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In Leak Case, Reporters Lack Shield For Sources
Washington Post ^ | 11-29-04 | Charles Lane

Posted on 12/05/2004 4:30:47 PM PST by Snapple

One intriguing possibility, noted by several lawyers familiar with the case, is that Novak may have invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and that Fitzgerald has not yet chosen to give him immunity from prosecution to compel his testimony.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: cia; cialeak; fitzgerald; josephwilson; leaks; novak; plame
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Novak is not before the court, and a key question in the case is why he is not, because he presumably knows the identities of the original leakers.

Neither he nor Fitzgerald has been willing to say whether Novak has even been subpoenaed or, if so, whether he has cooperated.

1 posted on 12/05/2004 4:30:47 PM PST by Snapple
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To: Snapple

self-incrimination for what crime?


2 posted on 12/05/2004 4:33:58 PM PST by oceanview
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To: Snapple

Both [special prosecutor]Fitzgerald and James Hamilton, Novak's attorney, declined to comment for this article. Hamilton said Novak "will not comment."


3 posted on 12/05/2004 4:34:00 PM PST by Snapple
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To: Snapple
Another possibility is that Novak cooperated.

Judith Miller did not. She and her people might be trying to find out what happened with Novak. I'm glad Novak and his lawyer are not talking.

All Miller has to do is cooperate.

4 posted on 12/05/2004 4:36:52 PM PST by what's up
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To: oceanview

Disclosing CIA operatives is a crime for everyone, not just for a government official. I think.


5 posted on 12/05/2004 4:37:09 PM PST by Snapple
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To: Snapple

Please use the published title when posting an article


6 posted on 12/05/2004 4:37:16 PM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: what's up

"Some journalists have wondered why Fitzgerald is going after secondary targets, giving Novak, a conservative friendly to the White House, a pass. But we don't know that Novak hasn't been subpoenaed too. And it might be that Fitzgerald thinks the best way to get Novak, a tough guy, to break is to make him responsible for the martyrdom of other journalists."http://www.chireader.com/hottype/2004/040820_1.html


7 posted on 12/05/2004 4:48:29 PM PST by Snapple
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To: Snapple

but Novak disclosed that in a column - if they wanted to arrest Novak for that, they have the evidence they need in the column he wrote. if this story is true, there has to be more to it than that.


8 posted on 12/05/2004 4:52:38 PM PST by oceanview
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To: Snapple

LEAK PROBABLY CAME FROM WHITE HOUSE

http://199.249.170.220/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000727193

New Twist in Plame Game: When Did Novak Column Move on the Wires?

By E&P Staff

Published: November 26, 2004 11:00 AM ET

NEW YORK An article by Susan Schmidt in Friday’s Washington Post introduced a new twist in the federal probe of the leaking to the press of the name of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame.

According to Schmidt, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has gotten bogged down in trying to determine exactly when several journalists learned about Plame’s identity, most likely from someone at the White House. The focus has been on whether White House aides leaked the name before it appeared anywhere in the press or merely spread the news after it surfaced.

Since it has long been known that her name first appeared in a July 14, 2003, column by Robert Novak, it would seem to be relatively easy to determine a before and after.

But there's a catch. According to Schmidt, “While Novak's column did not run until Monday, July 14, it could have been seen by people in the White House or the media as early as Friday, July 11, when Creators Syndicate distributed it over the Associated Press wire.”

Schmidt continues: “The timing could be a critical element in assessing whether classified information was illegally disclosed. If White House aides directed reporters to information that had already been published by Novak, they may not have disclosed classified information. ...

“As part of his efforts, Fitzgerald has been battling reporters in court, demanding that they disclose conversations with confidential sources.”

One witness’s lawyer told the Post that prosecutors “seem to continue to be focused on which White House officials talked to members of the press, and whether that was pre- or post-Novak. That's where they are struggling."

In questioning reporters, prosecutors have shown a particular interest in the events of July 12, reporters and their attorneys have said, according to the Post: “Word that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA had by then circulated to some media organizations, though the origin of the information is not publicly known.”


9 posted on 12/05/2004 4:53:00 PM PST by Snapple
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To: Snapple

If Miller and Cooper could implicate Republicans, this would all have been done with long ago - - they would have sung like canaries. But they have not. Therefore, it seems obvious that some rats have been caught in a trap. Go, Fitz.


10 posted on 12/05/2004 5:01:03 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: oceanview

Here is the link to the law that covers disclosing CIA operatives
http://foi.missouri.edu/bushinfopolicies/protection.html

Maybe Novak didn't actually talk to the White House/high administration official. Maybe another reporter got the information and told him what was said.

