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October 19, 2003

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Swopa

TM's version:

According to DCI Tenet's July 11 statement, or Ambassador Wilson's Jul 6 op-ed, the Ambassador never saw, and was never asked to comment upon, the forged documents.

From Wilson's op-ed:
While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake — a form of lightly processed ore — by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story . . .

Sigh.

TM

The envoy reported, for example, that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade. Kristof

[the] dates were wrong and the names were wrong," the former U.S. government official said. Pincus

There was no mention in the report of forged documents -- or any suggestion of the existence of documents at all. Tenet

Swopa

By the way, you get bonus sleaze points for implying that Kristof felt misled by Wilson, when he didn't suggest anything of the kind in his article.

TM

Josh Marshall wondered recently why the NY Times has been so silent on this scandal. In a late update to an earlier post, we offered the thought that Mr. Kristoff may have warned his colleagues that the Ambassador needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Pure speculation of our part, of course.

Now, irregular readers are fortunate not to realize this, but I ocassionally have to remind "Swopa" both of his manners, and of the fact that he is free to post his own thoughts on his own blog. Although he is making modest progress on the civility side, he has stilled failed to master the tone that would be suitable for a conversation in someone (else's) living room. My guess is that barring an unexpected development, we will soon be satisfying his desire for victimhood at the hands of an evil, closed-minded righty. Sigh.

We eagerly await further thoughts from Swopa at his blog.

Swopa

Regarding your citations of Kristof and Pincus -- as Wilson states, he was informed of the documents' contents. As a result, based on the information he received in his visit, he'd be qualified to make the statements you cite.

Swopa

If you have made errors in your posts, it seems to me that your blog is the best place to point them out.

(But then, it's probably my poor reading comprehension that leads me to think the words "Post a comment" represent an invitation to comment on your post!)

I see you've added a Tenet quote to your earlier reply. What "report" is he referring to, since Wilson didn't file a written report, and Tenet was not present at his oral debriefing? Since you don't know what that report left out or how Tenet may be spinning it, it's a weak foundation for calling Wilson a liar.

TM

We continue to await "Swopa"'s post, and are especially curious to see how he addresses this point:

Although it received intelligence from the documents earlier, the CIA did not obtain copies of the forged documents until February 2003 — months after the Italians first obtained them and after the president's State of the Union address.

And a year after the Wilson trip.

Now, on a more general topic, lots of homes have a doormat which reads "Welcome". It does not say, please wipe your feet, or, please don't steal the silverware, or, please don't insult the host. Ceretain elements of good manners are taken for granted in polite society and, evidently, ignored elsewhere. I hope that little clarification is helpful.

There are any number of blogs available for folks who need to ventilate. This is not one of them.


Alex Parker

For what it's worth, my intuition is that the CIA didn't really take the Niger claims seriously, and sent down Wilson as a formality to confirm what they already were pretty sure of. That would explain the casual nature of his trip.

Swopa

We continue to await "Swopa"'s post, and are especially curious to see how he addresses this point:

Although it received intelligence from the documents earlier, the CIA did not obtain copies of the forged documents until February 2003 — months after the Italians first obtained them and after the president's State of the Union address.

Well, I'd probably go to the very next paragraph in the article you link to:

A U.S. official said the Italians initially only described the documents to the CIA. Then the State Department obtained a set from a journalist and that led to an investigative trip to Niger by former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

You did know that State Department people talked to Wilson before his trip, right? So he could have gotten a detailed description of the documents, even without seeing them firsthand.
Why is this such a mystery?

Now, on a more general topic, lots of homes have a doormat which reads "Welcome". It does not say, please wipe your feet, or, please don't steal the silverware, or, please don't insult the host. Certain elements of good manners are taken for granted in polite society and, evidently, ignored elsewhere. I hope that little clarification is helpful.

Yes, but if you serve tainted fare to your guests, are they really the only ones to blame for any unpleasant scenes that result?

My initial comments in this thread corrected a clear factual error about Wilson's op-ed and a factually unsupportable insinuation (which you've acknowledged) regarding Kristof's column. Assuming that my fellow guests are interested in a genuine, accurate discussion of the issues, I've done them a favor by pointing out these errors.

