McCaskill and Graham Call For Prosecution in Wikileaks Case

While the world is reacting to leaks indicating that Saudi Arabia is funding Al Qaeda and Clinton ordered diplomats to engage in espionage, Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have called for the prosecution of those responsible for the leaks.

The leaks also show the Saudis pressuring the United States to attack Iran — once again having the United States do the dirty work for regional interests. Then there is the revelation that Iran smuggled weapons in ambulances to Hezbollah.

Graham insists that the matter is clear “we’re at war . . . If you can prosecute them, let’s try.” McCaskill agreed, stressing “I hope we can find out where this is coming from and go after them with the force of law.”

As with the disclosures of the torture program, some of these disclosures are likely not new information for Senators. Members of the intelligence committees have often been criticized for knowledge of abuses or even crimes in our government without making them public or taking significant action. Thus far, there has not been a single suggestion of public hearings on these allegations — only a demand to prosecute the person responsible for making them public. The problem is that some of this information shows that the public has been given false or misleading information on major policies. I guess this is an example of what Senator Rockefeller said was the harm of media coverage denying the public of its sense of happiness and contentment in their government.

I am a firm believer in the need to maintain secrecy in areas of national security, but some of these leaks raise (again) a growing lack of confidence in Congress in serving as a true check and balance on abuses.

171 thoughts on “McCaskill and Graham Call For Prosecution in Wikileaks Case”

  1. Me, Slarti and Gyges are in the same boat as you in re Thanksgiving e-mails.

    Speaking Of Slarti, he’s another one who has dropped out. The last I saw him, at least here, he was moving.

    Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego ?

  2. And that’s a perfectly appalling bit of news that you relayed.

    Now, to sleep, perchance to dream . . .

  3. Elaine,

    I know I would be happier if I didn’t read the news. Periodically I take breaks too. If I didn’t, I’d only be capable of asking “How is a raven like a writing desk?” That being said, respite and reject are two different things. The first rule of successful evolution is “Pay attention.”

  4. Buddha,

    Sometimes I think I’d be happier if I didn’t read the news.

    Did you see this story?

    From Huffington Post (12/1/2010)
    Money For Nothing: Wall Street Borrowed From Fed At 0.0078 Percent

    NEW YORK — For the lucky few on Wall Street, the Federal Reserve sure was sweet.

    Nine firms — five of them foreign — were able to borrow between $5.2 billion and $6.2 billion in U.S. government securities, which effectively act like cash on Wall Street, for four-week intervals while paying one-time fees that amounted to the minuscule rate of 0.0078 percent.

    That is not a typo.

    On 33 separate transactions, the lucky nine were able to borrow billions as part of a crisis-era Fed program that lent the securities, known as Treasuries, for 28-day chunks to the now-18 firms known as primary dealers that are empowered to trade with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The program, called the Term Securities Lending Facility, ensured that the firms had cash on hand to lend, invest and trade.

    The market was freezing up. Effectively free money, courtesy of Uncle Sam, helped it thaw.

    The European firms — Credit Suisse (Switzerland), Deutsche Bank (Germany), Royal Bank of Scotland (U.K.), Barclays (U.K.), and BNP Paribas (France) — borrowed $5.2-6.2 billion in Treasuries 20 different times. The one-time fees they paid on each transaction ranged from $403,277.78 to $481,110. Deutsche led the way with seven such deals.

  5. Elaine,

    You and I must have been reading that at the same time. I just posted it to the Peter King thread.

  6. From Mother Jones (12/1/2010)
    Obama and GOPers Worked Together to Kill Bush Torture Probe

    A WikiLeaks cable shows that when Spain considered a criminal case against ex-Bush officials, the Obama White House and Republicans got really bipartisan.
    By David Corn

    In its first months in office, the Obama administration sought to protect Bush administration officials facing criminal investigation overseas for their involvement in establishing policies that governed interrogations of detained terrorist suspects. A “confidential” April 17, 2009, cable sent from the US embassy in Madrid to the State Department—one of the 251,287 cables obtained by WikiLeaks—details how the Obama administration, working with Republicans, leaned on Spain to derail this potential prosecution.

