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July 21, 2005

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Martin

April 13 2004:

Q Thank you, Mr. President. In the last campaign, you were asked a question about the biggest mistake you'd made in your life, and you used to like to joke that it was trading Sammy Sosa. You've looked back before 9/11 for what mistakes might have been made. After 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have you learned from it?

THE PRESIDENT: I wish you would have given me this written question ahead of time, so I could plan for it. (Laughter.) John, I'm sure historians will look back and say, gosh, he could have done it better this way, or that way. You know, I just -- I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hadn't yet.

Martin

With this at the helm, you can see how underlings could run around creating mischief.

Geek, Esq.

"Good link on "Why Judy" - phone logs! Still, they must have someone at the other end of the phone, who has waived privacy.

And she appears right on the Newsday WH list with Kristof and Sanger."

I suspect Miller is using this as a grand opportunity for self-promotion and an attempt to repair her reputation as a journalist after her Iraq WMD hackery.

I'm guessing that the stories from the journalists all sounded remarkably similar in their specificity (Rove, Libby, maybe Fleischer or some other politicos) and that the WH officals were similar in their vagueness ("Uh, I heard it from some journalist. Can't remember his name, though."

SteveMG

Juke:
STEVE MG: "it would direct some of the heat towards the PRESS"

This isn't a question of what I want - your pyschic abilities are betraying you.

Again.

TM's post above (way up there somewhere) is that elements in the press, e.g. Russert, have been curiously silent about their roles in this matter. This isn't an issue of what TM or I want. It's an issue of whether some in the press already knew of Plame's identity.

As I tried to tell Geek, journalists in Washington have their own sources. They work their beats, interview people, network, hear rumors, talk to officials and exchange information or gossip. It's called REPORTING. Woodward gave a great account of how he met and developed Mark Felton aka Deepthroat. This is what reporters do.

In my wasted youth, I was a reporter for a few newspapers in Ohio and Indiana. Covered state and local issues. I was a terrible journalist; just awful. But in covering council meetings or the courthouse, I developed all kinds of sources and information. People like to talk, like to have their names or info in papers. Human nature.

Don't you find it curious that the reporters listed above have been strangely silent about their roles in this matter?

Cui bono?

SMG

JG

Would a reporter shield law carry the same weight as the Colorado Rape Shield Law?

It seems to me that most reporters rely too much on gossip.

Miller had info from one or more secret agencies - all those WMD stories; certainly some of her sources knew Plame worked at the CIA. Assuming it wasn't generally known in the DC social circle. And the press claims Plame worked on "Iraqi weapons issue". So maybe Miller knew Plame. Maybe Plame was one of her contacts.

Who sent Mr. Wilson and why didn't he have to sign a non-disclosure document (or whatever they call it today)? Has this person been fired? This individual is either incompetent or was playing politics. The latter has been far too often the case for the CIA in the last decade. Which might explain why they failed the whole WMD question.

If the "Secret" memo came from the State Dept., why aren't they being questioned? Foggy bottom definitely plays politics.

And last but not least, if you were an undercover agent, would you let your spouse do an Op.ed about agency work? Only if you liked being hooked up to a lie-detector.

This whole Plame affair only shows me how F'ed up the CIA was.

And one big note of caution. I've seen plenty of "TOP SECRET" material make it into the press; usually no more than half correct.

jukeboxgrad

TM: "[if] the *only* source was reporters independently obtained knowledge of Ms. Plame's status."

As I've said many times, even this scenario does not let Rove off the hook, since "Information remains classified until it has been officially declassified."

TRUZ: "but I said 'a reporter' not 'Cooper'"

I know. But the importance of Cooper is that he indicates (and Luskin has not disputed this) that Rove told him. Some are confused and think Rove only "confirmed" to reporters (as if that is not also a leak; it is).

I think your "if any" comment almost sounds denial of this (because you're casting doubt on the idea that a "government official made the first material statement that caused Valerie Plame's name to be dragged through the press").

I realize that Rove's statement to Cooper is not proof that "a government official made the first material statement that caused Valerie Plame's name to be dragged through the press."

However, Rove's statement to Cooper is indeed proof that a government official made a material statement to a reporter, who didn't already know, regarding Plame's identity as someone who worked at the CIA. Quite a few people are still confused about this (or in denial), which is why I want to make these points clear.

I didn't mean to suggest you were saying anything incorrect, and I apologize if I inadvertently conveyed that impression. It's more that I think you said something that could easily be misinterpreted as support for something that isn't true.