TM

You would do us a further favor by being polite about it. And at this point, the question of whether the fare is tainted is entirely a matter of your opinion.

So, your theory is, Wilson saw the State Dept copy in the CIA briefing prior to his meeting, but no one from the CIA did. Later, Wilson told the CIA about it in the de-brief, as he described to Kristof, but the CIA forgot to take notes. Then, when they finally got the documents a year later, they were shocked! Wilson had been right all along, if they had only been listening.

And there is Wilson's description of his analysis to Josh Marshall:

"I came back and said, the business side of it says no and the government side of it says, because people told me--not because people told me but because this is the way that the procedure is--the government side suggests that, if there was going to be a memorandum of sale, that document would have to have the Minister of Mines, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Prime Minister's signature on it. If that document did not have those signatures, then that document could not be authentic. "

Sounds like an abstract "hmm, the documents must be fake", as he describes it there.

But Kristof wrote:

"The envoy reported, for example, that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade. "

This tidbit was forgotten by Wilson himself when talking to Marshall, evidently, and made no impression on the CIA folks either.

And this is what Wilson told TIME last July:

For his part **Wilson says he did not deal with the forgeries explicitly in his report because he never saw them**. However, Wilson says he refuted the forgeries' central allegation that Niger had been negotiating a sale of uranium to Iraq. Wilson says he explained in the report that several Nigerien government signatures would be required to permit such a sale — signatures that were either absent or clearly botched in the forged documents.

Marshall
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/old/sept0304.html

TIME
http://www.time.com/time/nation/printout/0,8816,465270,00.html

Mark Amerman

Alex Parker,

That's actually a pretty serious assertion you make,
quote:

"...my intuition is that the CIA didn't really take
the Niger claims seriously, and sent down Wilson as
a formality to confirm what they already were pretty
sure of. That would explain the casual nature of his
trip."

If that's really true then we should be thinking
seriously of dismantling the CIA or at the minimum
firing whomever was involved in this decision, or
even whomever just looked like they were involved
in this decision.

We should take it seriously because the United
States is a democracy, or at least most of us want
it to be a democracy, and the CIA is part of the
executive branch of the government and hence
accountable to the president and also less directly
to Congress. These are the only representatives
of the people that the CIA are accountable to and
if the CIA or any federal agency feels free to ignore
our requests, then we, in at least so far as that
agency of the government is concerned, are no
longer a democracy.

Now of course as soon as the issue is framed in
these terms, the CIA, or whomever, is going to
claim that of course they were sincerely responding
to the request of the president or his representatives,
but in this case, interestingly, there is a way
to test that claim.

In particular I'm wondering what the CIA did after
Joseph Wilson told them of the Niger official telling
him that he believed an Iraqi delegation had sought
to buy uranium from Niger in 1999. Now this is
of course a measure of Wilson's intent because if he
didn't pursue that lead then we know that he wasn't
really in Niger to look for evidence of a Niger-Iraq
connection, but as much if not more so it tells
us about what's going on in the CIA if they, when
they heard it, did not pursue this.

Now as observers from outside, none of these details
are likely to be accessible to us. But I certainly
hope Congress and the White House are looking at
this, and if Alex Parker's surmise is correct,
then for all our sakes they need to make dramatic
examples of certain persons.

Swopa

I don't see where you're finding a conflict in all that. If I tell you "I've got an invitation to visit the White House next week, signed by Bill Clinton himself," you don't need to see the document to tell me it's bogus.

Based on his trip, Wilson knew whose names would have to be on a legitimate memorandum of sale. Told of a document from 1999 with signatures from Minister X and Minister Y on it, he could accurately say, "Minister X wouldn't have authority to sign the memorandum, Minister Y left office in the 1980s, and it's missing signatures from Minister Q and Minister Z."

Swopa

"...my intuition is that the CIA didn't really take the Niger claims seriously, and sent down Wilson as a formality to confirm what they already were pretty sure of. That would explain the casual nature of his trip."

If that's really true then we should be thinking
seriously of dismantling the CIA or at the minimum firing whomever was involved in this decision, or even whomever just looked like they were involved in this decision.

