Powered by TypePad

« The Incredible Shrinking Scandal | Main | "White Men" Pester LA Times »

July 17, 2005

Comments

Steve Carr

As far as Matt Cooper's supposedly questionable motives go, Karl Rove spoke to him about Plame, and for that matter the Bush administration has been talking to him for the last five years, knowing full well that he was married to a Democratic strategist. There is no way that they would have done so if they thought he was a secret operative of the Democratic Party (which is effectively what Jim Rockford appears to be suggesting).

More important, as was just pointed out, Matt Miller was willing to go to jail rather than reveal that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby had spoken to him about Plame. That should be enough to demolish any claims of bias on his part in this case.

Along these lines, Seven, I don't really see how Cooper is under pressure to "save his skin." What he did in speaking to government officials wasn't illegal or professionally problematic. What incentive would he have to mischaracterize his conversation with Rove?

Finally, let's remember: Rove admitted speaking with Cooper, and admitted disclosing Plame's identity as a CIA agent to Cooper. (It was Novak to whom Rove said, "I heard that, too.") We can argue about how Rove had gotten the information about Plame, we can argue about whether Plame was actually a covert agent, and we can argue about why Rove spoke to Cooper (and whether it matters). But the core factual question is not really in dispute. The President's chief adviser leaked the identity and occupation of a CIA operative to a reporter. Setting aside the question of whether this was a crime, what you have to decide is whether you think that was an honorable or professional thing to do.

Jim E.

"On the whole, Fitzgerald has been amazingly, eerily quiet."

No, it's not amazing or eerie. You're probably just surprised because FitzGerald's conduct is -- from what we can glean publicly, anyways -- so at odds with Kenneth Starr's unethical and constant leaks.

"I still think Fitzgerald said that at some point."

You're still thinking he may have publicly said he's investigating a crime he's already decided didn't happen?

"But you are right, it's not easy to find in the public domain."

Things in the public domain are easy to find; I've never said otherwise.

Les Nessman

"JUKEBOXGRAD

Rhetoric Rule #1: It's always a good idea to link to nutty leftist conspiracy theorists and whackjobs when you want to persuade centrists and conservatives because, yeah, THAT'LL WORK.

Posted by: Seven Machos | July 17, 2005 08:28 PM

oh man, Juke box grad, I was really hoping you had it." ..... "And you promised it- but you deliver THAT? Good Lord, man.Give me Atrios and be done with it.Proof, not hackery.

Posted by: Arthur Landry | July 17, 2005 08:28 PM

Hey, Jukeboxgrad -- ever think of getting your own blog rather than chewing up someone else's bandwidth? I sure hope you hit the tip jar heavy.

Posted by: docob | July 17, 2005 08:31 PM"


Man, is this deja vu, or what? I keep seeing these same comments week after week. Almost like there's a pattern....

peapies

Telling the truth is usually a good thing, except when it is done in connection with an unauthorized release of classified information

and that I presume applies to Joe Wilson's knowledge of the gotcha forgeries, oh that's right he was applying "literary flair"

talk about obtuse

Neo

This story with a neverending supply of missing, mispoken, misunderstood and incorrect information seems to just keep coming around with the regualrity of an unwanted season.

The networks should pick it up for a daytime soap opera.

Martin

Hey Les: Here's some deja vu for you:

Aris Fleischer asked about Wilson on Monday 07 July 2003:

"Well, there is zero, nada, nothing new here."

Two years later Tom Maguire notes on his blog: "John Tierney of the Times christens the investigation into the Plame leak "Nadagate"."

How much sense that makes: nada.

jukeboxgrad

SEVEN: "It's always a good idea to link to nutty leftist conspiracy theorists and whackjobs when you want to persuade centrists and conservatives."

Sorry. My mistake. I should have realize that you have no ability to think for yourself to evaluate the content of a report based on its ideas and references, and instead are inclined to judge a book by its cover. In the future I'll try to avoid overestimating you in that manner.

ARTHUR: "For years I've been looking for the proof ... but you deliver THAT"

So sorry to let you down, but if you help me, maybe I can help you. I'm just not sure what part of this you're disputing.