If I understand you correctly, you're saying that the seminal source might be a reporter. I agree that is possible, but I think it's unlikely. More importantly, as I said above to Tom, it doesn't matter much if intermediary sources, or even the seminal source, was a reporter. It doesn't matter a whole lot where Rove got it, or the places it visited before it reached him. What matters most is what he did with it. Likewise for other potential defendants like Libby et al.

It's hard (and perhaps wrong, depending on the circumstances) to hold people accountable for what they hear. In contrast, it's very important to hold people accountable for what they say. This is just common sense.

I think certain people are focusing too much attention on the story of how the information reached Rove's ear. I think it's more important to focus on the way it left his mouth. I think some people are using the former as a way to intentionally distract us from the latter.

jukeboxgrad

TRUE: "Considering the connection between Cooper's wife..."

Since this asinine idea keep popping up, an answer needs to keep popping up.

You're suggesting an anti-Bush conspiracy that arrived in the form of the Republican special counsel who was appointed by the Republican John Ashcroft, subsequent to a complaint referred by the Republican George Tenet.

And don't forget the mind control that was used to get the Republican Rove to tell Cooper that Plame was CIA/WMD.

As for Cooper, you're forgetting that he covered for Rove all through the pre-election period. I'm sure this made Matt popular with Mandy.

Finally, the reason Cooper is not currently in jail, still covering for Rove, is on account of some interesting last-minute behavior on the part of both Pearlstine (i.e., finally deciding, against Cooper's request, to release Cooper's notes) and Luskin. With regard to the latter, see this.

Geek, Esq.

Just to clarify an earlier statement, the State Dep't Memo was marked "Top Secret" and the Plame Section was marked "S/NF" or "Secret/NoForn."

I hope no one leaked to Peter Jennings!

Marlene Elacqua

Joe Wilson is Judy Miller's source..........take it to the bank!

Truzenzuzex

Jukeboxgrad:

"I think certain people are focusing too much attention on the story of how the information reached Rove's ear. I think it's more important to focus on the way it left his mouth. I think some people are using the former as a way to intentionally distract us from the latter."

Well, from a legal standpoint it matters very much how the information came into Rove's posession. Personally, I could care less what he said as long as he didn't willingly violate the law. Bush may care, however.

I am also not sure what you mean by "distract[ing] us from the latter." If Rove didn't break any laws, what does "the latter" matter? It is a well established fact that Plame worked for the CIA, and had a hand in getting her husband the Niger mission. Given Wilson's dissembling comments on that point, it can hardly be argued that Plame's involvement is irrelevant to his credibility, especially given the high profile Wilson voluntarily took as an administration critic.

You may have a problem with Rove getting this information out even if he didn't break any laws. I certainly don't.

Geek, Esq.

Maybe Chalabi or Curveball is Judy's source?

Geek, Esq.

How Rove learned of the information is highly relevant to his level of intent and knowledge of the information's sensitivity.

However, even if he didn't see the memo, he still could have known that the information was sensitive.

And, don't forget, under federal conspiracy law (Pinkerton) the level of intent of one co-conspirator can be imputed to another.

jukeboxgrad

STEVE MG: "This isn't a question of what I want - your pyschic abilities are betraying you."

Your various statements (not to mention your use of the SHIFT KEY) seem to indicate that you do indeed think that it would be good to "direct some of the heat towards the PRESS." I'm not being "psychic;" I'm just paying attention to your words and your typography. Did I misunderstand you? If I'm putting words in your mouth (kind of reminds me of a recent discussion about a certain pledge), this would be a good chance for you to clarify what you're trying to say.

"It's an issue of whether some in the press already knew of Plame's identity."

First of all, let's be clear about Cooper. He's not in that group.

Secondly, please clarify "already." Do you mean "some in the press" knew before anyone in the White House blabbed to anyone? If so, please explain why this would matter. Please recall that "Information remains classified until it has been officially declassified."

In other words, even if one goes all the way to the extreme of suggesting the seminal source is a reporter, that does not get Rove off the hook.

"Don't you find it curious that the reporters listed above have been strangely silent about their roles in this matter?"

I'm sure those reporters have all sorts of interesting stories to tell. They may or may not have good reasons to be holding back on those stories. I'm open to either possibility. However, I object to the notion (which you and Tom may or may not be promoting) that somehow the story of how the information reached Rove's ears is more important than the story of how it left his mouth.

JG: "if you were an undercover agent, would you let your spouse do an Op.ed about agency work"

Maybe you would encourage him to try lots of other alternatives, first (and Wilson did). Maybe you would require him to get a backhanded blessing from someone like Rice, first (and Wilson did).

