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July 19, 2005

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Warmongering Lunatic

Brock was a hack then . . . .

ArminTamzarian

Please, make it stop.

BumperStickerist

Tim,

On the organ console that is the Right Wing's Mighty Wurltizer, you're the gamba celeste 8.

And that's a good thing.

I think.

Wurlitzer Organ stops

btw - have you posted any disclaimers saying that you're not a part of Brock's phantasm, the Right Wing Noise Machine?

richard mcenroe

But... but... how do we know Roberts wasn't The Leak?

kim

'akin of' or 'akin to'?
==========================================

richard mcenroe

Kim — In Arkansas, you're akin of...

kim

I see. I'm looking up New York, Arkansas in my atlas right now. Or is this outreach?
=================================================

kim

I say 'kin of' but 'akin to'.
===================================

kim

and 'kin to'. But not 'akin of'. Is it 3-zip K v NYT, or all correct? Grammar police, please.
==============================================

kim

Roberts? Who he? I care about Valerie Plame. She is either the biggest victim here or implicated. For her sake, that should be made clear.
==============================================

RiverRat

Kim,

I wouldn't worry about her too much. Anyone stupid enought to marry Joe Wilson and then promote him for an intel mission is a candidate for a Darwin Award.

kim

Not much out of her. He talks, she doesn't.
============================================

TexasToast

Wow Tom.

How many posts are you going to make on whether or not only convicted felons get fired from the Bush White house?

M. Simon

The vast left wing noise machine strikes out again.

And Judith Miller is in jail. Why? Because if she gives up her source(s) the NYT will not pay her lawyer's bills. Sitting in jail has to be a hard way to earn a living.

mark

Actually, he was asked "will you stand by your earlier pledge to {insert something OTHER than his earlier pledge}"

"Yes" Seems to be agreeing to stand by his earlier pledge. If the reporter did not know what the earlier pledge was, or chose to misrepresent it-it would seem more of an indictment of poor preparation by the reporter than a President unwilling to stand by his pledge.

moptop

Mark, Don't bother with logic when TexasToast is up fer a witch burning, puhleeze. That reporter put those words in Bush's mouth, fair and square. Ask anybody on DU.

Hankmeister

Here's how the USA Today handled it yesterday, quite honestly I might add.

They noted Bush said on September 30, 2003: "If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person violated (the) law, the person will be taken care of."

USA Today then noted that even though Bush had not framed it in the way the journalist did in asking the question "if you stand by your earlier pledge" (see above for earlier pledge), Bush had answered in the affirmative that he would "fire anyone" involved and "And that's up to the U.S. Attorney to find the facts." June 10,2004

And this last Monday Bush consistently reiterated: "If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."

I've heard both the original audio of Bush's response on September 30, 2003 and the official transcript of the entire news conference at whitehouse.gov and the President did say from the very start it would have to be a criminal matter as opposed to a political witch hunt which seeks to besmirch Karl Rove vis a vis the liberals' and lamestream media's kangaroo court.

Kudos to USA Today for being honest enough to get at least this part of this left-wing tempest in a teapot right.

moptop

Actually Toasted by the Texan, you could shut a lot of us right wingers up if you could produce the earlier pledge by the president to which the reporter refered. Remember that it has to be a pledge to fire "anybody involved".

Can't do it? I didn't think so. I guess that logic doesn't get you guys very far in the "reality-based community". I guess that blind faith in the KOS and repetition of talking points are more important to you guys than thinking.

Here is a hint: only the partisans who already hate Bush will buy your twisted logic, and as the last three election cycles have proven (yeah,I said it, check the scoreboard), that ain't enough to get a Democrat elected anywhere outside of your archapelago of Jonestowns you call the "blue states".

jukeboxgrad

MOP: "produce the earlier pledge by the president to which the reporter refered. Remember that it has to be a pledge to fire 'anybody involved'."

Scottie said: "If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration."

Is Scottie the president? No. Is it his job to speak for the president? Yes.

If you want to claim there's a huge moral difference between a statement coming from Scottie, as compared to a statement coming from Dubya, then you are merely demonstrating that we are well into the "I did not inhale" phase of the Bush presidency.

TexasToast

Tom has posted at least three times that Bush did not pledge to fire anyone who hadn’t committed a crime – i.e., that merely “leaking” was not an offense that would result in firing at the White House. I haven’t ever said that Bush pledged to fire the “leaker” – but the White House, through its official spokesman, has said that anyone who leaked classified information will not be a part of this administration because “…that’s not the way this White House operates.” Normally, what the White House press spokesman says might be some indication of what the President means when he says something subject to various interpretations, but Tom has argued that using McClellan’s words to interpret the President’s “moves the goalposts". Funny that Tom has pulled out the heavy equipment (several looooooong posts) attempting to plant that darned goalpost at a criminal act and not where McClellan had put it.