Is it that you don't trust the reporter who said "everyone on the campaign charter concluded that Rove was responsible for rumors about McCain?" (link)

Is it that you don't trust McCain's campaign manager, Richard H. Davis, who said that pollsters called voters to ask "if they would be more or less likely to vote for McCain if they knew he had fathered an illegitimate child who was black?" (link, link)

Is it that you think there's some alternate explanation for this, an explanation that's more parsimonious than the idea that Rove arranged this, since there is a such a long trail of similar incidents in his career?

Just wondering.

DOCOB: "ever think of getting your own blog rather than chewing up someone else's bandwidth"

Oddly enough, I think Tom can actually speak for himself. Then again, I shouldn't assume. Did he ask you to deliver a message for him?

By the way, here's some unsolicited advice: if you're not happy, change the channel.

LES: "I keep seeing these same comments week after week."

Maybe you and docob would like to form a little support group. Then again, maybe you already have. Anyway, if you don't like what you're "seeing," maybe you shouldn't be looking.

STEVE: "... the core factual question is not really in dispute. The President's chief adviser leaked the identity and occupation of a CIA operative to a reporter."

Thanks for your excellent summary. I would only add: and the White House has been lying about it for a couple of years.

RiverRat

Plame outed by a Russian spy and by the CIA to the Cubans in the 90's

Cold water for a smoldering fire!

POUNCER

The following bit of dialog, from above, affords a major journalistic scoop:


PATCH: "Generally, the target of an investigation in a Federal case is the last person interviewed."


JUKEBOXGRAD: "I've heard that said."

Headline resulting from the above, based upon MSM rules for "confirming" a rumor:

JOE WILSON REVEALED AS TARGET OF FED'S PLAME LEAK INVESTIGATION!!!


me

My take:

1. We don't know the details yet and are reading tealeaves into tealeaves in some cases. And yes, we can still make some interesting steps of logic, but WE DON'T KNOW THE DETAILS of fact, yet.

2. Some on the right (my side) are scurrying to protect Rove. Be careful, we don't know the facts, yet.

3. Some on the left are very agitated when the right blows security for political purposes (as they should be), while in the past silent about other lapses from their side. But that doesn't matter now, IMHO. Let's deal with the crime at hand.

****
All following are my own tea leaf reading.

A. Rove, Libby, spokesmodel: At a minimum, these guys had SOME discussion of Plame, even if it was "oh you heard that" or EVEN if it was all in receive mode. They've made comments in the past that implied they had nothing to do with it. So, that seems shifty to me.

B. Wilson, Plame: Have not shown much dedication to Plames's covert status and to importance of keeping intel gathering methods secret (both Wilson's original op-ed article, and subsequent press openness). Also, the referral for the job, while possibly appropriate, was still lied about.

C. Fitzgerald: doing a great job of being straight up. He does need to squash some of the leaks from participants though.

D. Cooper: if his desire for protecting a source was so important that he would risk jail, why is he on the talk shows, now, sharing info? Surely, that pledge to his source still applies? Just because a grand jury gets testimony is no reason to blab to everyone. If you promised to keep something quiet; minimum, you should do is keep it quiet from public discussion.

E. Miller: No way to know what she is doing. Could be protecting Rove, Libby, or some other Plame-flamian administration official. Could be protecting a critic. We just don't know.

me

Riverrat:

Even if Plame's status was compromised by previous leaks, that is no reason to discuss her status openly. For one thing, it confirms the earlier leaks to Cuba, Russia. For another, it helps other countries (not Cuba, not Russia) which may have records of Plame's prescence.

All that said, I'm not crazy about her husband off and writing an oped peice and becoming a public agitator in an area where his wife worked. That also is poor cover-protection behavior.

Paul Zrimsek

If confirming previous leaks is such a bad thing, what are we to make of Wilson's behavior in this regard?

Most of Stalingrad's other quotes are unobjectionable-- though Paine seems to be on the point of saying that the government is necessarily the enemy of the country. If that's so, mightn't it be a good idea to stop giving it so much money?

Of course, the notion that dissent is either inherently patriotic or inherently unpatriotic is preposterous no matter who said it.

RiverRat

Me,

a quote responds well:

"The whole point of discouraging public disclosure of covert agents is to prevent America's enemies from degrading our national security. It is not, after all, the domestic public we are worried about. Rather, it is the likes of Fidel Castro and his regime who pose a threat to Valerie Plame and her network of U.S. intelligence relationships. The government must still be said to have "publicized" the classified relationship — i.e., to have blown the cover of an intelligence agent — if it leaves out the middleman by communicating directly with an enemy government rather than indirectly through a media outlet."