Before writing the oped, Wilson tried to communicate his concerns to Rice, privately. The message he got back was that "Rice was not interested and he should publish his story in his own name if he wanted to attract attention" (link). As far as I know, Rice has never denied this.

Cecil Turner

Geek,

"The Plame section was TS: NSF." (from earlier thread)

Dang. Every time I get busy, something interesting happens.

Well, that would at least be close to a reasonable classification level (though I still believe a codeword would be necessary if it were properly marked). But if the classification is in fact TS, that greatly reduces access, and makes it a lot more problematic for leakers (especially if the paragraph in question is more highly classified than the rest of the document). I can't find that specific story BTW, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

John

The MSM is cornered and doesn't know how to deal with it. They attempted to get Rove and it backfired on them. I agree with Marlene that Joe Wilson's fingerprints are all over this story; he has abosolutely no credibility and appears to be a self-absorbed egomaniac. And, let's not forget, a Kerry supporter as well. When Fitzgerald finishes his investigation, the MSM and the liberals in the Congress, will be sorry he ever started this...."what starts out wrong, ends up wrong" and the MSM played "Gotcha" with the wrong guy..GWB has outsmarted them for a decade now and there is no let up in sight!

Geek, Esq.

Cecil:

Here's what I can find in print (sorry about the source, btw):

http://atrios.blogspot.com/2005_07_17_atrios_archive.html#112203581169971452

"Democrats plan to grill Bush confidant Karen Hughes about leak-case in her confirmation hearing for State Department public diplomacy post. A key department memo discussing Joseph Wilson's Niger trip was classified "Top Secret," and the passage about his wife's CIA role was specially marked "S/NF" -- not to be shared with any foreign intelligence agencies."

Syl

I still can't get past a certain part of this whole thing...

jukeboxgrad: "Here it is, plain and simple: Rove told Cooper that Plame worked for the CIA."

Not quite. Rove told Cooper that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA.

It was Novak who associated the name 'Valerie Plame' with the CIA and Wilson. At least it was Novak who first put the two (Valery Plame + CIA) in print.

Now where did Novak get the name. He said he might have googled it. That would have given him the name 'Valery Plame Wilson' from Wilson's bio..unless there was another source out there.

Fine..but why would Novak then drop the Wilson part and just use 'Valery Plame'?

Curious. Who told him that she just used her maiden name?

Also Novak used the term 'operative' and claims that's just the word he uses for something like this. So, let's accept that, though it was a very very very poor choice of word. Okay.

What I'm confused about, though it probably has nothing to do with the legalities of the leaking, is how did we get from

Valery Plame + CIA operative + WMD issues

to

Valery Plame + undercover

???

Was there anything in print between Novak and Wilson/Corn? Did anyone, anyone at all, figure out she was NOC and worked for a front company (most likely just a company name and phone number routed to her desk at Langley)?

If someone could get all this from just Valery Plame + CIA there wouldn't be any investigation because that info wasn't being hidden.

So, what else was needed? Just the fact she worked on WMD issues?

I posit that it is Wilson himself who actually outed Plame. And no harm, no foul.

But the legalities require we know exactly how the part of the INR memo referring specifically to her was classified. So legally someone could still be in serious trouble.

And with a CIA dragging it's feet changing her status from NOC to Official Cover and her driving to Langley every day and her full maiden name on the 'net.

What a waste this seems.

I know. I know. If the info was classified and leaked that's still a crime.

But man, what a circus.

Marlene

Does anyone know if Joe Wilson testified before Fitzgerald's Grand Jury? Now there is question I would like the answer to. With all the leaking going on by the MSM, surely someone knows the answer to this question.

Slartibartfast
Well, that would at least be close to a reasonable classification level

No, Secret-NOFORN means, simply, no foreign nationals can be allowed to see it, regardless of clearance. This sort of thing is (or was) extremely common in the missile defense community. It's not even close to as tightly protected as codeword stuff. And it still doesn't clarify at what level of classification, if any, Plame's identity as a CIA agent carries.

Geek, please learn how to link. Your cut-and-paste HTML is getting chopped.

Slartibartfast

Just so you know, here's some stuff that was classified Secret/NOFORN, just to give you an idea of what sort of tip-top secret information that would destroy our ability to conduct intelligence operations can look like. I mean, look at item 1, portion-marked S/NF. That's going to rock the world on its foundations, let me tell you.

M. Simon

I think Plame outed herself.

Geek, Esq.

What are the tags here for linking, italics, etc?

Slartibartfast

Same as everywhere else: [a href="link.html"]link text[/a] (using the arrow-thingies instead of brackets. Italics are [i]text[/i].

