THE LATEST INTEL….Did CIA officer Mary McCarthy leak agency secrets to journalists? No one knows. But several of her friends talked to the Washington Post recently about what she had discovered in the past year regarding detainee policy and prisoner abuse:

A CIA employee of two decades, McCarthy became convinced that “CIA people had lied” in [a congressional] briefing, as one of her friends said later, not only because the agency had conducted abusive interrogations but also because its policies authorized treatment that she considered cruel, inhumane or degrading.

….In addition to CIA misrepresentations at the session last summer, McCarthy told the friends, a senior agency official failed to provide a full account of the CIA’s detainee-treatment policy at a closed hearing of the House intelligence committee in February 2005, under questioning by Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.), the senior Democrat.

McCarthy also told others she was offended that the CIA’s general counsel had worked to secure a secret Justice Department opinion in 2004 authorizing the agency’s creation of “ghost detainees” ? prisoners removed from Iraq for secret interrogations without notice to the International Committee of the Red Cross ? because the Geneva Conventions prohibit such practices.

And in other intelligence community news, it turns out that Dick Cheney wanted the NSA to begin intercepting purely domestic telephone calls and e-mail messages after 9/11, according to the New York Times. The programs we got ? monitoring of all phone records and eavesdropping on calls into and out of the country without warrants ? were actually compromise positions. Makes you feel tingly all over, doesn’t it?

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