I don't believe it is true. Alex, if you check your source for this, I think you'll find that it says the CIA et al. wanted to send Wilson (and, presumably, the general who was sent as well) in lieu of more elaborate/expensive clandestine measures.

There's a sensible middle ground between setting up a full-fledged spy operation and the kind of "casual," mere "formality" that is being suggested here. And that's where I think you'll find the Wilson trip.

Alex Parker

I haven't looked over the reporting done in this instance, because I still find it largely irrelevant to the question of the legality of the CIA leak.

But here's what I meant:

I haven't seen these forged documents, but from what I had heard they are so amateurish as to be laughable. David Corn analogized that it would be as if Jiang Zhemin has proof that the U.S. was violating the U.N., and as proof he produced a letter signed by "U.S. Prime Minister George W. Cheney."

Though the CIA may not have actually seen the documents yet, I'm guessing they had an idea as to their authenticity. According to the Washington Post 6/12 story which Wilson was a source for, the CIA specifically wanted Wilson to investigate those charges. They probably decided to say, "Hey Joe, you have a lot of experience in matters relating to North Africa and the Middle East, why don't you go down there and see if it's even likely to be possible?" Wilson went down there, noted that the officials indicated in the documents would not have been present at the alleged time, and furthermore that Niger's uranium facilities were to well-monitored by international companies to allow for such a breach.

I think you're probably right, Swopa, that they thought it wouldn't be worth the effort to expend further resources on the matter. If Wilson had come back saying, "You know, they deny it, but it could very well be possible," they probably would have sent in more agents.

Mark, according to the Time 7/17 article, the 1999 interaction between a Nigerien official and an Iraqi delegate were about extending commercial relations, not specifically about uranium. Regardless, Wilson included that in his report, so it doesn't seem like he was white-washing the issue. The CIA apparently didn't feel it was worth pursuing, even though they seemed plenty eager to tell the administration what they wanted to hear; according to the WaPo 6/12 story, the CIA stiffled Wilson's report into a one and a half page memo which downplayed its findings.

Alex Parker

You know, rereading my last post, I realize that there are quite a few grammatical errors, enough to render the whole thing incoherent. Please accept my apologies for making you guys have to work harder to decipher what I was trying to say.

Swopa

I think, regardless of partisan leanings, we should all resolve to do our best to make "stiffled" into a standard part of the English language.

The meaning would combine "stuffed," "stiffed," and "stifled" (i.e., compressing something in way that intentionally disrespects or removes its meaning) all of which I think are implied in Alex's sentence.

Mark Amerman

Swopa,

I doubt the White House asked the CIA to set up
a clandestine spy operation in Niger. More likely
it was a request to the CIA to look in to whether
Iraq had sought uranium yellowcake from Niger. It
would be interesting to know what specifically
the White House asked the CIA to do, but I'd be
astonished if it weren't clear enough that the White
House wanted information on transactions involving
yellowcake or even parties seeking yellowcake,
and not just the confirmation or disconfirmation
of certain specific documents.

In fact I think we can safely assume that.

Likewise I imagine the reality of CIA operations
is rather removed from TV drama, and that having
people going around simply asking questions is
actually part of the standard operating procedure.

Now I don't know enough to recognize the signs
of this agency carrying out a directive or not
really doing so. But from my outsider perspective
if they didn't seek to find out more about this
Iraqi delegation and specifically that they didn't
seek to find out more about this involved Niger
businessmen that Wilson spoke of, if they didn't
do these things, then the CIA would have been
acting counter to the White House's request.

But in fact we know no such thing, it is simply
Alex Parker's speculation. If the CIA did pursue
this and was able to interview the man in question
or someone else that knew, we wouldn't necessarily
know that because it wouldn't be public information.
Likewise if the CIA attempted to find out more and
were frustrated for some reason, we wouldn't necessarily
know that either.

We can almost know that Joseph Wilson didn't pursue
the question, because it's hard to believe at this
point that he wouldn't have said so, if he did. That
tells us that most likely Wilson even at the point
he was in Niger wasn't interested in the question
of whether Saddam Hussein had attempted to get
yellowcake from Niger.

Alex Parker

You know, I honestly meant to write "stifled," but I think Swopa has a good idea.

