Senator Kerry presents yet another challenge to those who strive to understand where he stands on things:
'THIS WEEK' HOST GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: On another -- on another front, excuse me, CIA official Mary McCarthy lost her job this week for disclosing classified information according to the CIA probably about a WASHINGTON POST story which reveal revealed the existence of secret prisons in Europe. A lot of different views. Senator Pat Roberts praised action but some former CIA officers described Mary McCarthy as a sacrificial lamb acting in the finest American tradition by revealing human rights violations. What's your view?
SEN. KERRY: Well, I read that. I don't know whether she did it or not so it's hard to have a view on it. Here's my fundamental view of this, that you have somebody being fired from the CIA for allegedly telling the truth, and you have no one fired from the white house for revealing a CIA agent in order to support a lie. That underscores what's really wrong in Washington, DC Here.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's one issue of hypocrisy but should a CIA officer be able to make decisions on his or her --
KERRY: ... Of course not. Of course, not. A CIA agent has the obligation to uphold the law and clearly leaking is against the law, and nobody should leak. I don't like leaking. But if you're leaking to tell the truth, Americans are going to look at that, at least mitigate or think about what are the consequences that you, you know, put on that person. Obviously they're not going to keep their job, but there are other larger issues here. You know, classification in Washington is a tool that is used to hide the truth from the American people. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was eloquent and forceful in always talking about how we needed to, you know, end this endless declassification that takes place in this city, and it has become a tool to hide the truth from Americans.
....So I'm glad she told the truth but she's going to obviously -- if she did it, if she did it, suffer the consequences of breaking the law.
So. A United States Senator is glad that an employee of the government, who signed a contract promising not to divulge secrets of state, did exactly that. An unauthorized leak by a CIA employee is legally and ethically comparable, in Kerry's judgment, to an authorized leak by an agent of the president of the United States. She shouldn't have broken the law, but she should have. I voted for the 87 billion before I voted against it.
The senator maintains that leaking to tell the truth is different from leaking to tell a lie. No kidding. I wonder whether he'd use that same rationale if members of his campaign staff were leaking to the press some uncomfortable truth about him during the last election. The question is not whether what the agent leaked is true or not, but rather whether a trusted agent of the government should be taking it upon herself to make those kinds of decisions, especially when those decisions may well be politically motivated.