Yep, Tom has argued forcefully that the straight-shootin’ GWB never promised to fire anyone but convicted felons. I paraphrased Tom’s position in my post as the “convicted felon” rule. What would you call it?

We now know that Rove identified Wilson’s wife to Cooper (sometimes shortened to “leaked classified information”). Rove is still “a part of this administration”. We clearly have crossed Scott McClellan’s “goalpost.” The President, however, is the ref with the yellow flag. It appears this ref isn't throwing that flag until crossing the goal has been confirmed from the goodyear blimp.

Ardsgaine

you are merely demonstrating that we are well into the "I did not inhale" phase of the Bush presidency.

Which I might be willing to grant, so long as you grant that the "scandal" is as relevant, and the scandal mongers as stupidly obsessed as was the case regarding whether Clinton inhaled or not.

Er...

This is an extraordinarily confusing post.

In the opening paragraph of the piece you've excerpted, Media Matters writes: "CBS News and the Los Angeles Times reported this pledge as narrower than it actually was ... In doing so, they joined The New York Times and The Washington Post, which had similarly narrowed the White House's pledge." (Emphasis mine.)

Here, Media Matters is clearly displaying displeasure with four journalism institutions, including the New York Times.

Yet in the sentence immediately preceding this excerpt, you have told us that we are about to see Media Matters approvingly cite the New York Times.

Your lead-in is apt to spawn lots of head-scratching.

Step back and process it the way the typical reader will process it: After you introduce the notion that Media Matters approves of the NYT, we are immediately confronted by a paragraph in which Media Matters clearly disapproves of the NYT.

It is only by reading further that we see Media Matters make a separate, supportive reference to the New York Times. For many readers, this likely will come only after sitting stuck, rereading the first graf and your lead-in several times trying to square it all up.

This whole Plame mess is complicated enough without bizarrely constructed Internet posts adding to the chaos.

TM

Well, let's see what we lose if we delete that clause.

Keith, Indy

Yeah, I'm still reading through the entire transcript of McClellan trying to answer reporters badgering questions...

some snippets to put things in CONTEXT

Q Scott, has anyone -- has the President tried to find out who outed the CIA agent? And has he fired anyone in the White House yet?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Helen, that's assuming a lot of things. First of all, that is not the way this White House operates. The President expects everyone in his administration to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. No one would be authorized to do such a thing. Secondly, there -- I've seen the anonymous media reports, and if I could find out who "anonymous" was, it would make my life a whole lot easier. But --

Q Does he think it didn't come from here?

MR. McCLELLAN: But we've made it very clear that anyone -- anyone -- who has information relating to this should report that information to the Department of Justice.

Q Does he doubt it came from the White House?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?

Q Does he doubt?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, there's been no information that has been brought to our attention, beyond what we've seen in the media reports, to suggest White House involvement.

Q Will the President move aggressively to see if such a transgression has occurred in the White House? Will he ask top White House officials to sign statements saying that they did not give the information?

MR. McCLELLAN: Bill, if someone leaked classified information of this nature, the appropriate agency to look into it would be the Department of Justice. So the Department of Justice is the one that would look in matters like this.

MR. McCLELLAN: Let me finish. Are we supposed to chase down every anonymous report in the newspaper? We'd spend all our time doing that. That's what -- I think you need to --

Q The anonymous reports, though, allege criminal activity.

MR. McCLELLAN: You need to keep in mind that there has been no specific information, there has been no information that has come to our attention to suggest White House involvement, beyond what has been reported in the newspapers.

Q The implication you're leaving us with, I'm afraid, is that nothing is being done here at the White House to even look into this matter --

MR. McCLELLAN: Wait a second, I made it very clear that if something like this happened, the President believes the Department of Justice should look into it and pursue it to the fullest extent. Leaking classified information, particularly of this nature, is a very serious matter.


Q -- and, yet, his spokesman is saying that there's no internal, even, questioning of whether or not people were involved in this and he's just letting that be handled at the Justice Department, and letting it be more of a criminal investigation, as opposed to almost an ethical --

MR. McCLELLAN: Dana, I mean, think about what you're asking. If you have specific information to bring to our attention --

Q No, but you say that --

MR. McCLELLAN: -- that suggests White House involvement. There are anonymous reports all the time in the media. The President has set high standards, the highest of standards for people in his administration. He's made it very clear to people in his administration that he expects them to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration.