Cecil Turner

Geek,

"Here's what I can find in print (sorry about the source, btw):"

Thanks . . . much better than I could find. He refers to a WSJ article (for subscribers).

"the passage about his wife's CIA role was specially marked 'S/NF'"

Okay . . . but that's not the same thing as TS/NSF. I'm increasingly convinced that the INR memo is the key to this mess, and the details are critical. If the Plame stuff features prominently in its own paragraph, and is clearly marked, somebody is going to jail (or at least ought to). If it's a footnote (espeically if it's: in a section with a lesser classification than the rest of the document; mixed in with other information; and the author didn't know she was covert), then it's most likely not criminal. ISTM putting a NOC's identity into a State Department memo is clearly a mistake, however it's marked, and the logical answer is that the author didn't know her status.

If the overall document is TS, however, Fitzgerald is far more likely to get to the bottom of it. Classified document handling varies, and I'm not familiar with procedures aboard AF1, but in most places a TS document requires its own cover, can't be left unattended even in a secure area, and logs are often kept. This makes it much easier to determine who had access.

Slart,

"No, Secret-NOFORN means, simply, no foreign nationals can be allowed to see it, regardless of clearance."

Yes, Secret is obviously not proper (with or without the "NF"). I couldn't say the same about TS, though I believe, as you obviously do, that it would still be inadequate.

Tony Piller

Guess that is escorts and search for escorts. http://escorts.spb.su/

Geek, Esq.

Cecil:

I'll leave the Security code sleuthing to folks like yourself.

I may be a bit biased on this whole security code thing--us lawyers are trained to treat disclosure of confidential information as a really big deal.

I do think that the big importance of that language isn't what it says about Plame's status (I'll wait for Fitz to weigh in on that) but rather that it proves that anyone reading it had official notice that it was wildly inappropriate (and likely illegal) to disclose the contents to the media.

Slartibartfast
us lawyers are trained to treat disclosure of confidential information as a really big deal

On the other hand, you lawyers ought to be perfectly aware of the need for the existence of signed confidentiality agreements that apply to the disclosure in question before doing your "he's guilty" dance. Not being a lawyer, though, I might be completely wrong about that.

TexasToast

Slarti

Like the http://www.fas.org/sgp/isoo/sf312.html "> SF 312 .?

Geek, Esq.

Everyone with Rove's security clearance has to sign a SF-312, which covers all confidential/Top Secret info he gets.

A specific agreement for each specific document, AFAIK, is not required to make non-disclosure a legal obligation.

M. Simon

Why has the NYT declined to cover Miller's legal bills if she talks? Their legal resonsibility is to give up the info.

How can they be so yard on Rove re:legalities and yet avoid those same responsibilities re:Miller.

Somptin is fishy.

My guess is that public announcement of the source would blow the whole Plame case out of the water. At least in so far as it is a vehicle to get Rove.

I say let the hysteria build. When (if) the truth comes out it will be another chunck out of the MSM (NYT) credibility.

Slartibartfast

Can you people please stop waving the SF 312 at me as if it means all that you hope it does, and please, I'm begging you, take the time to actually read it? I mean, it's not as if I've never seen one before.

Geek, Esq.

We've read it Slart. How does it not acknowledge the signer's binding legal obligation to avoid disclosing classified information?

Cecil Turner

"I'll leave the Security code sleuthing to folks like yourself."

Unless someone admits nefarious intent, we're going to be stuck inferring it. ISTM the source of the information is a critical piece of that.

"I may be a bit biased on this whole security code thing--us lawyers are trained to treat disclosure of confidential information as a really big deal."

I suspect it's more an issue of familiarity. It's not at all uncommon to have a voluminous Secret document in which only a few small details (usually technical specifications) are actually Secret. Normally one can pick out what is classified fairly easily (as it's supposed to be), but mistakes happen. If it's an honest mistake, it's not criminal. I still suspect that's the case here, since I see no reason Plame should have been mentioned in the INR memo (and would be convinced if we learned the author didn't know of Plame's status). If it turns out the "footnotes" in question were properly labeled, or someone was reading a classified paragraph to someone else, that'd be an entirely different story.

Slartibartfast

If you insist on ignoring the "authorized access" bits of it, there's no way I can explain it to you. It's almost as if I'm speaking to someone who cannot hear verbs.

But let me give it one more try, from the text:

Question 13: What is the threshold of liability for violating the nondisclosure provisions of the SF 312?