Novak does report what other people claim officials said. For example, in the case of the "leak" Pillar supposedly made at a dinner party, Novak wasn't there. His source was supposedly at the party and then tells Noval what Pillar supposedly said.


11 posted on 12/05/2004 5:02:11 PM PST by Snapple
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To: Lancey Howard

Why do you think Miller is a Democrat? She was a huge booster of the War in Iraq and claimed there were WMD.

She seems tight with the neocons, not the democrats.


12 posted on 12/05/2004 5:03:28 PM PST by Snapple
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To: oceanview

It isn't just government officials who can be imprisoned for leaking the names of indercover officials:

"Disclosure of information by persons who learn identity of covert agents as result of having access to classified information

Whoever, as a result of having authorized access to classified information, learns the identify of a covert agent and intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing
that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined
not more than $25,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."
(see the link about the Identities Act)


13 posted on 12/05/2004 5:09:30 PM PST by Snapple
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To: Snapple; Lancey Howard
Why do you think Miller is a Democrat?

Could it be because she works for the New York Times, where Republicans are unwelcome in the newsroom?

14 posted on 12/05/2004 5:19:31 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: Snapple

As a journalist I am disgusted by this entire mess. I certainly would not go to jail to protect a source who committed treason by outing a NOC.

This outing jeopardized our already shaky "intelligence" apparatus and I cannot believe Novak took part in it. I don't want to believe that someone in the White House would commit treason this way but it looks that way more and more as this drags on.

By the way, I call it treason because that's the term the first President Bush used when referring to such an act. I think he had it right.

I wish the current President Bush would show more of a desire to get to the bottom of this mess. Instead, he apparently hired a criminal lawyer. Not a good sign.


15 posted on 12/05/2004 5:21:34 PM PST by redstatemomma (no computers were harmed in the creation of this tagline)
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To: redstatemomma
This outing jeopardized our already shaky "intelligence" apparatus and I cannot believe Novak took part in it.

From what I read at the time it seemed that it was common knowledge in the elite Washington social circle that Plame worked at the CIA, her husband had openly talked about it beforehand and the "outrage" for naming her was an attempt to smear Republicans. Maybe Novak's mistake was underestimating how vile the rats can be.

16 posted on 12/05/2004 5:46:58 PM PST by lizma
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To: Snapple

Since Valerie Plame was "outed" years before this by a CIA turncoat (which is why she was pulled from the field, and brought back to the US), it continues to puzzle me why Novak's column information is considered to be illegal.


17 posted on 12/05/2004 6:03:12 PM PST by Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek
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To: Snapple

Maybe he testified without being compelled.


18 posted on 12/05/2004 6:10:07 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: what's up

There are many more journalists that have been called than just Miller. Tim Russert, for example, was threatened with contempt before reaching a deal and giving some testimony.

Another who did the say was Matt Cooper with TIME. Intriguingly enough, after making his initial appearance he was subpoened again and is again facing contempt along with Miller.

There are more reporters that have been called, too.


19 posted on 12/05/2004 6:13:43 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: oceanview
Two reporters, Matthew Cooper of Time magazine and Judith Miller of the New York Times -- neither of whom had anything to do with the leak to Novak

You'd think this would tip off the WaPo that perhaps the investigation is into another aspect of journalistic skullduggery along with the rogue CIA yellowcake lies. Then again, the WaPo could be being deliberately deceitful here.

20 posted on 12/05/2004 6:15:29 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: what's up
I understand the desire to have a reporter privilege," said Geoffrey R. Stone, a professor of law at the University of Chicago who specializes in First Amendment issues. "The problem is that there isn't a privilege currently existing that's applicable to this situation -- yet they have gone around giving people promises of confidentiality."

And when the source has signed a waiver of that confidentiality, the reporters ought to speak.

Period.

21 posted on 12/05/2004 6:16:49 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: Snapple
Some say that the press's position in the Plame case would be stronger if not for the fact that it started with a government leak allegedly calculated to get even with an in-house critic, Wilson

The only one saying that is Wilson and his friends in the media. It is a ludicrous, not to mention impossible, charge.

22 posted on 12/05/2004 6:20:40 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: lizma

what is widely known in Washington is not necessarily known in other countries. And "working at the CIA" is not the same as being a NOC.

So are you saying it's not a crime in this case and that the first President Bush is wrong about such an act being treason?

Just asking, because I consider keeping our NOCs under cover important. I care much more about my country than my political party.


23 posted on 12/05/2004 6:23:57 PM PST by redstatemomma (no computers were harmed in the creation of this tagline)
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To: Snapple
The Plame leak struck columnists and editorialists as egregious not only because it might have been illegal, but also because of Wilson's assertion that his wife's career was destroyed -- and national security was damaged -- for political motives.