Q We do know one thing that did happen, and that is that a name was leaked of a CIA operative. Whoever did it, does the President want some type of Justice Department investigation into just that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, like I said, one, I've only -- I've seen the media reports and in one report I saw that the CIA had neither confirmed or denied that this individual was a covert operative for the CIA.

Q Why don't they deny it, if it's --

MR. McCLELLAN: But, yes, if something like this happened, a leak of highly classified information of this nature, the President would want it looked into and pursued to the fullest extent by the Department of Justice.

Q Are you saying the President is not even aware whether or not this actually was a CIA operative who was identified? I mean, you're not even saying that that is a given in this matter?

MR. McCLELLAN: What I just said is what I've seen in the media reports, was the CIA has neither confirmed or denied that. I don't know. But --

Q But that's always their policy. They never confirm.

Q They never do.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I understand that. And I'm saying, if someone leaked classified information of that nature, then it should be looked into by the Department of Justice. Now you need to ask the Department of Justice what their procedures are and what they would do.

Q Well, obviously, someone contacted Karl Rove. There was some effort to knock down a specific allegation here. So I'm wondering, why not contact others? Were others contacted in the -- among the President's senior advisors?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, there was a specific allegation leveled -- I saw it has now since been backed away from -- about Karl Rove. And that's why I responded to that question. But I think we could go down the White House directory of every single staff member and play that game. I'm not going to do that. What I've made clear is that if anybody has information relating to this, they need to report it to the Department of Justice, and the Department of Justice should pursue it to the fullest. It is a serious matter. But I'm not going to go down a list of every single staffer in the White House, when there's not specific information that has been brought to my attention to suggest --

Q No, I understand your argument there. But there are a limited number of people who would be aware of this information. Is it --

MR. McCLELLAN: That's right, I would think so.

Q -- is it inappropriate in your view? Or is it just too diffuse, it's too difficult? I don't understand exactly what the reason is that you wouldn't expand the effort from Karl Rove to, perhaps, another dozen or so people who might have been knowledgeable.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we've got important work to do here in Washington, D.C. for the people of this nation. And the President will continue to focus on the priorities we are pursuing: the war on terrorism, strengthening the economy. There are a number of important priorities we are focused on. There are a lot of anonymous media reports that happen all the time. And it's not our practice to go and try to chase down anonymous sources every time there's a report in the media. If there's specific information that comes to our attention, that's another matter. But there has not been any information beyond what we've seen in just anonymous media reporting to suggest that there was White House involvement.

Q So you're telling --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, are we supposed to go through every anonymous source?

Q No, no, no. But the President --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, no, no, let's make that clear.

Q All the President has to do is pick up the phone and call a meeting here and find out. And if they all say, we didn't do it, he also can call the CIA. What is the big barrier?

MR. McCLELLAN: Because the Justice Department is the appropriate agency to look into a matter like this. There's nothing specific to suggest -- there's no information that's been brought --

Q I'm not saying that.

MR. McCLELLAN: Hold on, let me finish. There's been no information brought to our attention to suggest that there was White House involvement, beyond what we've seen in the media reports. And those are anonymous media reports, at that.

Q You're challenging anyone who has information about this --

MR. McCLELLAN: Absolutely.

Q -- to step forward --

MR. McCLELLAN: Absolutely.

Q -- and contact the Department of Justice?

MR. McCLELLAN: Absolutely. And if there's a senior administration official -- I saw quoted in one article -- that senior administration official, if they have specific information, they should go provide it to the Department of Justice, absolutely, you bet, because this is a serious matter.

Q Can you explain why the President, who ran to say that he would, himself, restore, honesty and integrity to the Oval Office, that he would do it, is now saying he has to do nothing proactively on this front and will leave it to the Justice Department, when it's his own staff who's been accused of committing a very, very serious federal crime?

MR. McCLELLAN: And I think I've asked and answered that.

Q No, but why is he not doing anything proactively?

MR. McCLELLAN: I've been asked and answered that question. I had that asked up here. I mean, I'll go back through it.

Q You haven't said why -- you haven't said what his thinking is and why he doesn't --

MR. McCLELLAN: Because there has been no information that's come to our attention, or been brought to our attention, beyond what we've seen in the media reports.

Q -- classified --

MR. McCLELLAN: Let me finish, and then you can ask your question. I've seen the anonymous media reports. But like I said, there are anonymous media reports all the time. Are we supposed to go chasing down every single anonymous report?

Q No, no --

Q There are serious consequences --

MR. McCLELLAN: If there's -- no, no, there are anonymous reports all the time making accusations about the White House.

Q There are not anonymous reports all the time about serious leaks. The White House in the past has called for investigations based on leaks, based on anonymous sources up in Congress.