Answer: A party to the SF 312, SF 189 or SF 189-A may be liable for disclosing "classified information" only if he or she knows or reasonably should know that: (a) the marked or unmarked information is classified, or meets the standards for classification and is in the process of a classification determination; and (b) his or her action will result, or reasonably could result in the unauthorized disclosure of that information. In no instance may a party to the SF 312, SF 189 or SF 189-A be liable for violating its nondisclosure provisions by disclosing information when, at the time of the disclosure, there is no basis to suggest, other than pure speculation, that the information is classified or in the process of a classification determination.

If this isn't enough, I can't imagine what other, repeated communication of the point is going to achieve penetration.

Geek, Esq.

Slart:

What are you trying to argue? If he knew the information was classified and leaked it to reporters, that's a per se violation of the SF-312.

Slartibartfast

Of course. I've never said otherwise, have I? There are, however, other possibilities.

Geek, Esq.

So, why did you refer to "the need for the existence of signed confidentiality agreements that apply to the disclosure in question."

The SF-312 is exactly that. The only possible out is if Rove shouldn't have reasonably known that Plame's status was classified.

Lesley

Juke:

My point was that Time/Warner would be alot more worried about shareholder anger and possible litigation over this matter than the NYT . While certainly not definitive, its an interesting issue to ponder.

Slartibartfast
The SF-312 is exactly that.

No, it's not. It's more of a blanket agreement and acknowledgement of rules of disclosure for materials that the signer is authorized to access. If Rove was given materials that he wasn't authorized to access, he's not liable under the NDA. Did you bother to read the Q&A that I took time to cut and blockquote? It says exactly that.

Slartibartfast
The only possible out is if Rove shouldn't have reasonably known that Plame's status was classified.

Bingo.

Geek, Esq.

"It's more of a blanket agreement and acknowledgement of rules of disclosure for materials that the signer is authorized to access. If Rove was given materials that he wasn't authorized to access, he's not liable under the NDA."

It doesn't say that. It says if he's not allowed to disclose ANY material he should reasonably know is classified.

Geek, Esq.

"It's more of a blanket agreement and acknowledgement of rules of disclosure for materials that the signer is authorized to access. If Rove was given materials that he wasn't authorized to access, he's not liable under the NDA."

It doesn't say that. It says if he's not allowed to disclose ANY material he should reasonably know is classified.

ArminTamzarian

Geek:

How can there be a "per se" violation of a form? Is the form in the criminal code? Do you even know what "per se" means?

Here, I'll give you some free illumination. As I'm sure you don't know, all large law firms have anti-insider trading policies. Typically, lawyers can't sell stocks until a set time has elapsed since purchase, say six months, and they have to get permission to sell from the firm's compliance officer. Lawyers sign forms agreeing to these policies when they begin their employment. Do you understand what this policy is? It's just that: a policy designed to ensure compliance with the law. Violation of the policy does not equal violation of the law; in fact, in most cases, there is no chance anyone violated the law.

Do you understand?

Oh, and Pinkerton is about liability for the crimes of a conspiracy after a conspiracy is established. It doesn't discuss the intent required to form a conspiracy. Nice try though. Keep flipping through your casebook, maybe you'll find something.

Martin

Just shut up and send me my $20 fool.

Slartibartfast
It says if he's not allowed to disclose ANY material he should reasonably know is classified.

This is exactly what I've been saying. The flipside of that is that he isn't liable if he discloses information he has no way of knowing is classified. You know, stuff he hasn't been briefed on.

Geek, Esq.

Slart:

It's very possible that Rove would know something was classified without having been briefed on it.

For instance, if it has a big "TOP SECRET" stamp on the top of it. Or if the paragraph in question is further labeled "S/NF"

ArminTamzarian

That time of the month, again, Martin?

Geek, Esq.

Armin:

I signed one of those forms when I worked at a big law firm. I also wouldn't equate the obligations flowing from that agreement with those flowing from agreeing to keep classified information relevant to our nation's security secret. The language in SF-312 is deliberately modeled after the Espionage Act provisions.

And I'm aware of what Pinkerton holds.

Martin

Look if Rove read the INR memo-he's toast. Even the RedState lunatics admit that much.

His defense rests on his pure incompetence.

Seems like an airtight defense actually.

ArminTamzarian

Geek:

So you're still claiming that this form negates the burden to establish all elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt?

Worked at a big law firm as a paralegal for two years, right?

Slartibartfast
For instance, if it has a big "TOP SECRET" stamp on the top of it. Or if the paragraph in question is further labeled "S/NF"

And you're saying he has?

But let's say he has: if he has in fact read that, then he's been briefed at that level. If he has, he'd likely know what in that paragraph was Secret/NOFORN. If Plame's identity was classified Secret/NOFORN (which I think is profoundly unlikely, but possible), then Rove is indeed in a world of hurt. In that event, all you'd have to do is show that her identity was indeed classified at that level. I haven't seen that yet, but you might have. If so, please link me.

