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Justice Could Decide Leak Was Not a Crime
Washington Post ^
| Mike Allen
Posted on 01/02/2004 8:17:48 AM PST by HarleyD
The Justice Department investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's identity could conclude that administration officials disclosed the woman's name and occupation to the media but still committed no crime because they did not know she was an undercover operative, legal experts said this week.
"It could be embarrassing but not illegal," said Victoria Toensing, who was chief counsel of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence when Congress passed the law protecting the identities of undercover agents.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cialeak; doj; josephwilson
posted on 01/02/2004 8:17:50 AM PST
Someone correct me if I am mistaken - but I thought she was assumed to have been outed by Aldrich Ames - and was removed from undercover status because of that. You cannot unring a bell - if she was compromised by Ames and moved into a non-covert role, no one could have committed a crime by identifying her. End of story.
posted on 01/02/2004 8:24:56 AM PST
(Seldom right, never in doubt!)
Don't forget: the law allows the disclosure with the Director's approval. If Tenet approved it, it's perfectly legal. And if Tenet thought she had railroaded the Niger mission by recommending Wilson, he very well could have approved of outing her.
posted on 01/02/2004 8:42:27 AM PST
by Mr. Bird
Wasn't it some guy from the CIA who told Bob Novak about this? So Washington Post calls him an "administration official". Makes it sound closer to the White House. If this was the Clinton administration he would be called a "CIA official".
posted on 01/02/2004 8:44:22 AM PST
by Dan Evans
To: Dan Evans
The spectre of original intent rears its ugly head. There must be something to avoid here.
posted on 01/02/2004 10:10:03 AM PST
(Remember the Alamo! Alamo! One more time. Alamo!!!)
This is an interesting take on the legality of what occurred. However, how can someone be undercover and a known CIA employee? I'm sure some seasoned spook could tell us, but that ain't likely. :)
Politics is a dirty business, and the diplomat failed miserably. (Wilson, that is.) I still wanna know who pawned the story off to Novak and who the other reporters were who did not publish the story.
posted on 01/02/2004 12:21:41 PM PST
To: Dan Evans
Yeah, the story goes that Novak got wind of it, called the CIA, and a CIA official confirmed the identity and job title of the lady, yet asked Novak not to use the information.
So yes, the CIA also gave out the name.
posted on 01/02/2004 12:25:43 PM PST
(De Oppresso Liber! The Tyrant is captured!)
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