Alex Parker

Just one more quick post, and then I have to do some real work:

You have to remember the context in which Wilson began to talk about his report. Condi Rice went on TV and said that besides a few in the "bowels of the CIA," nobody in the administration knew that the documents were forged. Wilson knew, in at least one sense, this was false. He came out in public with his information so that the administration could not use a false alibi.

Wilson did mention the delegate who met with someone in Niger in 1999, so he did not cover that up at all. The primary nature of his report seemed to be that 1) the letters supposedly showing a transaction between Niger and Iraq were false, and 2) a transaction of uranium between Niger and Iraq would be impossible. No one has countered these claims.

Mark Amerman

Alex Parker,

Why are you taking the New York Times as a higher
authority over what George Tenet, the director
of the CIA, said, and for that matter what Joseph
Wilson through George Tenet said?

Neither the CIA, George Tenet, and most especially
the original source for all this said the 1999 Iraq
delegation was not about uranium. In fact the original
source made clear both by his actions and by his word
that this was exactly what he thought it was about.

So on what basis can the New York Times claim
this is not the case?

We know of course that the New York Times was not
there and has no special knowledge and claims no special
knowledge; instead this is simply and only what
the New York Times wants to be true.

Now it's another issue why the New York Times
would wish to believe the White House falsely asserted
something to us all and why they would malicious
propogate such a wishful thinking on their part as
the truth.

But here's a more particular question of this
moment: Alex Parker, you are clearly a smart guy and
plainly you've read what George Tenet wrote on the
subject, why are you acting like that isn't there
and instead presenting the New York Times' wishful
thinking as the truth?

Mark Amerman

Alex Parker,

If Joseph Wilson's New York Times op-ed was about
correcting one wrong assertion by Condi Rice, then
he sure managed to confuse everyone because I don't
believe anyone took it that way.

In fact if you parse it out I don't think it can
be reasonably construed as such.

And if in fact he simply communicated poorly,
something which most of us sometimes do, why in
the world wouldn't he have corrected the misunderstanding
once it became clear that the press and everyone
else was reading this as a repudiation of what, as a
result of his op-ed, became the famous "16 words"
from president Bush's state of the union speech?

Alex Parker

OK, I promise for good now, this is my LAST POST. The problem with these forums is that they are really damn addictive.

I wasn't quoting the NY Times, I was quoting TIME magazine, which was quoting Ari Fleischer directly. Sorry, I should have made that clearer. The nature of the Iraqi delegate's alleged 1999 visit is the same in George Tenet's official statement:

There was fragmentary intelligence gathered in late 2001 and early 2002 on the allegations of Saddam's efforts to obtain additional raw uranium from Africa, beyond the 550 metric tons already in Iraq. In an effort to inquire about certain reports involving Niger, CIA's counter-proliferation experts, on their own initiative, asked an individual with ties to the region to make a visit to see what he could learn. He reported back to us that one of the former Nigerien officials he met stated that he was unaware of any contract being signed between Niger and rogue states for the sale of uranium during his tenure in office. The same former official also said that in June 1999 a businessman approached him and insisted that the former official meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Iraq and Niger. The former official interpreted the overture as an attempt to discuss uranium sales. The former officials also offered details regarding Niger's processes for monitoring and transporting uranium that suggested it would be very unlikely that material could be illicitly diverted. There was no mention in the report of forged documents -- or any suggestion of the existence of documents at all. (emphasis added)

Here is the key paragraph from Wilson's 7/6 op-ed in the New York Times:

In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake — a form of lightly processed ore — by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office. (emphasis added)

Condi Rice was explaining why she they put in the assertion by the British report, even though it was based on material clearly identifiable as false. So, yes, Wilson's op-ed was about more than Rice's specific statement, but it was her statement that caused him to act.

Mark Amerman

But Alex, we don't know what the British intelligence
report was based upon because they have never told
us.

Further what Bush reported the British as asserting
was that Iraq had attempted to acquire yellowcake.

So how in the world did Wilson's experience contradict
this statement?

How in the world does his op-ed amount to a sensible
response to Condi Rice's mistaken statement?

TM

I haven't looked over the reporting done in this instance, because I still find it largely irrelevant to the question of the legality of the CIA leak.