The alternative is that he hasn't read it, in which case we're back to was he briefed at that level, and if not, who spilled the beans to him?

Slartibartfast
And you're saying he has?

Ah, should have read: he has read the memo in question.

ArminTamzarian

Well, no, Martin, if we're talking about the Espionage Act, 18 USC 793(d) or (e), the elements are that the defendant possessed information (1) "relating to the national defense," (2) "which information the possessor had[d] reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation," and (3) "willfully communicate[d]" that information.

Each of these elements requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, in open court. That certain information is classified does not prove (1) or (2).

I'd like to see someone actually apply law to fact, because while hand-waving and high-fiving may work in MoveOn headquarters, it doesn't make a legal case.

Geek, Esq.

Slart:

I don't know what can be proven about what Rove knows. But I suspect that he and Scooter and Ari had very many candid discussions.

Armin:

Of course no general form can waive those constitutional protections. However, a signed form SF-312 can severely undercut the ability of a defendant to contest elements like willfulness or knowledge.

Marlene

Martin........the Red States Won, remember? And the same "lunatics" will carry the day come November 2006 with added seats in the Senate.......so, get over it and get used to it. You all sound like a bunch of sore losers.Better get some professional help as the handwriting is on the wall and it spells out "REPUBLICANS SWEEP WITH FIVE ADDED SENATE SEATS!". That makes 60 R vs. 40 D.........no more childish filibusters Martin. The "lunatics" will have spoken. Again.

Martin

Marlene, I'm talking about redstate.org.

Slartibartfast
I don't know what can be proven about what Rove knows. But I suspect that he and Scooter and Ari had very many candid discussions.

I strongly doubt that your suspicion is going to pan out all by itself, Geek. Me, I'd stick with what's known.

ArminTamzarian

Sure, geek, if in your little world mistake of law is a defense. Otherwise, what you say simply makes no sense. A reasonable person has to know that the specific information in question could be used to injure the United States, and of course that information actually must be capable of injuring the United States, since the reasonable man wouldn't worry about information that can't injure the United States. Then he must willfully communicate that information.

You can talk about your forms all you want, but it doesn't do anything for you. Being dumb may work for you, but it's not a legal defense.

Geek, Esq.

Armin:

You're the judge presiding over Rove's trial. Let's also stipulate, for point of discussion, that Rove has read the INR memo.

Rove is disputing all three elements.

Prosecution seeks to introduce into evidence the INR memo, labeled "Top Secret" with a Secret/NoForn designation for the paragraph of the Plame section.

They also want to introduce into evidence Rove's signed SF-312.

Do you admit the SF-312 as relevant towards the issue of Rove's guilt? If so, to which elements is it relevant? If not, why not?

ArminTamzarian

The memo is relevant, but it is not by itself sufficient to establish any element of the crime.

The form is irrelevant to element (1), which is a separate factual issue unrelated to the defendant's intent. Element (2)(a) is a separate factual issue, to which the form is irrelevant. Element (2)(b) is an objective knowledge test, for which the defendant's subjective intent doesn't matter, making the form irrelevant. The form is inadmissible.

The form is a prerequisite for gaining security clearance, and violation of the terms of the form are grounds for disciplinary action, including termination. This does not make it relevant to a criminal prosecution.

Slartibartfast
Do you admit the SF-312 as relevant towards the issue of Rove's guilt?

Not claiming to be Armin, but: the SF 312 is nothing. Rove signed one if he's got any sort of clearance. I've signed one, and it doesn't implicate me in this case at all. Any particular reason why you brought it up?

Lynn Christopher

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Lynn Christopher

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marc

Bloomberg's Take:

Rove, Libby Accounts in CIA Case Differ With Those of Reporters

Why couldn't it as easily have been the following headline?

Russert, Cooper Accounts in CIA Case Differ With Those of White House Officials

Answer: Al Hunt, Editor of Bloomberg, committed leftist.

Plus, why isn't the press in a tizzy for someone to investigate the illegal leaks of grand jury testimony? I'm just going to wait and see what happens. We are all speculating wildly and I won't be surprised at any outcome.

Lynn Christopher

Get some information on swimsuits to you swimsuits! http://swimsuits.nalchik.ru/

Geek, Esq.

Well, Armin, you either haven't read SF-312 or your rhetoric exceeds your knowledge of the law.

SF-312 would be admissible as an admission by Rove. Admission of what?

"I have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of classified information by me could cause damage or irreparable injury to the United States or could be used to the advantage of a foreign nation."