    The previous month, a Spanish human rights group called the Association for the Dignity of Spanish Prisoners had requested that Spain’s National Court indict six former Bush officials for, as the cable describes it, “creating a legal framework that allegedly permitted torture.” The six were former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; David Addington, former chief of staff and legal adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney; William Haynes, the Pentagon’s former general counsel; Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense for policy; Jay Bybee, former head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel; and John Yoo, a former official in the Office of Legal Counsel. The human rights group contended that Spain had a duty to open an investigation under the nation’s “universal jurisdiction” law, which permits its legal system to prosecute overseas human rights crimes involving Spanish citizens and residents. Five Guantanamo detainees, the group maintained, fit that criteria.

    Soon after the request was made, the US embassy in Madrid began tracking the matter. On April 1, embassy officials spoke with chief prosecutor Javier Zaragoza, who indicated that he was not pleased to have been handed this case, but he believed that the complaint appeared to be well-documented and he’d have to pursue it. Around that time, the acting deputy chief of the US embassy talked to the chief of staff for Spain’s foreign minister and a senior official in the Spanish Ministry of Justice to convey, as the cable says, “that this was a very serious matter for the USG.” The two Spaniards “expressed their concern at the case but stressed the independence of the Spanish judiciary.”

    Back when it seemed that this case could become a major international issue, during an April 14, 2009, White House briefing, I asked press secretary Robert Gibbs if the Obama administration would cooperate with any request from the Spaniards for information and documents related to the Bush Six. He said, “I don’t want to get involved in hypotheticals.” What he didn’t disclose was that the Obama administration, working with Republicans, was actively pressuring the Spaniards to drop the investigation. Those efforts apparently paid off, and, as this WikiLeaks-released cable shows, Gonzales, Haynes, Feith, Bybee, Addington, and Yoo owed Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thank-you notes.

  7. I can’t seem to get the following to post — I’ll try one last time. It’s long, but compelling, IMO…

  8. I have never once intimated Byron was a child molester.

    I apologize if I insinuated it was you. Again he didn’t mention names. I too hope he is well. Byron if you are monitoring the blawg I think by reading the above comments you can see we would like you to come back. Hopefully your just taking a break and focusing on other issues. Here’s to you in good health.


    “ Inc. forced WikiLeaks to stop using the U.S. company’s computers to distribute embarrassing State Department communications and other documents, WikiLeaks said Wednesday.”

    “The ouster came after congressional staff questioned Amazon about its relationship with WikiLeaks, said Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut.”

    Tweets from WikiLeaks regarding the “ouster”:

    “WikiLeaks servers at Amazon ousted. Free speech the land of the free–fine our $ are now spent to employ people in Europe,” the organization said Wednesday in a posting on the Twitter messaging service.”

    “If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books,” WikiLeaks said in another tweet.”


    By CHARLIE SAVAGE and ANDREW W. LEHREN Published: November 29, 2010

    WikiLeaks and the Diplomats (November 30, 2010)

    The king told a top White House aide, John O. Brennan, that the United States should implant an electronic chip in each detainee to track his movements, as is sometimes done with horses and falcons.

    “Horses don’t have good lawyers,” Mr. Brennan replied.

  11. Upon looking back, Byron disappeared shortly after he mistakenly revealed he was also the poster known as Tautology.

    Now if that’s his problem? That he tipped his hand and got busted trolling under a different name again on the “More Rumble Than Earthquake” thread?

    Yeah, that would be his problem.

  12. Miss Byron, too. He was always respectful even when there was a disagreement.

  13. Bdaman,

    I have been wondering where Byron was myself. Like Buddha, I too think Byron is a good guy–even though we often disagree. I think it’s good to have people commenting who have differences of opinion–as it makes one carefully consider/reconsider one’s views on particular subjects.

    Wherever Byron is–I hope he will reconsider returning to the Turley Blawg.

  14. bdaman,

    I have never once intimated Byron was a child molester. If that’s his issue? It’s with somebody else. I’ve said consistently and for some time that I think Byron is a good guy with a couple of really bad economic ideas. We even agree on many subjects. That’s a far cry from calling him a child molester. I save that language for the RCC, you know, actual child molesters. In fact, I’d have real issue with someone who would say that about Byron. If I didn’t rush to his defense, it was only because I didn’t see the slight in question. The one time I did loose my cool with him, it was my bad (I was truly upset about something on the ground and wrongly took it out on him), I apologized and we moved on. But that had nothing to do with accusations of pedophilia.

