I received a comment on the originial post from someone purporting to be Larry Johnson:
I actually spoke with Admiral Inman. He said he was misquoted (Gee, what a surprise, the NRO canâ€™t get its story straight). Heâ€™s disgusted by the attacks on Valerie Plame. You guys only got one thing right, Admiral Inman is a class act.
After quickly looking behind me to make sure that I was still the only person blogging on this site, I accessed a technorati search on “Larry Johnson” that referenced both my post below and a post on Josh Marshall’s TCMP Cafe from guest blogger Larry Johnson that does indeed talk about a phonecon between Johnson and Inman:
Admiral Inman was quoted out of context. I spoke with him this afternoon after alerting him to the National Review online quote. He takes very seriously the compromise of Valerie’s cover. He was telling Mr. Spruiell that anyone in the intel community would not be in a position to intuitively know whether Valerie was or was not undercover at first glance. However, since they are in the intel community they have clearances and should not be out and about talking about people they do not know.
Um…no, that’s not what Admiral Inman was saying. Inman was specifically taking the CIA leakers to task for their dirty work during the campaign last fall.
For the record, Valerie Plame was not working as a CIA analyst, she was undercover, per press reports, as an Energy Analyst for Brewster Jennings. Inman did not misstate her position, and told me he has no firsthand knowledge of her cover status. This speaks very poorly about the journalistic standards of the NRO.
Is it bad journalism to print exactly what Admiral Inman said? Inman said he didn’t know Mrs. Wilson’s status. NRO had no comment on that. Where are journalistic standards violated?
Hey Larry! Can’t you take it when someone agrees with you?
Here, however is the meat of Mr. Johnson’s response to NRO and frankly, scares the wholly living beejeebees out of me.
To show how pathetically ignorant the National Review is on this matter, there have been CIA officers who started off as an analyst, who like me were undercover. They later switched-over to an operations officer career track and are now serving overseas in undercover positions.
What is so despicable about all of this is that the conservative movement, which was born in part from the efforts of Whittaker Chambers to expose communist treachery, is now serving as apologists for political operatives who have destroyed an intelligence network and at least one case officer’s distinguished career. The new standard for the Republican National Committee—Karl Rove didn’t commit a crime. Boy, there’s a slogan to run on, “At Least I Wasn’t Indicted”
Speaking of “pathetically ignorant,” it would come as pretty much a shock to most conservatives to learn that “the conservative movement… was born in part from the efforts of Whittaker Chambers to expose communist treachery…” I guess philosophers like F.A. Hayek, Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, Clinton Rossiter, and Leo Strauss not to mention Norman Podhoretz, Ben Wattenberg, Jeanne Kirkpatrick and other Neo Conservatives (you know, the real “neocons,” not everybody that falls under the rubric of the left’s lazy habit of calling anyone who disagrees with them a “necon”) don’t carry as much influence as the nearly 60 year old case involving Whittaker Chambers.
What the heck was this guy doing working for the CIA? My 16 year old cousin knows more about the history of conservatism than Larry Johnson. And this was someone who served as Deputy Director in the U.S. State Departmentâ€™s Office of Counter Terrorism as well as working in the Operations Directorate at the CIA.
That statement – so ignorant of history and blatantly partisan in its intent – along with Mr. Johnson’s pre-9/11 statement about terrorism not being a big problem, causes me to question the sanity of whoever is doing the hiring and promoting at our intelligence services.
Chambers you may recall, was a former Communist who outed Alger Hiss as a communist spy working for the state department. The Congressional hearings on the matter as well as Hiss’ trial became left wing shorthand for the dangers of modern conservatism. The liberals held the Hiss case against Richard Nixon till the day he died and to this day (as Ann Coulter has noted in her book Treason) the left insists that Hiss was an innocent victim of a smear campaign by Chambers and Nixon.
The only problem with that is that Hiss was guilty as sin.
Revelations contained in the Venona Files prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hiss was not loyal to the United States government, was a member of the Communist Party USA, and that he gave Stalin a preview of our negotiating position at the Yalta Conference that ended up dividing Europe into “spheres of influence” between the west and the Soviet Union, thus condemning millions of people to living lives under a barbarous tyranny.
To replay the entire Chambers-Hiss-Nixon drama would take up more bandwidth than Mr. Johnson is worth . For the barebones facts of the case, Wikpedia has a good summary. Hiss was only convicted of perjury even though the US government was aware of his perfidy. Not wanting to take a chance on losing their ability to intercept Soviet cables, (the Venona files) an ability that would have been revealed if the government put on the table everything it had on him, Hiss got away with his treason. He was even re-admitted to the bar in 1975 after it was revealed that there was a considerable amount of government misconduct in his perjury trial. Of course, the misconduct did not obviate the perjury itself nor did it negate the fact that Hiss was a traitor to his country.
Hiss was considered a martyr until the Venona files became public. Even then, many liberals refused to believe the evidence of their own eyes and prefer to think Alger Hiss is innocent. After all, they’re part of the “Reality Based Community” which these days actually means “Never let reality stand in the way of obfuscating the truth.”
The fact that Mr. Johnson attempts to raise the specter of Chambers is revealing in that this “registered Republican” is more of a partisan hack and less the heroic defender of Maiden Wilson’s honor than he lets on.
NRO’s Stephen Spruiell responds to Larry Johnson’s inaccurate post at TCMP Cafe referenced above. The happless Mr. Johnson is gonna need some rectal surgery to repair the damage done by Mr. Spruiell’s scathing comeback:
So letâ€™s review: I removed an inaccurate statement that reflected well on Rove and the administration, and Larry Johnson accuses me of taking Inman out of context in order to make his statements reflect well on Rove and the administration. Itâ€™s this kind of analytical prowess that led Larry Johnson to get the pre-9/11 terrorist threat so unbelievably wrong.
More importantly, I have no idea what Inman told Johnson, but when he was speaking to me his feelings on the Plame leak were crystal clear. Inman felt that CIA officers with a political axe to grind posed far more of a threat to intelligence-gathering sources and methods than any administration officials who may have leaked the name of a woman who shuttled back and forth to Langley every day.
It sucks that I have to interrupt my wedding to rebut this clueless publicity hound, but Iâ€™m not going to let him get away with claiming a monopoly on the capital-T Truth. For someone who has publicly demonstrated such faulty perception regarding the greatest threat of our time, Iâ€™m surprised Johnson is so arrogant.
The only surprise is that Johnson can walk and chew gum at the same time. He’s not arrogant…he’s blissfully ignorant.