Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Amazing how the wingnuts' blind hatred of the Clintons can lead them to make wild accusations in public based on half truths. I refuse to link to NewsMax, but here are the lead graphs on their latest anti-Hillary screed:
No wonder 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been silent as a churchmouse about Karl Rove while her Democratic colleagues call for his prosecution for leaking classified information about CIA employee Valerie Plame.

Turns out - in the only case in U.S. history of a person successfully prosecuted for leaking classified information to the press - Hillary's husband pardoned the guilty party.

On January 20, 2001, President Clinton pardoned Samuel Loring Morison, a civilian analyst with the Office of Naval Intelligence. In 1984, Morison had been convicted of providing classified satellite photos of an under-construction Soviet nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to Britain's Jane's Defence Weekly.

He received a two-year jail sentence.
Gasp, shock, horror... except, as the article sort of mentions, Morison had been prosecuted and sentenced during the Reagan administration. And he was the only person ever prosecuted and convicted under the law in question.

Clinton's pardon came about after lobbying by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, whose complete request includes this:
Ironically, we now have in Samuel Loring Morison a man who has been convicted for leaking information, while so many real spies are discovered but never prosecuted. Begin with the VENONA messages, Soviet spy cables intercepted during World War II and decrypted by the U.S. Army beginning in December 1946. VENONA exposed a network of Soviet agents operating in the United States, including at Los Alamos. Spies, such as Theodore Alvin Hall, who gave away our most sensitive atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, were discovered, yet never prosecuted.

What a different experience from that of Samuel Loring Morison. I have been told, though I do not know it to be true, that his rank - - not too high, not too low - - was a consideration in the decision to seek prosecution. I would hope that in your review of Mr. Morison's application for a pardon you reflect not simply on the relevant law, but the erratic application of that law and the anomaly of this singular conviction in eighty-one years.
A little more detail on what Morison actually did:
Samuel Loring Morison worked at the Naval Intelligence Support Center in Suitland, Md., from 1974 to 1984. The grandson of the famous naval historian Samuel Elliot Morison, he was an intelligence analyst specializing in Soviet amphibious and mine-laying vessels.

At the same time, Morison earned $5,000 per year as a part-time contributor and editor of the American section of Jane's Fighting Ships, an annual reference work on the world's navies published in England. There were repeated complaints about Morison using office time and facilities to do his work for Jane's and warnings to him about conflict of interest between the jobs.

In 1984, conflicts with his supervisors led Morison to seek a full-time position with Jane's in London. At this time, he began overstepping the boundary of permissible information that could be sent to Jane's. The case came to a head when Morison took three classified photographs from a neighboring desk. These were aerial surveillance photographs showing construction of the first Soviet nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The photographs were missed. Soon thereafter, they appeared in Jane's Defence Weekly and were traced back to Morison.
Note the enormous differences here between Morison and Rove/Libby. First, he didn't leak American secrets nor the name of American CIA covert operatives to the American media; he leaked pictures of Soviet ships to a British publication specializing in military craft. Poor judgement, yes, but not likely to get any Americans killed, since they were aerial surveillance photos, and it was no secret at the time that the US and USSR were using spy planes and satellites on each other constantly.

Contrast with Rove/Libby, who were pissed off that someone told the truth and contradicted their lies intended to start a war, then used vindictive leaks against him. NewsMax is comparing apples and oranges here -- or maybe comparing simple fools and malicious madmen.

Morison served his time, and a pardon nearly twenty years later is not a big deal. Rove/Libby's indiscretion, on the other hand, is part of an ongoing military fiasco that never should have happened.

To put it another way:'Nuff said.

Thanks, T. Stumbled on this article at the same time I was posting one of mine. Greatly appreciate it. check mine at the AntiC. I did link to newsmax. sorry... didn't mean to undermine you! ; )
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