MR. McCLELLAN: And what -- what have I said?

Q So why not do the same in this case?

MR. McCLELLAN: And what have I said? The President believes that if someone leaked classified information of this nature, that it should be looked into. The Department of Justice should look into it, they should pursue it to the fullest extent possible. So we very much are saying -- we very much are saying what you're asking.

Q Scott, you keep saying: if there was a leak. But Ambassador Joe Wilson has been all over the place, on ABC this morning, in other media outlets saying, himself, that his wife was outed, that she was -- he has confirmed it, that she was a CIA operative and that her identity has been revealed. So if that's the case, why wouldn't the President be proactive about this in trying to find out where that leak came from?

MR. McCLELLAN: Okay, so if it's a "senior administration official" we should go to every single agency? I think that's -- the Department of Justice can do that, and that's what they're charged with doing. So they will look into it. If there is specific information relating to the White House, someone is welcome to bring it to our attention. But I have not seen any information, beyond what is in the media reports, to suggest White House involvement.

Q But isn't the President concerned when there is a leak of this magnitude, that could threaten someone's very life?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think I addressed that earlier. Absolutely, the President believes that this is a serious matter when you're talking about the leak of classified information. The leak of classified information, yes, you're absolutely right, can compromise sources and methods. That's why the President takes it very seriously, and we've always taken it very seriously. And if it happened in this case, it's a particularly serious matter and it should be looked into by the Department of Justice.

But if you have specific questions about where it -- who is looking into it and what is happening, talk to the Department of Justice.

Q You're still saying "if" --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, talk to the Department of Justice and they'll get you more information.


Well, it goes on and on with the reporters continuing to badger McClellan over this.

In the end, you have to go back to the beginning with what McClellan said of this:

MR. McCLELLAN: Bill, if someone leaked classified information of this nature, the appropriate agency to look into it would be the Department of Justice. So the Department of Justice is the one that would look in matters like this.

If someone leaked classified information, the Justice Dept should look into it and pursue it to the fullest extent.

Er...

Actually, I think you could delete the entire first paragraph of the excerpt without losing anything significant, while adding substantial clarity. The CBS and LATimes stuff is superfluous to the point you're making anyway.

BumperStickerist

We now know that Rove identified Wilson’s wife to Cooper (sometimes shortened to “leaked classified information”). Rove is still “a part of this administration”.

I fail to see how the information that Rove gave is classified information.

and I've tried ... I've really, really tried to understand how Rove, with all his Evil Rovian ways, "leaked classified information"

... for which Rove should be fired, dismissed from the Adminstration, be shunned by all people of faith, and ridden out of town on a rail, clothed only in those feathers which are still sticking to the tar.

My take, after reading all of the posts and source stuff, is that Rove said something that the CIA would rather have not had him say - for reasons that are not explicitly related to security and, my own contribution to conspiracy theory, actually have more to do with keeping the CIA from looking bad for its past mistakes than with concern over Ms. Plame.

That falls *way* short of compromising the security of the United States by 'leaking' "classified" information.

From a purely 'who said what when to whom' timeline, the timeline Cliff May {Republican Hack}posits makes a hell of a lot more sense than the explanation put forth by David Corn {Democratic Hack}, imo.

Not to mention the precedent of the Press citing some sort of binding oral contract to the President with regard to personnel decisions. A contract, apparently, based on their interpretations of statements and subject to ongoing modification.

Given the Terry Moran's line of questioning, what's next? This?

"Mr President - you said you'd fire anybody who leaked classified information - well, Karl told me something classified so could you fire him ... right now?"

jukeboxgrad

ARDS: "so long as you grant ... stupidly obsessed ... whether Clinton inhaled or not"

I think you're claiming that the question of whether or not Rove outed an agent is no more "relevant" than the question of whether or not Clinton smoked pot. Did I interpret you correctly? Because I wouldn't want to be putting words in your mouth. I just find it hard to believe you're really saying what you seem to be saying.

KEITH: "If someone leaked classified information, the Justice Dept should look into it and pursue it to the fullest extent."

It's a pretty pathetic situation if it takes efforts by the CIA, DOJ and FBI, over a period of two years, at great taxpayer expense, to find a snitch in the White House. Why didn't Bush just address this himself, two years ago? Why didn't he just find out who did it, right away, and tell us, right away? Is it because Rove won't even tell the truth to Bush, and instead had to be outed by Cooper? Who here really believes that Cooper is more familiar with Rove's activities than Bush is?

This is the guy who told us (via his staff) that he knew exactly where the WMD was hidden in Iraq, but he can't find the snitch in his own office. Pathetic.