RiverRat

Another quote from the above linked article:

"Have you heard that the CIA is actually the source responsible for exposing Plame’s covert status? Not Karl Rove, not Bob Novak, not the sinister administration cabal du jour of Fourth Estate fantasy, but the CIA itself? Had you heard that Plame’s cover has actually been blown for a decade — i.e., since about seven years before Novak ever wrote a syllable about her? Had you heard not only that no crime was committed in the communication of information between Bush administration officials and Novak, but that no crime could have been committed because the governing law gives a person a complete defense if an agent’s status has already been compromised by the government?"

jukeboxgrad

ME: "WE DON'T KNOW THE DETAILS of fact"

As Steve had said, "... the core factual question is not really in dispute. The President's chief adviser leaked the identity and occupation of a CIA operative to a reporter." And then lied about it for a couple of years.

Do you deny that?

"the referral for the job, while possibly appropriate, was still lied about."

Really? "Officials have said Wilson ... was not chosen because of his wife;" link).

"Surely, that pledge to his source still applies"

No. Rove finally gave Cooper a waiver that convinced Cooper it was real (i.e., not coerced). So the pledge is over. Once it's over, it's over, just like Plame being outed. The toothpaste doesn't go back into the tube.

"I'm not crazy about her husband off and writing an oped peice"

Here is something much-overlooked. 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).">http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A13696-2003Oct11?language=printer">link). As far as I know, Rice has never denied this.

PAUL: "If confirming previous leaks is such a bad thing, what are we to make of Wilson's behavior in this regard?"

Once "Plame=CIA" was on the pages of major magazines, it's silly to suggest that Wilson had either an opportunity or a duty to put Humpty Dumpty back together again by continuing to pretend Plame was an energy analyst.

By the way, even though the desperate search for someone else to blame is quite predictable, even if one accepts the idea that both Wilson and Plame are creeps, liars and traitors (or even, horror of horrors, Democrats), none of that gives Rove a free pass to out an agent.

Wilson is not currently in a highly sensitive position with regard to national security. Rove is. Therefore a discussion of Wilson's track record with regard to protecting secrets is quite academic. The same discussion regarding Rove is anything but.

Speaking of Wilson's track record, I'm still waiting for any clue that pre-Nigergate anyone on the right ever had anything bad to say about him, over his long career. Something? Anything?

"mightn't it be a good idea to stop giving it so much money?"

Tell Bush, since he's never seen a spending bill worth vetoing. Bush's major variation on this familiar theme is that instead of taking the money from our pockets, he's taking it from the pockets of our children and grandchildren. Nice.

jukeboxgrad

RIVER: "Plame outed by a Russian spy"

NRO's McCarthy says "What the mainstream media tells the court ... but won’t tell you." Trouble is, there are many things McCarthy "won't tell you."

McCarthy is really, really surprised that media lawyers did everything they could to get Miller and Cooper off the hook. And how did the lawyers do this? In part, by attempting to argue that no crime was no commited. And how did they argue that no crime was committed? In part, by claiming that the CIA was careless with Plame's identity, and that she had already been outed a long time ago.

Here's the part McCarthy won't tell you: even though he's quite impressed with these arguments, they didn't fly in court. The various judges who considered these arguments were singularly unimpressed. How do we know that? One way we know is that Miller is in jail.

Another way we know is by paying attention to the words of Judge Hogan: "the information she [Miller] was given and her potential use of it was a crime."

Another indication that the judges are singularly unimpressed by the media arguments that McCarthy finds so convincing: the courts are considering a criminal charge that could significantly lengthen Miller's imprisonment: "in this closely held investigation, federal appeals court judges of very different ideological stripes and Hogan have reviewed secret evidence and have agreed that Miller's and Cooper's claims of a right to protect their sources is outweighed by the public interest in investigating a possible breach of national security."

So the arguments thrown up by the media lawyers are sufficient to convince McCarthy that no crime was committed. But the part McCarthy "won't tell you" is that those same arguments were roundly rejected by Judge Hogan and his colleagues, who are certainly acting like they think a crime was probably committed. And they've seen a lot of evidence he hasn't.

Of course, there are a number of other things McCarthy "won't tell you." He "won't tell you" why Rove needed to hide behind "double super secret background" (and then use lies to cover up his role for a couple of years) if all he was doing was pursuing the noble goal of "discouraging a reporter from writing a false story based on a false premise" (as Mehlman has put it).

