On Friday, the CIA busted one of its own and charged him — or her — with leaking classified information.
While this guy or gal goes to jail, over at The Washington Post, reporter Dana Priest is still admiring the brand new Pulitzer Prize sitting on her mantle, for writing about what this very leaker told her: the secret prison story.
It was last November when Priest published a story in The Washington Post that the U.S. was maintaining a secret array of prisons where American intelligence could interrogate Al Qaeda-types who had been captured on the field of battle or picked up off the streets, wherever we could find them.
Coincidentally, on Friday, the European Union's anti-terrorism chief told a hearing that he had not been able to prove that secret CIA prisons really existed.
Whether they existed or not, the CIA spook evidently told Dana Priest something about secret prisons that qualified as leaking classified information. So it's off to Stony Lonesome.
All reporters would love to win a Pulitzer. Few know how it feels. Fewer still know how it feels to win one of the top prizes in the profession, while somebody goes off the prison so you could win your prize.
What is really going on here is the secret war by CIA-types against President Bush and his policies. This is the group inside the CIA — think Valerie Plame — who think their opinions and analysis of the world should trump whatever it is the president thinks. If the president goes against their opinion, they call The New York Times and start leaking embarrassing stuff.
It's a war against Bush, waged by Americans.
It's wrong, it's illegal and people are going to start going to jail. That's good.
Next up? Whoever was leaking to James Risen of The New York Times.
His story about the secret NSA wiretapping program probably did damage to national security, because it may have tipped off Al Qaeda that we could listen to their cell phone conversations to people inside this country.
Now that the secret prisons leaker is out of the way, the counter-leaking team over at the CIA can concentrate on Risen's leaker. With any luck, we will soon hear the sound of the jail house door slamming... again.
That's My Word.
Don't forget my radio show. Check it out here!
Watch John Gibson weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on "The Big Story" and send your comments to: email@example.com
Read Your Word