"In addition, I have been advised that any unauthorized disclosure of classified information by me may constitute a violation, or violations, of United States criminal laws, including the provisions of Sections 641, 793, 794, 798, 952, and 1924, Title 18, United States Code, the provisions of Section 783(b), Title 50, United States Code, and the provisions of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982."

Dope.

Geek, Esq.

And, yes, the first paragraph directly mirrors the language of the Espionage Act, and 18 USC 793--mentinoed on SF-312, is also known as the Espionage Act.

ArminTamzarian

Geek:

Wonderful, you can cut and paste. Now how does that prove that any particular piece of information could injure the United States, or whether a reasonable man should know that it could? Right, it doesn't. No matter how many ways you try to disguise it, you can't sit there and argue that signing a standard form establishes liability for the elements of a crime.

Even with just two years of paralegal experience and a year of law school, you should know better.

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Slartibartfast

Geek, the only thing SF 312 is good for is that it's an admission by Rove that he's been briefed. It's pretty useless, really, because he would not have been granted access to anything at all, had he refused to sign. It's certainly not anything resembling evidence of wrongdoing.

exguru

All I've see in this is that Wilson has lied repeatedly, and Rove is pure as the driven snow. I wonder if Mrs. Wilson did not break the law when she told her husband that those numbers were wrong on the report he later disremembered... We should reflect it all took place in the heat of the election campaign, and at that time the MSM were heavily into "get Bush," a la ABC News and NY Times and Dan Rather/CBS, et al. Pehaps the sutff Ms. Miller will not tell has to do with further culpability of NY Times along those lines. Why not? Something's screwy.

Slartibartfast
All I've see in this is that Wilson has lied repeatedly, and Rove is pure as the driven snow.

Objection, irrelevant. Rove's and Wilson's respective to-date veracity, trustworthiness, and...whatever else you want to drag into this are pretty much beside the point.

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Geek, Esq.

Slart and Armin:

It's directly relevant to intent, knowledge, and willfulness. It's an admission by the defendant that the defendant KNOWS that the unauthorized disclosure of classified information may harm the United States and may violate the Espionage Act.

Crikey.

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Slartibartfast

It's also a release, that the defendent is not liable if he unknowingly releases classified data.

Crikey.

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Geek, Esq.

"Unknowingly" is a pretty damn big operative concept. Of course if he doesn't have any idea that the material is classified, then it doesn't come into play.

However, remember I stipulated that Rove HAD read the memo, where he was put on formal notice that the information contained within was classified information.

It may not be conclusive, but no competent judge would exclude that form on the grounds of relevance.

Slartibartfast
"Unknowingly" is a pretty damn big operative concept.

As is "knowingly".

However, remember I stipulated that Rove HAD read the memo, where he was put on formal notice that the information contained within was classified information.

Well, IF he read the memo as-is, unredacted, and he took Plame's name from that paragraph, and it turns out Plame's identity is in fact classified, I think I've said all along that if all that is true, he's guilty as sin.

My problem is when people start assuming that all three of those are true, without being able to substantiate even one. See, Plame's name being in the memo is no guarantee that her name is/was classified. Otherwise, you know, all of the words, even the letters of the alphabet...Secret.

ArminTamzarian

It's directly relevant to intent, knowledge, and willfulness. It's an admission by the defendant that the defendant KNOWS that the unauthorized disclosure of classified information may harm the United States and may violate the Espionage Act.

No, slick, you're not actually answering anything. Your analyses are like the ones in pro se prisoner's petitions. They cite statues and cases (oh, right, you haven't cited cases), and then just make conclusory statements, without actually doing any analysis.

Yes, someone who signs your li'l buddy 312 knows the law. Great. So does the reasonable man. Now, how does signing that form prove that any given piece of information a person comes across could harm the United States, or that he should know that about that particular information?

I know you think it makes you look smart to throw around not one, not two but three legal terms at once ("intent, knowledge, and willfulness"), even though everyone knows that knowledge and willfulness are but types of intent, and that knowledge and willfulness are very different standards, and that someone who lumps them all together just looks like a bleeding idiot. But hey, maybe when (if) you graduate from law school, you'll finally have a clue.

Cecil Turner

"It doesn't say that. It says if he's not allowed to disclose ANY material he should reasonably know is classified."

If we're discussing a criminal violation, probably ought to focus on the statutes instead of the 312. (Though they're not to far apart on this particular point.) The standard under the most logical section (798) is that someone "knowingly and willfully" communicates classified information to an unauthorized person.

"Look if Rove read the INR memo-he's toast."