McCarthy also "won't tell you" why Rove needed to hide behind "double super secret background" (and then use lies to coverup his role for a couple of years) if it is indeed the case (as McCarthy claims) that Plame was not undercover and had been outed a long time ago, and therefore there was no criminal or improper behavior on Rove's part.

McCarthy also "won't tell you" why Rove needed to mention Plame at all, and why Rove's noble mission of "discouraging a reporter from writing a false story based on a false premise" was impossible to achieve without dragging Plame into the picture.

McCarthy also "won't tell you" why Rove apparently failed to lift a finger to attempt to verify Plame's undercover status, before discussing her with reporters. The fact that Plame worked at the CIA, regarding WMD, and ostensibly had enough authority to dispatch her husband on a mission, all suggest at least the possibility, if not the likelihood, that Plame had some kind of covert status. Is McCarthy going to claim that Rove already knew about this Cuba business, that the media lawyers dredged up much later? I doubt it.

McCarthy also "won't tell you" why the noble goal of "discouraging a reporter from writing a false story based on a false premise" was a higher priority than being careful with classified information (and if Rove was uncertain about that, he needed to ask first; there's no sign he did).

McCarthy also "won't tell you" why the noble goal of "discouraging a reporter from writing a false story based on a false premise" was supported by Rove (according to Cooper's email) making the specious claim that Plame "authorized" Wilson's trip, since there is apparently no support for this claim, outside of Rove's imagination (and quite a bit of evidence directly contrary to this claim: e.g., "Officials have said Wilson ... was not chosen because of his wife;" link).

McCarthy also "won't tell you" that Rove's latest defense du jour (paraphrase: "I only confirmed what I had been told by other reporters") is not a defense at all: "Classified information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information" (link). More: "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" (pdf).">http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/52001ph1_0500/p5200ph1.pdf">pdf).

Emphasis added to indicate that even "only" confirming to a reporter "I had heard the same thing" is also a form (albeit superficially coy) of "unauthorized disclosure."

me

grad:

1. I don't deny it. I deny that we know it. Rove saying "yeah there is a press rumor going around" while indiscrete is not the same as him starting it or even the same as him saying, "yeah, I confirm that rumor...went and looked in my little roster sheet and she is CIA". He may very well be guilty of either of these. We just don't know it yet, based on facts.

2. I am NOT alleging that Wilson was only chosen because of his wife, that it was nepotism, that she "approved him" etc. I'm making the more discrete point, that Wilson lied (or misspoke) when he said that his wife had nothing to do with him getting the mission. She did refer him. (This is similar to the White House having lied or misspoke when they said Rove had nothing to do with the Plame issue.)

3. I agree with you that Wilson's indiscretions do not justify in any way Rove's. That ought to be self-evident. I don't think it's entirely academic, since, I'm intersted in more than just the indiscretions of people high up.

me

grad: I thought Rove gave Cooper a release to talk to the grand jury (a secret body). Or did he release Cooper to discuss private conversation to everyone?

me

Grad: and even on number one, we have not had a public announcement of how the conversation transpired. We've heard leaks about Rove's version (which could be misleadingly to his benefit even and different from his testimony). We've heard Cooper's public statements, but not his testimony. And we've not heard anything from Novak. I think it's very reasonable to do some tealeaf reading and to look for guilt with Rove. Just that we don't really know the facts yet, since some people have stayed mum and we are getting non-attributed leaks about what they may have said in the grand jury

Jim E.

"That ought to be self-evident."

Yes, but it's not, at least for many of the other right-wingers on these comment threads and in the media.

me

Jim E.: Yup.

SeattleLiberal

Patrick Fitzgerald, the Special US Federal Prosecutor in the PlameGate investigation has had Karl Rove testify to the Grand Jury on 3 occassions.

During the 2004 election campaign, Rove was also interviewed by the FBI on 3 more occassions.

Tell me my fine conservative adversaries, why in the heck is a Federal prosecutor dragging Rove for interviews, all under oath, on six occassions if this PlameGate adds up to NOTHING.

The reason Fitzgerald is going after Rove is because Rove is a SUSPECT for PERJURY, OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, and Failure to perform an AFFIRMATIVE DUTY UNDER Federal Standard Form-312.