This is why polls show that most Americans don't think Bush is cooperating with the investigation.

jukeboxgrad

BUMPER: "I fail to see how the information that Rove gave is classified information."

Here's a clue that it's "classified information:" the CIA, DOJ, FBI, Fitz and several judges are acting as if they're convinced that disclosing Plame's identity as a CIA employee was indeed a leak of "classified information."

By the way, even if you want to argue otherwise (for example, if you want to argue that Plame's CIA phone number was on every bathroom wall in DC; although even that would not necessarily constitute an officially declassified status), Rove was subject to a non-disclosure agreement which said: "I understand that if I am uncertain about the classification status of information I am required to confirm from an authorized official that the information is unclassified before I may disclose it."

Is Rove going to claim he was certain Plame was not covert? Because if he wasn't certain, then he was uncertain. If he was uncertain, did he adhere to the terms of this agreement and "confirm from an authorized official that the information is unclassified before" he disclosed it? Somehow I doubt it.

"Rove should be fired, dismissed from the Adminstration, be shunned by all people of faith, and ridden out of town on a rail, clothed only in those feathers which are still sticking to the tar."

All that would be nice, but a good start would be to temporarily revoke his security clearance, since he's proven that in his mind, politics trumps national security.

"Rove said something that the CIA would rather have not had him say - for reasons that are not explicitly related to security"

I don't think Rove's SF312 (the agreement I cited above) had a special clause that said "although I am required to protect classified information, because my name is Karl Rove I have the special power to exempt myself from that obligation, if I decide that the information was classified by the CIA for reasons that in my opinion, or my pal Bumper's opinion, are 'not explicitly related to security.' In other words, I make all the rules."

"That falls *way* short of compromising the security of the United States by 'leaking' "classified" information."

Does it also fall "*way* short" of "'leaking' "classified" information?" Is it your point that it's OK for senior officials to leak classified information, unless it can also be explcitly proven that the leak also directly compromised "the security of the United States?"

Your standards are too low. Then again, we already knew that.

"the timeline Cliff May {Republican Hack}posits makes a hell of a lot more sense"

I'm not sure what timeline you're talking about. Anyway, does May (or you) deny that Rove told Cooper that Plame worked for the CIA, regarding WMD?

"some sort of binding oral contract to the President with regard to personnel decisions"

I realize you probably think it's quaint of us to hold the White House accountable for statements it issues. Refer to my message here regarding Scottie. Are you suggesting that we can no longer take Scottie seriously, when he says he is speaking for the president?

BumperStickerist

jbg -

I've noticed that you don't notice that the bulk of those points you make are are self-nullifying.

The rest are irrelevant.

Rather than exert any additional effort to convince you otherwise, the easier course of action simply is to be as evil as you think 'we' are.

Hail Karl!

{chest thump}

Cheers.

Robin Roberts

TexasToast and jukeboxgrad want to enforce someone else's choice of words upon the President in place of the President's actual own choice of words.

This would be obviously ridiculous to anyone who wanted to even pretend to reasonableness.

jukeboxgrad further misrepresents the facts when he states that "the CIA, DOJ, FBI, Fitz and several judges are acting as if they're convinced that disclosing Plame's identity as a CIA employee was indeed a leak of 'classified information.'".

This is plainly not true. Those responsible for investigating the CIA's referral are responsible for investigating whether or not there was a leak. The idea that the investigation is itself proof of the conclusion is the kind of logical fallacy that jukeboxgrad ought to be aware he is employing.

kim

He's got beam/mote awareness.
=============================

Peter

To begin with, Plame is not and never has been a CIA "Agent". She, apparantly was once a CIA Officer working under a non official cover, ie, having no diplomatic immunity. Agents are the foreign nationals that CIA Officers run.
I find it quite amusing that there are all these people oh-so-concerned about this kerfluffle when they don't even know the job titles.
Next, according to the public statements so far by Fitzgerald, Rove is not thought to have broken any laws. Plame was pulled from NOC duties after the Aldrich Ames treachery was uncovered as her name was known to him and, presumably, passed on to the guys in the black hats.
The Aldrich Ames affair was more than five years before the miller/Rove conversation. The law against outing a CIA Officer working clandestinely is clear and fairly narrowly defined, someone has to have worked overseas under NOC within five years.
Plame's identity is no more a national security secret than is mine and I drove around with a big ol' star on the door of my car and red and blue lights on the roof.
Fitzgerald is after something, it isn't the "leak" of Plame's identity, more likely lying to the Grand Jury or the Federal Investigators, a la Martha Stewart.
Give it up, Toasted Texan and Jukebox Grad, you ain't gonna get Rove, nor Dubya on this one. Better luck next time.

jukeboxgrad

BUMPER: "I've noticed that you don't notice that the bulk of those points you make are are self-nullifying."