Hmm, I sense an atempt to stiffle this discussion, and I have to gloomily agree - although some of us think the Ambassador makes a lovely punching bag, it hardly changes what happened per Novak.

But I am unrelenting! So I will pitch in some thoughts from the Ambassador himself, cleverly hidden in his July 6 piece:

(As for the actual memorandum, I never saw it. But news accounts have pointed out that the documents had glaring errors — they were signed, for example, by officials who were no longer in government — and were probably forged. And then there's the fact that Niger formally denied the charges.)

That seems a bit different from the Kristof and Pincus descriptions of his report.

Alex Parker

Actually, what I meant to say was that I haven't looked over any of the relevant reporting recently. One of these days, I'm going to sit down and read TPM's interview with Wilson. Unfortunately, I haven't done that yet.

I see your point, but it seems to me to be a matter of interpretation. Here's how I imagine the conversation happening:

CIA PERSON: We have some reports that SO-AND-SO with Niger might have had a business deal with Iraq to purchase uranium around SOME YEAR; we'd like to send you down there and check it out.

WILSON: OK

A few months later....

WILSON: SO-AND-SO or anyone else in the Niger government, couldn't have possibly had a deal to sell uranium to Iraq at any time, but specifically SOME YEAR. There was one guy who talked to an Iraqi delegate about furthering trade; he thought it might have been about uranium, but there's nothing more than that. Niger couldn't possibly give uranium to Iraq because there are about a bunch of international companies that oversee Niger's uranium factories, and they're pretty careful about keeping their stuff.

CIA OFFICIAL: Okey-dokey

Now, how is that inconsistent with what the CIA, or Wilson, has said?

Debra

To Alex Parker and TM

Haven't checked this site out in a while but it seems to me that what you are doing at this blog is trying to muddy up a very simple issue of ethical and probably criminal culpabilty by creating bogus claims of moral equivalencies.

Some persons in an Senior administrative post or the White House outed a CIA operative (who does seem covered by the statute as it is quite clear from news reports that she often was out of the country) What her husband said before she was outed and what he said to whom after she was outed is quite simply irrelevant in the legal sense. His actions are not legally at issue and have no bearing on the criminal nature of the personal actions of those who outed her.

And the claim of contributory negligence is a red herring and also not applicable. Contributory negligence is not a rule of law in criminal cases. It is not a rule of law at all. It is used in civil cases only in order to apportion damages. It has no crimial meaning at all.

There are no and I repeat no moral equivalencies between the actions of the
betrayers and those of Mr. Wilson and his wife. Try all you want and I assume you will keep trying to find some way to justify this heinous act but it just isn't so.

I do see some minor acknowledgement in this vein the last post by Mr. Parker, but as you admit "the Ambassador is a lovely punching bag"
I disagree George Bush is a the one who needs a clear wake up call. He ignored this when Novak wrote his column and he could have done the right thing and just ask every significant level person in his administration to come forward or signh a statement saying it wasn't them, but instead he basically tells them they won't get caught so hush up. He admonishes the media to come forward (though not specifically entreating Mr. Novak, right winger par excellence) but he does not admonish the culprits on his staff to come clean. Some honor and integrity in the Oval office

You can bat around all you want about what Tenet said and what Kristof's initial reports said and what Wilson's Op ed said and try to make meaningless hay out of them,but it still has no bearing on the criminality of the
person(s) who spoke to Novak and the others. Besides the obfuscatory game of false and conjured moral equivalencies you still seem to be in that other game known as blaming the victim(s).

Cecil Turner

Alex,

The detail on the documents is critical. This whole thing began in March, after the Niger documents were found to be forgeries. Al Baradei declared the documents a fake on the 7th, and a week later Sen Rockefeller called for an FBI investigation and claimed the documents "may be part of a larger deception campaign." On the same day, CNN quoted former CIA official Ray Close: "Incompetence I have not seen in those agencies. I've seen plenty of malice, but I've never seen incompetence." James Risen's Mar 22nd NYT op ed said there were "complaints among analysts at the C.I.A." about handling of Iraq intelligence.