    As to what happened to Byron? He seemingly dropped off the face of the Earth. He and I had had no heated exchanges. I don’t recall seeing him in a heated exchange with anyone. Just “Poof!” and he was gone. Me, Slarti and Gyges are in the same boat as you in re Thanksgiving e-mails. We’ve all tried to contact Byron offline and gotten no response. If he chooses to leave, that is his choice – not his problem. Want me to ask him to come back?

    Byron, please come back. Point out your accuser and I’ll be glad to correct their misconception. Harshly should you desire.

    I’m just glad it’s not something health related keeping him away.

    As to the rants? They also draw people too. In case you haven’t noticed, I have actual fans. I know . . . it surprises me as much as anyone – so much so I’ve considered giving writing a try as a profession, but there it is. If I run people off, it’s because they can’t defend their stances and end up looking foolish for poking the bear and being surprised when they get bit. For that I will not apologize to anyone. But I have no power to ban people. Hell, I spoke up for Byron when he did get banned. Why would I want him gone now? No reason at all and I don’t.

    I meant what I said about bitterness. There is a difference between “bitter” – an emotional response/motivation – and “caustic” as a purposeful methodology in linguistics and rhetoric. Caustic? You bet and by design. Angry about the steady erosion of civil liberties and human rights perpetrated by domestic enemies of the Constitution? Count on it.

    But bitter? Not in the slightest. What have I got to be bitter about? Nothing.

    If you have a problem with the mockery? Well, that would be your problem. Adopt ideas and quit spreading memes that merit mockery or suck it up, buttercup.

  15. bdaman wrote:

    “WikiLeaks just made the world more repressive”



    For a fair and balanced view, read the comments that are posted to “The Globe and Mail” link that you cited.

    Only a very small number of the cables have been released — there’s so much more to come. “It ain’t over ’til it’s over”…

    I’m sure that there were people saying the same thing when the Pentagon Papers were released.

    (The comments to the article are insightful and informative (refer to your link).) A few years ago, I might have bought what he was saying. Now? Nope. Not after the things that I’ve seen right here in the good old US of A.)

    We’ve got trouble, bdaman, but it isn’t Wikileaks…

  16. Bdaman,

    I knew you knew Greenland wasn’t Iceland.


    I don’t think it was Greenland that was once called Vinland. I believe it was an area farther to the west that is now part of Canada.

  17. WikiLeaks just made the world more repressive

    Ironically, WikiLeaks is inflicting the same collateral damage it so loudly abhors. The “Cablegate” release is not a real victory for a more open world. It will lead to a more closed world, where repressive governments will be more free to commit atrocities against their own people and the people who try to stop them will have even less information to help prevent this. Thankfully, for the Timorese at least, WikiLeaks did not exist in the 1990s.

  18. Greenland didn’t turn to Iceland. Iceland is a different country

    Yes Ms. Elaine it is. I just looked at it on google earth. 🙂

    Greenland was once Green Land, alot greener than it is today. It is now Ice Land. Part of the coast was named Vinland because the climate was warm enough to grow grapes. You can’t do that anymore. In fact I don’t think much of anything grows in it’s current natural environment.

    Dr Dan Lunt from the University of Bristol and funded by the British Antarctic Survey, explained: “Evidence shows that around three million years ago there was an increase in the amount of rock and debris deposited on the ocean floor around Greenland. These rocks could not have got there until icebergs started to form and could transport them, indicating that large amounts of ice on Greenland only began to form about three million years ago.

    “Prior to that, Greenland was largely ice-free and probably covered in grass and forest. Furthermore, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were relatively high. So the question we wanted to answer was why did Greenland become covered in an ice-sheet?”

  19. No I’m not Buddha. I think deep down inside you have some personal bitterness that carries over into your post sometimes. Maybe I shouldn’t go here but I saw the other day you said you missed Byron. Byron and I used to communicate via e-mail and now he doesn’t respond. I don’t know what happen between you two or other posters. After sending him multiple e-mails asking him to return to posting he asked me to stop e-mailing him, he was done. He did not mention names but in his last e-mail to me, he said he was made out to be the equivalent of a child molester and that was it for him.
    I sent him a Happy Thanksgiving, he did not respond. Hopefully he still checks the blog. If you miss him, ask him to comeback. You run alot of people off that don’t agree with your facts/opinion by your rants.

    I’m sure your response will be, that would be his problem.
    Once again, you be right bout dat boss.

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