Rathergate producer Mapes needs to get a lawyer

American Thinker exclusive

Mary Mapes, producer of the Rathergate fiasco, soon may have federal law enforcement officials knocking on her door, if a press story today holds water. In what could be another blow to the already scandal ridden Dan Rather and CBS News, Joe Flint of the Wall Street Journal (as made available to nonsubscribers in today's San Francisco Chronicle), has a stunning lede about Dan Rather's producer:

After she uncovered photos of abuse at Iraq's Abu Gharib [sic] prison, "60 Minutes" producer Mary Mapes told a newspaper interviewer that she'd "never had a story that reverberated like this."

Mary Mapes didn't 'uncover' anything.  My article in The American Thinker on May 14, 2004 makes it clear that the incriminating photos of prisoner abuse and the reports of the Army's multiple investigations  were extremely sensitive in two ways: one, they were classified as Secret, and two, the documents were evidence in an ongoing criminal investigation of US Soldiers.  As I noted in the article,

Whoever disclosed this classified document and the photos knows that he or she is subject to prosecution under provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).  It would require a very foolish, or a very powerful and well—connected party, to believe that they could get away with this sort of disclosure.  To date, the press is singularly uninterested in the question of who did the leaking.

And not only was the major press uninterested in who disclosed these materials, which could lead to criminal charges, but were also not interested in who received them, which, for a civilian, could lead to a trip to a federal magistrate's courtroom.  Thanks to Joe Flint, we mny have our answer!

This is no small technicality under the law.  From the soldiers' and their commanders' perspective, maintaining the proper chain of custody of the evidence is paramount.  The Taguba investigation stresses this point,

Due to the extremely sensitive nature of these photographs and videos, the ongoing CID investigation, and the potential for the criminal prosecution of several suspects, the photographic evidence is not included in the body of my investigation.  The pictures and videos are available from the Criminal Investigative Command and the CTJF—7 prosecution team.

While it can be argued that the government has no role in the Rathergate National Guard memo fiasco, it's a different matter entirely when an unauthorized person accepts classified documents and material relating to a federal criminal prosecution.

Mary Mapes and CBS may now find themselves the targets of an FBI investigation with serious national security and criminal implications.

Douglas Hanson is our military affairs correspondent

American Thinker exclusive

Mary Mapes, producer of the Rathergate fiasco, soon may have federal law enforcement officials knocking on her door, if a press story today holds water. In what could be another blow to the already scandal ridden Dan Rather and CBS News, Joe Flint of the Wall Street Journal (as made available to nonsubscribers in today's San Francisco Chronicle), has a stunning lede about Dan Rather's producer:

After she uncovered photos of abuse at Iraq's Abu Gharib [sic] prison, "60 Minutes" producer Mary Mapes told a newspaper interviewer that she'd "never had a story that reverberated like this."

Mary Mapes didn't 'uncover' anything.  My article in The American Thinker on May 14, 2004 makes it clear that the incriminating photos of prisoner abuse and the reports of the Army's multiple investigations  were extremely sensitive in two ways: one, they were classified as Secret, and two, the documents were evidence in an ongoing criminal investigation of US Soldiers.  As I noted in the article,

Whoever disclosed this classified document and the photos knows that he or she is subject to prosecution under provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).  It would require a very foolish, or a very powerful and well—connected party, to believe that they could get away with this sort of disclosure.  To date, the press is singularly uninterested in the question of who did the leaking.

And not only was the major press uninterested in who disclosed these materials, which could lead to criminal charges, but were also not interested in who received them, which, for a civilian, could lead to a trip to a federal magistrate's courtroom.  Thanks to Joe Flint, we mny have our answer!

This is no small technicality under the law.  From the soldiers' and their commanders' perspective, maintaining the proper chain of custody of the evidence is paramount.  The Taguba investigation stresses this point,

Due to the extremely sensitive nature of these photographs and videos, the ongoing CID investigation, and the potential for the criminal prosecution of several suspects, the photographic evidence is not included in the body of my investigation.  The pictures and videos are available from the Criminal Investigative Command and the CTJF—7 prosecution team.

While it can be argued that the government has no role in the Rathergate National Guard memo fiasco, it's a different matter entirely when an unauthorized person accepts classified documents and material relating to a federal criminal prosecution.

Mary Mapes and CBS may now find themselves the targets of an FBI investigation with serious national security and criminal implications.

Douglas Hanson is our military affairs correspondent