Wilson's claim that he'd debunked the documents a year earlier directly contradicts the "honest mistake" explanation by Tenet. That's the reason for his snappy "There was no mention in the report of forged documents -- or any suggestion of the existence of documents at all." That's impossible to reconcile with Wilson's claim--and in his followup comments, Wilson admits he never dealt with the forgeries explicitly, but only their "central allegation"--which is not close to being the same thing. This bit of misdirection is central to how Wilson's story relates to the bigger picture. Once he admitted being the source for the earlier stories, his credibility was badly damaged.

Debra,
The offense alleged is part of "TITLE VI--PROTECTION OF CERTAIN NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION." The crime is leaking a type of classified information. The Wilsons are not the victims here--national security is.

The first leak(s) came from Wilson. He claims it isn't classified, but it reveals part of a classified report. The second leak came from a "senior administration official." He revealed classified information (Plame's name). Wilson's contention (echoed by you) is that we should ignore the first leak and prosecute the second. I don't find that argument in the least convincing.

Alex Parker

Cecil,

I don't quite understand your first point. Wilson went down to Niger, and learned that the people Iraq was supposed to had a deal with could not have done so at the time, and furthermore that Niger could not realistically export uranium to Iraq. He reported this back to the CIA...how does this not contradict what the forged documents said?

As for the second point, leaks of classified info are only illegal if they damaged national security, as I understand it. If there ever was a textbook example of a time when leaking classified information was in the public interest, this was it. No contacts were involved. We all know at this point that no enemy action was involved. I don't see how Wilson's initial leak could have possibly affected national security. And it revealed, at worst, dishonesty, and at the very least, extremely selective wording from the President and the President's staff. I think we all had a right to know about that.

The Kid

I'm getting really confused. According to Friday's (10/17/2003) Wall Street Journal:

In September 2002 -- seven months after Mr. Wilson's trip -- the Niger puzzle got even more intriguing. An Italian journalist walked into the U.S. Embassy in Rome and presented documents purporting to describe a contract signed by Iraq to purchase uranium from Niger. The documents were transmitted back to State Department headquarters in Washington. It took until March of this year for the CIA to analyze the documents and conclude that they were a hoax. By then Mr. Bush had already given his January State of the Union speech describing reports that Iraq had sought uranium in Africa.


Jos Bleau

Perhaps this has been covered elsewhere, and if so, please forgive, but in the Kristoff peice of June 13, he states "Piecing the story together from two people directly involved".

We know that one of those two people was Amb. Wilson. Do we know who the other person is? And how about "three others who were briefed on it"?

Kristoff implies they all spoke to him directly.

If one those people was Valerie Plame Wilson, it would go a long way towards explaining the non-excited nature ot the Times' coverage of the isssue. After all, if VPM is such a deep undercover agent, why would she talkingto Kristoff, and in effect, leaking to the press?

Maybe this has already been covered and I missed it, but it would seem to fit the situation pretty well.

Cecil Turner

Alex,

On the first issue, the contention wasn't that there was a deal, but that there was an attempt. Whether or not it was practical was irrelevant--it's still a violation of UNSC resolutions and demonstrates Iraqi intent to continue WMD programs. Also, Wilson's negative findings didn't rule out there being a deal--it may well have been happening, and he just didn't find it.

On the second, the classified information laws are a hodgepodge. But the standard is for the person involved to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The 1995 executive order says: "The prior execution of at least one of these agreements, as appropriate, by an individual is necessary before the United States Government may grant that individual access to classified information." A fairly complete list is at the FAS site under the SF312 explanation:
http://www.fas.org/sgp/isoo/sf312.html

But even if he violated the non-disclosure agreement (assuming he signed one), it would be a civil case unless he also violated one of the criminal codes (also listed on the same FAS page). ISTM the closest fit for Wilson's leaking is Section 952--Diplomatic codes and correspondence (which forbids disclosing diplomatic codes "or any matter prepared in any such code")--and I'd admit it isn't a terribly compelling case.

As to the "whistleblowing" defense, it won't wash. If you read through that site, you'll see several routes for providing classified information to Congress, Intelligence Oversight Committee, or Inspectors General for that purpose. The NYTimes op-ed pages aren't on the list.

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Wilson/Plame