So far the only evidence of national security being damaged for political motives comes from the Wilson lies, backed by the CIA rogues, about his trip to Niger and the attempt to smear the Bush administration with those lies.

24 posted on 12/05/2004 6:24:39 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: Snapple

"Probably" and "may have" do not an airtight case make.

As has been pointed out countless times, Cliff May said a dem friend of Wilson's told him about Plame's role in sending her beloved spouse Niger way before Novak's column ran. May decided not to write about it but then Novak did.

The only actual evidence so far is that the story was given out by a pro-Wilson faction in order to explain why he was sent on a "mission" for an administration he did not support. As May explained, the dem told him that Plame worked at the CIA (nobody has confirmed she was undercover at the time nor had been for years and years) and therefore the Wilsons were pro-American first, political partisans second.

Of course, that turned out to be a lie.


25 posted on 12/05/2004 6:29:09 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: Snapple

It would only apply if Plame was that type of operative.


26 posted on 12/05/2004 6:30:42 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: redstatemomma

Welcome to Free Republic, "redstatemomma".

Democrat scumbag and documented liar Joseph Wilson got in way over his head when he colluded with the rats to try to undermine the Bush Administration to advance a political agenda. I have to believe his wife was on the same page as him.

The Bush Administration is way too smart to do anything as brazenly illegal as leak the name of an active CIA undercover operative. Anybody who believes that claim is an idiot. I think that a trap was laid for the rats and their allies in the liberal newsrooms and I think there's a whole lot more squirming to come. Fasten your seatbelt.


27 posted on 12/05/2004 6:38:02 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: redstatemomma

Well, where to begin (besides saying that I get sick to my stomach to think that someone as careless with facts as yourself is a "journalist").

First, where is your evidence that Plame was undercover?

Where is your evidence that any "leaking" came from the WH? You have none.

President Bush called the leaking of classified information treason, and that is what Fitzgerald is looking into. It isn't from the angle you naively assume.

As to what you wish President Bush to do to demonstrate a desire to get to the bottom of, that is an outrageous proposition to claim he should insert himself in an investigation. He has ordered his staff to comply and they have.

If you haven't noticed, (and clearly you haven't), Libby was being smeared by "journalists" like your careless and thoughtless self with allegations that he was the leaker of Plame's name. An impossibility since he lacked the knowledge of the trip and the parties involved, as any citizen who read up on the matter could discern, but that didn't stop "journalists" from writing it up. Libby has waived confidentiality in order that his name be cleared for the record. And once the reluctant reporters testify, guess what? They've been admitting Libby never mentioned the Wilsons, let alone Valerie Plame.


28 posted on 12/05/2004 6:38:07 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek

You don't know that it is. It's an assumption perpetuated by pro-Wilson/anti-Bush reporters.


29 posted on 12/05/2004 6:39:30 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: redstatemomma
So are you saying it's not a crime in this case and that the first President Bush is wrong about such an act being treason?

Oh pleeez. Stop the melodrama. I'm not saying that Novak made the right decision but I think we have to look at the political intent and histories of those crying the loudest. Since when has a little thing like treason stopped the rats?

30 posted on 12/05/2004 6:42:39 PM PST by lizma
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To: redstatemomma
Just asking, because I consider keeping our NOCs under cover important. I care much more about my country than my political party.

Are you aware that a democrat friend of Wilson's was telling at least one reporter (Cliff May) prior to the publication of Novak's column, that Wilson went to Niger at the suggestion of Wilson's wife who worked at the CIA? Evidence to date is that Plame was working at Langley and wrote a memo recommending her husband---something he and other CIA officials had denied.

Novak performed a great service by informing us why Wilson went to Niger and then proceeded to lie about many aspects of it in order to try and bring down President Bush.

I don't believe for one minute you care more about the country than political party. One so cavalier with the facts is not credible in my book.

31 posted on 12/05/2004 6:43:55 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: lizma

Melodrama?

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Now do tell...what do the Rats have to do with the Plame leak? Did a Rat call Novak?


32 posted on 12/05/2004 6:44:32 PM PST by redstatemomma (no computers were harmed in the creation of this tagline)
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To: cyncooper

Yes I am aware of that.

Cavalier with which facts, exactly?

Sorry, but outing a CIA agent isn't doing any of us a service. Anyone who thinks it is has blinded themselves with politics.


33 posted on 12/05/2004 6:46:48 PM PST by redstatemomma (no computers were harmed in the creation of this tagline)
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To: redstatemomma
what do the Rats have to do with the Plame leak? Did a Rat call Novak?

