Sunday, October 11, 2015

Classified Relativism

The NY Times has an interesting feature today on former diplomat Robin Raphel, charged last year with delivering classified information to Pakistan.  Why interesting?  Because, as the story notes, the case against Raphel has "fizzled".  Hmm, as the bloggers say.

The Times goes on to mention numerous figures on the right and left who've been involved in mishandling classified information--yes, even Hillary.  For some reason they forgot to mention "Obama's favorite general" Hoss Cartwright, a person of interest in leaking Stuxnet intelligence on Iran to the media.  At last check that had fizzled due to complexities with the Iran nuke deal or something. 

That aside, it's been well-reported that the Obama administration has prosecuted more leakers than all other administrations combined, mostly lower level folks.  The Times article notes that current FBI Director James Comey was a little upset with the Justice Department's deal with General Petraueus as they feared it might set precedence for future cases--indeed that's exactly what Raphel's defense team seems to be doing.  But who cares about Raphel, right?  How does this relate to anything else?     

The cynic might say this points in one direction--the Clinton server in Chappaqua.  The cynic might also say the left needs a way to dumb-down the severity of mishandling classified information with their leading 2016 hopeful in the situation she's in.  So, have the media point to the relativism of past prosecutions and make everything muddy with hopes the peeps can get past such peccadillos worthy of putting lesser luminaries in Leavenworth.  Is that what's going on here?   

By the way, in a previous mention here of Ms Raphel there was a link to this 1996 LA Times story.  It's truly one of those "must-reads" from the past that shines light on how messed up things got later.  A snip, emphasis added:
And a Taliban official, Shirmohammed Stanekzai, gave public assurances this week that under the Islamic militia's rule, this country will no longer serve as a training ground or haven for foreign extremists. "As the Islamic movement of Taliban, we don't want to interfere in others' affairs," Stanekzai said. "We don't want to send people to create problems in other countries."
If foreign terrorists fall into the Taliban's hands, he said, "we will punish them hard."
Such words--uttered at a news conference for the foreign media, which have flocked to Kabul since the Taliban captured this capital last Friday--will be sweet music for officials in Washington. Combating terrorism and the global trade in narcotics are leading items on the U.S. foreign policy agenda.
The current conspiracy theories are understandable, even plausible, given the great mystery that still shrouds the Taliban's rise and rapid advance. How did a ragtag force that emerged in late 1994 among Muslim religious students in the southern region of Kandahar and adjacent areas of Pakistan grow so quickly that two years later, it has become master of three-quarters of Afghanistan?
Who paid for its weaponry, ammunition and vehicles? Who organized its training and logistics? Is intelligence or military assistance received from outside one of the reasons the Taliban has enjoyed astonishing, and relatively bloodless, successes over experienced moujahedeen commanders who, for nearly a decade, fought occupying Soviet troops?
Generous support for the Taliban from Pakistan, which wants to pacify its war-racked neighbor for its own strategic and economic motives, has been well documented. But is Pakistan's powerful ally, the United States, also involved in some way? Many in Kabul believe so, though again, their proof is circumstantial.
Notice the LAT refers to it as a conspiracy theory, but who remembers hearing that the Clinton administration propped up the Taliban back before 9/11?  Surely Ms Raphel has a memory of it.  Maybe she has a book in her?   And maybe Robert Redford can do another "truth" movie about this whole thing... maybe get Valerie Plame to star as Ms Raphel.  If they get to work soon they can have it out right after Hillary gets the nomination.  

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