I've noticed that you don't notice that your habit of hiding behind blanket dismissals, rather than even making a pretense of presenting a substantive, factual argument, is quite transparent to anyone who can think for himself. In other words, I understand that your ideological pals don't realize what a waste of time you are.

ROBIN: "... jukeboxgrad want to enforce someone else's choice of words upon the President in place of the President's actual own choice of words"

When you say "someone else's choice of words," are you talking about Scottie? Because it was Scottie who said: "If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration."

Are you claiming that we shouldn't take Scottie seriously when he tells us he's speaking for the president? If Scottie's words don't mean what they sound like they mean, then why would any of his words be worth listening to? Whose views is he expressing, if not the president's? If Scottie is speaking only for Scott McClennan, and not for George W. Bush, then why does anyone give a darn about what Scottie has to say?

"The idea that the investigation is itself proof of the conclusion"

I didn't say it was.

Here's what I said: "the CIA, DOJ, FBI, Fitz and several judges are acting as if they're convinced that disclosing Plame's identity as a CIA employee was indeed a leak of 'classified information.'"

Here's what I would have said if I had realized that nitpicker Robin was listening: "the CIA et al are acting as if they're convinced that disclosing Plame's identity as a CIA employee (_if indeed such a disclosure has actually occurred_), was indeed a leak of 'classified information.'"

So I'm not saying the investigation "is itself proof of the conclusion." I'm saying the investigation itself is ample reason to believe that a disclosure of Plame's identity as a CIA employee, if indeed such a disclosure occurred (and of course we all know it has), represented a leak of classified information.

Recall this description of the central allegation which appears to be the impetus for the investigation, that "administration officials leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer to a journalist." This description of the investigation suggests that there might have been a leak of classified information, and this alleged leak was with regard to the identity "of an undercover CIA officer."

In other words, the people behind the investigation are acting as if an unauthorized disclosure of Plame's identity as a CIA officer might have occurred. They are also acting as if this disclosure, if it did occur, "was indeed a leak of 'classified information.'" After all, if an unauthorized disclosure of Plame's identity as a CIA officer would not constitute a leak of classified information, then what is the investigation about? (I realize a lot of people want to believe the investigation is about Wilson. Trouble is, this is based on nothing but wishful thinking. It is at odds with a variety of facts, including the aforementioned description of the allegation driving the investigation.)

Recall that I was responding to Bumper, who had said "I fail to see how the information that Rove gave is classified information." I think I answered him.

By the way, you're essentially making a big fuss about the phrase I omitted: "if indeed such a disclosure had actually occurred." This is clear because you said "those responsible for investigating the CIA's referral are responsible for investigating _whether or not_ there was a leak" (emphasis in the original). Not exactly. It's been pretty clear for a long time that "there was a leak." What wasn't clear was whodunit. Now we know.

It didn't occur to me to include that missing phrase ("if indeed such a disclosure had actually occurred"), because we are now all well-aware not just that "such a disclosure" has "actually occurred;" we're also well-aware of who made the disclosure (at least one of the "who," that is).

So the bottom line is that I just wasn't taking into account how alienated from reality you are. My mistake.

By the way, the fact that the investigation isn't over just means that the investigation isn't over. Even though the investigation isn't over, we already have learned a great deal (especially recently) about the facts of the matter, facts that folks like you are highly motivated to deny.

A quick recap of the central facts, as they are very clearly known at this point: Rove gave information about a CIA "operative" (to borrow a word from Novak) to a reporter, and for a couple of years the White House has been covering this up with lies.

jukeboxgrad

PETER: "Plame is not and never has been a CIA 'Agent'"

I'm not sure what semantical hair you're trying to split. Maybe you prefer the term Novak used to describe Plame: "operative," which is commonly defined as "a secret agent; a spy."

"Agents are the foreign nationals that CIA Officers run ... all these people ... they don't even know the job titles"

I guess "they" includes Cliff May, who recently defined NOC as "an _agent_ with Non-Official Cover" (emphasis added). You should let him know that "agent" is the wrong word, since anyone with half a brain knows that "agents are the foreign nationals that CIA Officers run."

You should also have a talk with the illiterate, ignorant idiots at the BBC, who have no problem calling her an "agent."

Of course the biggest idiot of all is Scottie, since he said: "The Department of Justice is looking into this to determine what you're saying about the potential leak of classified information concerning an undercover CIA _agent_" (emphasis added). Doesn't he know that "Agents are the foreign nationals that CIA Officers run?" Damn fool. So hard to get decent hired help these days.

