are illegal under their own laws).
* Washington, D.C.: What do you think about the market value of publishing secrets. Both you and a New York Times reporter won Pulitzers and both you and the same New York Times reporter published secrets. Yours were about secret prisons. His were about secret wiretapping. Who wants to read about things that are not secret? Therefore, who will pay to buy a book or a newspaper that does not publish secrets? Secrets sell well and win prizes, don't they?
Dana Priest: I've not thought about it in those terms. I don't think that matters.
Rockville, Md.: I'm surprised this hasn't been asked yet, but can you comment on the Ms. McCarthy story?
Dana Priest: No, I cannot. Sorry. *
Annapolis, Md.: I am a very right wing type. I salute you for improving the security of our great nation by not allowing stupidity to hide behind a classified label.
Dana Priest: From the great state of Maryland.
Reading, Mass.: How old are you in that photo that MSNBC uses?
Dana Priest: 12.
She is engaging in DU patter with an annonymous writer. It is good in a way because you can see what a nasty condescending character she is.
Anyway here are links to the European part of the story:
--The story now has everyone's attention due to the Mary O. McCarthy story. It blasted out the headline: CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons!-- DAN RIEHL says that Dana Priest was channeling 2002 in 2005. As I said in an earlier post on the issue: let's go back to the start. Also keep in mind that many countries and the EU have investigated this and claim there were no such international facilities. Whether that is true or not is debatable. But the WaPo entirely ignored, not only their own 2002 story but any subsequent criticism and denial, as well. The Thai PM also called for a retraction in late 2005, which went largely unnoticed by the MSM in the US. And just as a matter of curiosity, why is it that the above article is no longer available at the Washington Post on line? Archiving, most likely. At least I hope so. Fortunately, a web site archived the article, as did others -
Was That 2005 Dana Priest Story A Fraud? from Hyscience
Could it be that we've all been had by the WaPo?
Dana Priest, Mary McCarthy: Delibertate Effort To from Sigmund, Carl, And Alfred
Mapping McCarthy, continued from protein wisdom
Even as National Democrats are making noises about instituting impeachment proceedings against President Bush (and perhaps even VP Cheney), and more former intel personnel spin their CYA stories for a (thus far) compliant and helpful media (on "... [Read More]
The McCarthy Story Grows from Small Town Veteran
Curt at Flopping Aces continues to stay right on top of the McCarthy leak story. Read his latest update here. *** Don't miss Allahpundit's post here or Dan Riehl's here. [Read More]
Extraordinary renditions pioneered by Clinton.
Who would have thunk?
Shouldn't you ping the usual supsects?
Because they have to for themselves. They have to keep THEIR world view in perspective no matter what the facts. The WP and NYT are for the writers to read, not the general public.
It gets creepier by the minute, ping.
I can only believe that there are large numbers of influential people who are in on this, and they think they can win. I pray they are wrong.
I would think she feels invincible with that kind of protection.
Dana Priest: No, I cannot. Sorry.
The above exchange is very telling. Earlier, she defends betraying the country by stating the publics right to know. Now, when a member of the public wants to know something specific, she will not or believes she cannot answer. Sort of like having a piece of cake and getting to eat it. These people are vermin who should be tried for treason. I see no difference in what they did and what the Rosenbergs did. If the Nixon administration had gone after these bastards in a legal fashion - Pentagon Papers come to mind - maybe these traitorous scum would not be so bold today.
I had that sense too- it's a chilling exchange.
Can someone please post some links to the Dana Priest articles on Clintons sale of our Nuclear secrets to China or Clinton refusing to take Bin Laden when he was offered on a silver platter,Clintons actions to prevent Russia from selling nuclear tedhnology to Iran.
Uh, Dana - the Framers didn't believe in democracy.
That's why they created a representative Republic, you treasonous commie bee-atch. ;-)
This is such a bunch of Clinton speak, these leftists sure do know the "LAW". (sarcasm)
Thanks for the ping, reading now...
She and her communist husband are perfect examples of the arrogant, elitist, effete, anti-American liberals. If there were any rreal Americans still left in this country we'd catch her in dark alley and brand her with a hammer and sickle!
Most journalists would sell their Mothers in the Sudan for a news story.
Never trust a journalist.They work in a sewer to see their name in print. Lower than lawyers if thats posible.
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