Under SF-312, it does not matter where he got the info from. It does not matter if he knew it was classified. If he came across some gossip about a CIA agent, he has an obligation to check with the CIA before he goes blabbing about it.

Rove, Libby, and Ari Fleisher will all be indicted by end of August 2005.

I wonder what GWBush knew and when did he know it?

kim

I'll say it again. Wilson used his connection to the CIA to attempt to authenticate his argument in the op-ed piece. What are we, brain dead, that we don't wonder about and figure out all his CIA connections? And then when everyone is talking about it, join in.
The dangerous and antisocial behaviour is Wilson's lies. The rest of this fever is watching the immune system of the body politic react to the noxious stimuli. Let's see if the doctor is clever enough to administer the right medicine.
============================

kim

Is Dr. Patrick treating Yellow Cake Fever? Does anyone konw anything about the FBI investigation of the source of the forged letters. The last I heard, which was months ago and a faint trail at that, was that the Italian source had French connections and someone postulated that the French had manufactured it, to expose later and stop the war.

No speculation since. As quiet as ... well....as quiet as Fitzgerald's investigation.

I'm awfully curious why the CIA did not identify them as fake for months and it took the IAEA only minutes. At the last minute, too. Hmmmm. Let's see, one minute and one minute make two minutes. One might sum this investigation up by adding a few clues together. Hey, prosecutors are fairly well known for their arithmetical skills. Adding up the number of clues possibly made available by the FBI might show some real insight into this whole intertangled mess.

And intertangled webs are plentiful in the whole sad tale of deceit. Far and away the most consistently, institutionally deceitful has been the MSM. But then again, they started out lying about this, why am I surprised it has entangled and consumed some of its members?
===============================
============================

TCO

Agreed. The number of Rove call-backs does not look good for the home team.

jukeboxgrad

Seattle, that's an excellent and concise summary.

ME: "I deny that we know it ... Rove saying 'yeah there is a press rumor going around' while indiscrete is not the same as him starting it ... We just don't know it yet, based on facts."

I think there's understandably a lot of confusion about what's known so far, so maybe you're not aware of what Cooper said recently: "Was it through my conversation with Rove that I learned for the first time that Wilson's wife worked at the C.I.A. and may have been responsible for sending him? Yes. Did Rove say that she worked at the 'agency' on 'W.M.D.'? Yes." (link)

In other words, at least in the instance of Cooper, it was indeed a matter of "him [Rove] starting it" (as compared with "only" confirming something the reporter had already heard elsewhere, which seems to the case with Novak). So here it is, plain and simple: Rove told Cooper that Plame worked for the CIA. What more do you need to know?

By the way, Luskin has not exactly been silent over the last couple of weeks. When Cooper's email came out, Luskin said nothing to dispute it in any substantive way. Essentially all he said was: "Rove did not mention her name to Cooper ... This was not an effort to encourage Time to disclose her identity. What he was doing was discouraging Time from perpetuating some statements that had been made publicly and weren't true." In other words, just some very questionable spin, but not really a denial.

Similarly, now that Cooper's more recent statement has come out ("Did Rove say that she worked at the 'agency' on 'W.M.D.'? Yes."), Luskin has had ample opportunity to dispute this or try to spin it away. He hasn't.

In other words, we already have enough information to claim with a high degree of confidence that Rove told Cooper that Plame worked for the CIA, and this is something Cooper didn't already know. It's also quite obvious that the White House (or at the very least Rove himself) has been engaged in some kind of a cover up for the last couple of years.

So when you say "We just don't know it yet, based on facts," I wonder what it is exactly that we're seeing or interpreting differently.

"we don't really know the facts yet, since some people have stayed mum and we are getting non-attributed leaks about what they may have said in the grand jury"

As I said, I don't grasp why you're saying this. True, we're not yet in a position to say a crime was committed. That's for Fitz to continue to figure out, and it involves all sorts of technicalities regarding IIPA, the Espionage Act, perjury, obstruction of justice, SF-312, and who knows what else. But we do know that Rove told Cooper that Plame worked for the CIA (Luskin has had ample oppportunity to cast doubt on this, and he hasn't), and we know there's been a cover up going on. In my opinion, that's not enough to throw Rove in jail, but it's more than enough to know that at the very least, he should have his security clearance temporarily revoked. At the very, very least.

"Wilson lied (or misspoke) when he said that his wife had nothing to do with him getting the mission."