By the way, I realize the basic correctness of your point, which is explained here. But the term is so commonly used (by all sorts of people, as I've demonstrated) that your nitpicking is not helpful.

"according to the public statements so far by Fitzgerald, Rove is not thought to have broken any laws"

If you're referring to the fact that a long time ago Fitz said Rove wasn't a "target," the evidence for your assertion is not impressive. If you have other evidence, let us know.

"Plame's identity is no more a national security secret than is mine"

How odd that a bunch of folks at the CIA see it differently.

"Fitzgerald is after something, it isn't the 'leak' of Plame's identity"

How odd that the original allegation was described as follows: "administration officials leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer to a journalist."

Do you suppose that sentence is referring to some other "undercover CIA officer," i.e., someone other than Plame?

moptop

OK, I didn't realize that Scotty (may his namesake rest in peace) made policy and in fact was the president. I guess you caught Bush airtight, and people should fry. He should have been fully aware that when the reporter said "your pledge", he meant somebody else. The reporter did not say "your administration's pledge" which would have been correct. Every time Bush has spoken for himself on this matter, he has been perfectly consistent. So which part of the nonsensical hypothetical is it that caught Rove again?

moptop

Oh, wait a minute, I get it, the reporters are allowed the sloppy use of English inherent in informal speech. And since it is usually possible to parse at least two possible meanings out of grammatical mistakes, but to prove one or the other is impossible, you lefties get to choose. Kind of a droit de signorage in language you guys have been granted somehow.

mark

I have information that Bush made the whole WMD thing up, was on a grasy knoll in Texas, was in Chile in 73, and had a backpack delivered in London today...

But the source is classified. I would blab, but I know how protective the Democrats are regarding classified info...

Wouldn't want to get in trouble.

The irony of Deep Throat being revealed and the dems switching their stand on classified info, within 6 months, has given me whiplash.

Tigger

Hey Jukebox, can you do me a favor and square your unmigitated outrage at Karl Rove's nefarious tactics of saying 'yes I hear that too' to matt cooper, with Sandy Bergers removal of papers from the national secutiry archives which he 'accidentily' shredded later on that evening?

Would these two incidents be on the same level? After all, saying 'I heard that too' to a reporter doesn't seem like the slam dunk case you're trying to make. Compared obviuosly to Berger being on camera, shoving classified US government documents in his pants, taking them home and shredding them, and then saying it was all a big accident?

Should he be tarred and feathered too? Or does he not count because he's a democrat and his last name isn't Rove?

discuss among yourselves...

mark

Juke box grad-

Do you think it might be possible that Fitzgerald is also examining how Wilson was citing a classified report from the CIA, 8 months before it was declassified?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A39834-2004Jul9.html

Apparently he knew of a forged report and the actual flaws in the report, before he should have had access to it.

Looks like Valerie and Joe had some interesting breakfast conversations. I'm sure Tenet only cares about Rove and not someone working for him, who is leaking info that makes the CIA look bad. I'm 'sure' that fitzgerald was not asked to review that small matter by Tenet. anxiously awaiting the report...

Jamie

JBG:

You yourself, in a medium in which you are able to review and correct what you've said before anyone else sees it, were sufficiently unclear that you felt a need to go back and clarify what you said. Your contention appears to be that official White House policy rests on (or is answerable to) a verbal and uneditable statement made by the White House's press spokesman during a press conference in which he was being asked and was answering the same d*mn question a jillion times, and that he answered ONE time with less-than-perfect clarity ("involved in it"). Wha?

If a press spokesman were the shaper of policy, s/he'd be either (a) a tape recording, (b) the President, or (c) Rove, apparently. It's well within the realm of possibility that Scott has spent the last however long beating himself up about "involved in it" AND that Bush has called him on the carpet for not maintaining perfect aplomb throughout the Fateful Press Conference. What is NOT within the realm of possibility is that Bush should be held to what is at worst a misstatement, and more likely a misinterpretation on the part of the press, of his own policy.

jukeboxgrad

MOP: " I didn't realize that Scotty ... made policy and in fact was the president."

Nice job putting words in my mouth. Of course Scottie does not make policy, and is not the president. But in case you hadn't noticed, he speaks for the president.

Scottie said: "If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration." Simple question: in your opinion, when Scottie said that, was he speaking for himself, or was he speaking for Bush?

"He [Bush] should have been fully aware that when the reporter said 'your pledge', he meant somebody else."

Uh, no. You're a bit confused. No one (not me or anyone else) is claiming that when the reporter said "your pledge," that the reporter was talking about Scottie's statement I'm citing. The reporter was talking about a different, earlier statement by Bush.