A Rat told Cliff May as I pointed out above.

Novak described a long conversation with an administration official (he later stated one who did not work in the WH) and during that conversation when Novak brought up Wilson's recent op-ed piece, this official mentioned how wifey had recommended him. That's it. Novak called the CIA, got a pro-forma "don't publish" but they didn't press it as Novak said they would have if she was, for instance, an undercover agent, so he wrote it up.

34 posted on 12/05/2004 6:49:21 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: redstatemomma

You are extremely cavalier with the facts.

I ask again, what is your evidence (beside's Wilson's say-so) that Valerie Plame was undercover or had worked in that capacity for 10 years or so.

I'll wait.

And you might as well explain why, if you are aware that the only solid evidence to date is of a democrat telling about Plame's employer being the CIA, why you made your comments above about the WH looking like the source.

I can't wait to hear this.


35 posted on 12/05/2004 6:52:18 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: cyncooper

I'll take your reply to mean that you cannot tell me which facts mentioned in my posts that I have been cavalier with.

I'll wait too.

Have a nice night.


36 posted on 12/05/2004 6:58:26 PM PST by redstatemomma (no computers were harmed in the creation of this tagline)
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To: redstatemomma

My goodness, I outlined explicitly in several posts what facts you are in error with.

I also asked you a few questions which you continue to ignore.

Everyone can see what you are.


37 posted on 12/05/2004 7:00:23 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: cyncooper

On thing though...

"...why you made your comments above about the WH looking like the source."

Stems from the contant leaks from the investigation about WH personnel being questioned and reports that President Bush was speaking with a criminal attorney.


38 posted on 12/05/2004 7:00:58 PM PST by redstatemomma (no computers were harmed in the creation of this tagline)
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To: cyncooper

Gee, well, if it's all that tidy, then...

Why is there an investigation wasting our money and time?


39 posted on 12/05/2004 7:02:25 PM PST by redstatemomma (no computers were harmed in the creation of this tagline)
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To: redstatemomma
Stems from the contant leaks from the investigation about WH personnel being questioned and reports that President Bush was speaking with a criminal attorney.

More cavalier handling of facts.

The "leaks" are in fact the WH spokesperson informing reporters on the record of the cooperation of the WH, including President Bush, in the investigation.

That is not a leak, dear. It is called transparency.

40 posted on 12/05/2004 7:03:22 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: redstatemomma

...and transparency is an indication of innocence. Unlike the deceitfulness that Wilson has displayed since day one.


41 posted on 12/05/2004 7:04:00 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: redstatemomma

Why do you assume the investigatin is a waste of time and money? I assume there is an aspect, or several aspects, being looked into and I look forward to finding out what has been found out.


42 posted on 12/05/2004 7:06:00 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: cyncooper
redstatemomma is very new here.

Give her sometime to realize sometimes on FR your comments have to be defended against people who know an issue inside and out. I've been here for awhile and still forget that!

43 posted on 12/05/2004 7:06:19 PM PST by lizma
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To: lizma

:)


44 posted on 12/05/2004 7:08:30 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: lizma

How right you are, lizma. The backgrounds here are quite varied, and some run very deep. I have nothing to add that hasn't already been said.


45 posted on 12/05/2004 7:11:04 PM PST by Always A Marine
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To: cyncooper

redstatemomma, rat agent provocateur, has had her account pulled.


46 posted on 12/05/2004 7:30:18 PM PST by Max Combined (Clinton is "the notorious Oval Office onanist")
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To: Max Combined

Thanks for the update, Max.

I know I didn't report the obvious trollness of it all, but evidently someone did.

Ah, well.


47 posted on 12/06/2004 5:25:47 AM PST by cyncooper
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To: okie01

Miller seems to be close to the neocons. She wrote a book with Laurie Mylroie and she wrote a lot of articles in the NYT about WMD. Her information for these articles came from A. Chalabi.

She also wrote a book about biowarfare called GERMS.
She was a big booster of the War with Iraq.
She doesn't fit the profile of a democrat.


48 posted on 12/06/2004 3:42:14 PM PST by Snapple
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To: oceanview

Yes he did disclose that in a column, but the law makes this a question of intent.

You have to know the person was still under cover. Novak claims he didn't know this.

Also, in practice this law against publishing the names of undercover people is usually only used against serial offenders who would do this routinely with the intent to harm the national security.


49 posted on 12/06/2004 3:46:03 PM PST by Snapple
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To: cyncooper

You mention "CIA rogues." Who do you think these rogues are?


50 posted on 12/06/2004 3:58:24 PM PST by Snapple
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