I'm not convinced that's true. If this was a tightly-written document that had undergone a classification review, maybe. But it appears to be working papers turned into a memo, which are usually overclassified (and everybody knows it). If he can reasonably claim he didn't think that particular point was classified, he's got an effective defense. If the author didn't know Plame was undercover, ISTM it's airtight.

"Worked at a big law firm as a paralegal for two years, right?" "Dope."

Gents, this stuff really just takes up space, and IMO ought to be avoided.

Martin

Cecil Turner-what's the standard for determining whether it's ok to release info b/c its "overclassified" and who is entitled to make that determination?

Martin

"If he can reasonably claim he didn't think that particular point was classified, he's got an effective defense. If the author didn't know Plame was undercover, ISTM it's airtight."

So you're telling me the government has no effective penalties in place to deter release of classified info by bumbling idiocy?

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Geek, Esq.

Willfulness means "intentionally while knowing such action to be illegal." A signed statement attesting to Rove's knowledge that the unauthorized disclosure of classified information may be illegal under the Espionage act is evidence of willfulness in a prosecution under the Espionage Act for the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

I can't believe someone would even dispute that.

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jukeboxgrad

SYL: "Not quite. Rove told Cooper that Wilson's wife [not 'Valerie Plame'] worked for the CIA."

That talking point (the idea that there's any meaningful difference between the words "Valerie Plame" and "WIlson's wife") was flying around for a while, but as far as I can tell even the extreme hardcore has abandoned it, because it's so obviously nonsense (legally and morally there's no difference between the two formulations; for all practical purposes they are interchangeable). I'm pretty sure even Luskin has disavowed that defense (I wish I could remember where I saw that).

"If someone could get all this from just Valery Plame + CIA there wouldn't be any investigation because that info wasn't being hidden."

Wrong. "Valery Plame + CIA" was indeed being hidden, pre-Novak. If you can show otherwise, please do.

MARLENE: "Does anyone know if Joe Wilson testified before Fitzgerald's Grand Jury?"

His name is noticeably absent from this list: 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).

M SIMON: "My guess is that public announcement of the source would blow the whole Plame case out of the water"

You seem to find it hard to believe what could be a very simple explanation: the NYT and Miller are doing what Cooper did for a long time: covering for Rove. Miller (along with NYT) gave Rove plenty of help pre-war. Why shouldn't her loyalty continue?

MARC: "why isn't the press in a tizzy for someone to investigate the illegal leaks of grand jury testimony"

As far as I know none of those leaks has outed a covert agent.

MARTIN: "His defense rests on his pure incompetence. Seems like an airtight defense actually."

Another beverage event, thanks to you.

Cecil Turner

"what's the standard for determining whether it's ok to release info b/c its "overclassified" and who is entitled to make that determination?"

The question is whether a reader would reasonably infer a particular piece of information was classified. If the author didn't know it was . . .

"So you're telling me the government has no effective penalties in place to deter release of classified info by bumbling idiocy?"

Again, if we're talking about criminal liability, the requirement appears to be "knowingly and wilfully." The civil threshold is somewhat lower.

jukeboxgrad

GEEK, if you want to know more about Slart's analysis of SF-312, look here. Just keep scrolling, as they say.

ARMIN: "how does signing that form prove that any given piece of information a person comes across could harm the United States, or that he should know that about that particular information?"

Forget about the form for a second. A reasonable person knows that outing a covert agent "could harm the United States." A reasonable person also knows that if someone works at the CIA, there is a significant chance that person might be a covert agent: "as many as one-third of the CIA's approximately 20,000 employees are undercover or have worked in that capacity at some point in their careers" (link).

Now let's drag the form back in: "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."

Do you believe that Rove can argue that he was _certain_ that the sentence "Wilson's wife works for the CIA" did not constitute classified information?

Some people are arguing that if Rove was not positively informed that Plame's identity was classified, then he's off the hook. It seems to me that the above language expresses the idea that the burden was on Rove to be positive in the other direction (since any reasonable person would know that there is at least a significant chance that Plame=CIA is classified information, even in the complete absence of specific guidance on that point).

Patrick R. Sullivan

'first learned from NBC News reporter Tim Russert of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame'

What exactly does that mean?

ArminTamzarian

jukeboxgrad:

Like your non-lawyer friend Geek, you don't understand that the prosecution must prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

TexasToast

Cecil

The question is whether a reader would reasonably infer a particular piece of information was classified.

What about the duty to inquire? Thats expressly part of the NDA. Is it reasonable to assume that the ID of CIA employees is not classified or should one havce a duty to determine classification status?

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Wilson/Plame