My point is that this earlier statement by Bush doesn't matter, and the reporter's question (which some claim was poorly worded) doesn't matter, because Scottie said it clearly in the statement I cited.

"The reporter did not say 'your administration's pledge' which would have been correct."

Again, no. You're confused. I'm not claiming the reporter was referring to the statement by Scottie that I cited. My point is that this whole mess about the reporter's question is quite unnecessary, because Scottie had already made a clear statement on this subject.

"Every time Bush has spoken for himself on this matter, he has been perfectly consistent."

Trouble is, Bush doesn't always speak for himself. He hired Scottie to speak for him. Are you saying the new rules are that Scottie's words can be selectively, retroactively ignored, when political conditions make that convenient? If those are the rules, why would anyone bother ever taking Scottie seriously, ever again? It makes no sense to even listen to Scottie if there's always a blanket loophole: "I'm just Scottie, not the president, so we reserve the right to tell you tomorrow that everything I said today was complete crap."

Is this your idea of what Bush had in mind when he promised to "restore honor and dignity to the White House"" (link)?

"since it is usually possible to parse at least two possible meanings out of grammatical mistakes"

There is nothing at all ambiguous about what Scottie said.

"wait a minute, I get it, the reporters are allowed the sloppy use of English inherent in informal speech"

When the president communicates, it's part of his job to be clear. Even if those big nasty reporters are asking stupid, confusing, mean questions. Bush's job is to make sure his message is clear even in the face of that. It's hard work! But it's part of his job. When his meaning is not clear, he has no one to blame but himself.

jukeboxgrad

TIGGER: "Sandy Bergers ... Would these two incidents be on the same level?"

No. Let me know how many covert agents were outed by Berger.

By the way, even if they were (on "the same level"), your "not much worse than Clinton argument" is not impressive. It's not a good sign for the strength of your position that you're resorting to that argument.

"saying 'I heard that too' to a reporter doesn't seem like the slam dunk case you're trying to make"

You're referring to what allegedly went on between Rove and Novak. Either you don't know, or are pretending not to know, that "I heard that too" was not part of the Rove-Cooper conversation. Cooper has made it very clear that he didn't know about Plame until Rove told him.

Aside from that, "I heard that too" is a form of confirmation (albeit a coy form), and confirmation is a form of unauthorized disclosure: "Information remains classified until it has been officially declassified ... before disseminating the information elsewhere or _confirming_ the accuracy of what appears in the public source, the signer of the SF 312 must confirm through an authorized official that the information has, in fact, been declassified. If it has not, further dissemination of the information or _confirmation_ of its accuracy is also an unauthorized disclosure" (link; emphasis added).

When Rove/LIbby heard a reporter say something about Plame, the proper response would have been "you're talking about something that might be classified, so you should stop, and I have to get off the phone now to call the Agency so they can investigate what you're doing, and where you got it." Instead, they said "I heard that too." That was the wrong answer.

It was also wrong for the White House to use lies to cover this up for a couple of years.

jukeboxgrad

MARK: "The irony of Deep Throat being revealed and the dems switching their stand on classified info"

Let me know how many covert agents were outed by Mark Felt.

"Do you think it might be possible that Fitzgerald is also examining how Wilson was citing a classified report"

Here's a list of people who Fitz has been interested in: the president, the vice president, Secy. Powell, "Bush White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, political adviser Karl Rove, Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis I. Libby, Republican National Committee consultant Mary Matalin, former Cheney press aide Catherine Martin, White House press secretary Scott McClellan, communications director Dan Bartlett, deputy press secretary Claire Buchan, and former assistant press secretary Adam Levine" (link).

Let me know if you think this list is consistent with your theory.

jukeboxgrad

JAMIE: "Your contention appears to be that official White House policy rests on (or is answerable to) a verbal and uneditable statement"

Your assertion about "uneditable" would make some sense if Scottie had "clarified" his statement the next day, and I'm claiming "sorry, too late, you already said it, can't do that."

Trouble is, Scottie did not clarify his statement the next day. Why not? He had ample opportunity. He could have said "hey guys, here's what I meant to say yesterday." Why didn't he do that?

"Bush has called him on the carpet for not maintaining perfect aplomb throughout the Fateful Press Conference"

Anybody can make a mistake. Trouble is, if it was really a mistake, Scottie had a duty, and ample opportunity, to correct the mistake. He didn't.

"more likely a misinterpretation on the part of the press, of his own policy"

Scottie's words are very plain, and not open to misinterpretation. There is no sign that Scottie is being misinterpreted. There is ample reason to think, however, that Bush (and Scottie's) earlier statements were only made because of the belief that Rove et al would never be outed.

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