Skip to comments.Rove Did Leak Classified Information
Posted on 07/13/2005 10:33:50 PM PDT by Crackingham
"The fact is, Karl Rove did not leak classified information." So said Ken Mehlman, head of the Republican Party.
"I didn't know her name. I didn't leak her name." So said Karl Rove of Valerie Wilson/Plame last year on CNN.
"He did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA." So said Robert Luskin, Rove's attorney, after Newsweek reported Rove had been a source for Time magazine's Matt Cooper but before Newsweek revealed a Cooper email that said Rove had told Cooper that "wilson's wife...apparently works at the agency on wmd issues."
The White House may be stonewalling on the Rove scandal, but the Rove camp--aided by its echo-ists in the conservative media--has been busy establishing the twin-foundation for his defense: he did not mention Valerie Wilson/Plame by name; he did not disclose classified information. The first of these two assertions is misleading and irrelevant; the second is wrong.
According to Cooper's email, Rove told Cooper that "Wilson's wife"--not "Valerie Plame," or "Valerie Wilson"--worked at the CIA. But this distinction has absolutely no legal relevance. Under the relevant law--the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982--a crime is committed when a government official (not a journalist) "intentionally discloses any information identifying" an undercover intelligence officer. The act does not say a name must be disclosed. By telling a reporter that Joseph Wilson's wife was a CIA officer, Rove was clearly disclosing "identifying" information. There was only one Mrs. Joseph Wilson. With such information in hand, Cooper or anyone else could easily have ascertained the name of this officer. (A Google search at the time would have yielded the name--and maiden name--of Wilson's wife.) Revealing the name is not the crime; it's disclosing information that IDs the officer. Imagine if a government official told a reporter, "At 3:15, a fellow in a green hat, carrying a red umbrella and holding a six-pack of Mountain Dew, will be tap-dancing in front of the Starbucks at Connecticut Avenue and R Street--he's the CIA's best undercover officer working North Korea." That official could not defend himself, under this law, by claiming that he had not revealed the name of this officer. The issue is identifying, not naming. Rove and his allies cannot hide behind his no-name claim.
A reading of this law also indicates that if Cooper's email is accurate then Rove did pass classified information to Cooper. It's possible that Rove did so unwittingly. That is, he did not know Valerie Wilson's employment status at the CIA was classified information. But he and his posse cannot say the information he slipped to Cooper was not classified.
The Intelligence Identities Protection Act makes it a crime to identify "a covert agent" of the United States. The law defines "covert agent," in part, as "a present or retired officer or employee of an intelligence agency or a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty with an intelligence agency whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified information." (My emphasis.)
This definition clearly recognizes that the identity of an undercover intelligence officer is "classified information." The law also notes that a "covert agent" has a "classified relationship to the United States." Since the CIA asked the Justice Department to investigate the Plame/CIA leak and the Justice Department affirmed the need for an investigation and special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, once handed the case, pursued the matter vigorously, it is reasonable to assume that Valerie Wilson fits the definition of a "covert agent." That means she has a "classified relationship" with the government.
By disclosing Valerie Wilson's relationship to the CIA, Rove was passing classified information to a reporter.
Here's the thing. Brit Hume said tonight the word from the Rove camp is that Rove learned where Joe Wilson's wife worked because a reporter told him. To break the law, you specifically have to get that info from a classified sorce. My guess is that the through Fitgeralds investigation he has pinned either Miller or who told here as the leaker. But to get a solid inditement he needs her testimony either so she can perger herself and he can bust her ( which will cause her to comply )or she will give in and tell him who here sorce was. Either way Rove is in the clear as far as I can see.
And dont worry because its been a long time coming for this Wilson prick and I cant wait for the sequal 'The White House Strikes Back' Wilson is going down. I just have this gut feeling.
I leaked my Aunt Mabel's iced tea recipe today. Sure hope the Nation caught it!!!
It is NOT a crime to reveal the name of a covert agent.
It is a crime to reveal that a person IS a covert agent!
If the former (and what the loony left believes) were true
The person that "outed" Valerie Plame is Joe Wilson, her
Rove did not have access to classified information, so he could have only known by secondhand knowledge, and thus he couldn't have even committed a crime, even if he had known her name or CIA status. Apparently, Rove learned the little that he knew from another journalist.
With Wilson and his "secret agent" wife doing photo spreads in Vanity Fair (there couldn't be a more appropriate magazine for these two), its no mystery how her CIA employment became such an "open secret" in Washington.
Uh, I guess nobody noticed her driving her flashy convertable into the parking lot at Langley ever day.
David Corn cracks me up. If desperate flailing about would save the lefties we'd be living under President Kerry and a Democratic Congress, but we're not are we? What a bunch of incompetent, twisted morons.
According to Eleanor Cliff this evening,
According to liberals anyway!
Under the relevant law--the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982--a crime is committed when a government official (not a journalist) "intentionally discloses any information identifying" an undercover intelligence officer ...
... Revealing the name is not the crime; it's disclosing information that IDs the officer ...
... A reading of this law also indicates that if Cooper's email is accurate then Rove did pass classified information to Cooper. It's possible that Rove did so unwittingly. That is, he did not know Valerie Wilson's employment status at the CIA was classified information.
If I know that my neighbor, Susan Slobotnik, works at CIA and I pass that information along to you, the meter reader, have I broken a law?
No, I have not. Even if it turns out that Susan Slobotnik is actually Queen of Spies.
Why is that? Because I had no idea that Susan Slobotnik was actually a spy. So far as I knew, Susan was an analyst, desk officer, coffee brewer, whatever. What did I know? I wasn't aware of her true "covert status".
The point being, to break the law, I have to be aware of Susan's true "covert status" and, then, knowingly, reveal her identity.
Under the circumstances, there is no reason to believe that Plame any longer held "covert status". And, even if she did, there is no reason to believe that Rove would've known of it. Intelligence wasn't his job. And Tennant had obviously not alerted the White House with regard to any "covert status" for Plame when he told them it was "Wilson's wife, who works in CPD" who had recommended Wilson for the trip.
Ergo, no harm, no foul.
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
Sorry, i could not suggest that you could get CIA status from google.
What I mean is that if she is such a secret agent, why should she be google-able at all?
I guess i got caught up not only in the silliness of Corn's lousy article, but am gettin' a bit weary of these quantum leaps from causual heresay to criminal offenses, especially when the quantum leap can trigger by google.
There you go again... making perfect
Is there anything better than watching frustrated leftists pull the cord on a mower that won't start, only to have another step in saying "here, let me try?"
wow. even a dum lawyer never tells you to admit to the crime.
David Corn is a leftist's leftist and cannot be taken seriously on anything.
Plame was outed over 10 years ago and had special protection back then and was made in to a desk jockey then !
Google is your friend !
Corn's next column will also ignore the fact that a completely different "source" leaked Plame's identity to Judith Miller.
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