That's close to what he said, but it leaves out a little. He said (in his book, p. 5, which can be content-searched and browsed at amazon): "apart from being the conduit of the message from a colleague in her office asking if I would be willing to have a conversation about Niger's uranium industry, Valerie had nothing to do with the matter."

There are many examples of Wilson being misquoted, and facts being twisted (and I wish I had time to get into some of the other fine examples, which include outright lies such as "Wilson Falsely Claimed That It Was Vice President Cheney Who Sent Him To Niger"). This business about his wife's role is an area of great confusion and misinformation.

Here's a typical righty statement on the subject: "a Senate Intelligence Committee report on this matter includes a memo from Plame to the CIA recommending her husband’s involvement."

(The SSCI report is here [pdf].)

Not exactly. First of all, the whole memo has not been released (although the words "includes a memo" suggest otherwise). All we know about the contents of the memo is this excerpt: "my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity."

That could indeed be an excerpt from a memo where Plame is "recommending her husband’s involvement." But we just don't know that for sure. (I'll remind you of what you said: "We just don't know it yet, based on facts.") We haven't seen the whole memo and we don't know the context of the memo.

While it could have indeed been a memo "recommending her husband’s involvement," it also could have been an answer to a request such as "please list all the reasons pro and con for why we should pick your husband for this trip, a decision we've pretty much already made without you." For all we know the second half of the memo said "even though I have to admit he's qualified for this mission, I would really much rather he stay home and help me take care of our young twins."

Aside from this memo excerpt, all the SSCI report offers on this point is an anonymous source saying Plame "suggested his name for the trip" or "offered up his name."

The source[s] quote by SSCI should be weighed against this source: "A senior intelligence official confirmed that Plame was a Directorate of Operations undercover officer who worked 'alongside' the operations officers who asked her husband to travel to Niger. But he said _she did not recommend_ her husband to undertake the Niger assignment. 'They [the officers who did ask Wilson to check the uranium story] were aware of who she was married to, which is not surprising,' he said. 'There are people elsewhere in government who are trying to make her look like she was the one who was cooking this up, for some reason,' he said. 'I can't figure out what it could be." (emphasis added)

By the way, this statement by a "senior intelligence official" that Plame did not even "recommend" Wilson for the trip, should be contrasted with what Rove said to Cooper (according to Cooper's email): that Plame "authorized" the trip. I can find no evidence whatsoever for this exaggerated claim by Rove. Everywhere one looks there are people castigating Wilson for ostensibly minimizing Plame's role in his trip. As yet, I haven't seen anyone in MSM specifically point out that Rove's "authorized" appears to be a complete fabrication.

"She did refer him"

As I think I've shown, there is only murky evidence to support this statement. There is also evidence directly contradicting this statement.

"This is similar to the White House having lied or misspoke when they said Rove had nothing to do with the Plame issue."

Sorry, but I have to object to this comparison. When the White House told us that Rove "had nothing to do with the Plame issue," it seems they were intentionally lying in order to cover up a possible criminal act, regarding a matter of national security, during wartime. Obviously that is extremely serious (and if the shoe was on the other foot, we'd be constantly hearing words like "treason"). There is no comparison with Wilson possibly underemphasizing Plame's role in planning his trip. Wilson's description of Plame's role in planning Wilson's trip is a footnote on a footnote on a footnote, in comparison with the broader context of a possible cover up of a possible criminal act in the White House, in connection with distorting intelligence in order to make a case for war.

It was a WSJ reporter, oddly enough, who said: "That Ms. Plame recommended her husband doesn't undercut Mr. Wilson's credentials for the job of trying to figure out whether Saddam Hussein was seeking the raw material for a nuclear weapon in Africa."

In other words, all this business about Plame ostensibly recommending Wilson, and, on top of that, whether Wilson has been forthright about Plame ostensibly recommending Wilson, is very much beside the point.

"I thought Rove gave Cooper a release to talk to the grand jury (a secret body). Or did he release Cooper to discuss private conversation to everyone?"

I think that's explained here: "Q: Does the waiver limit it only to testimony before the grand jury? COOPER: Yes, absolutely. I am free to talk about what happened in the grand jury room today. And it is my hope to get back to being a normal journalist on the other side of the microphones. I hope to go back to Time magazine and write up an account of what took place here today and my story. But that's something (inaudible) to try to do in the coming hours and days. But I'm not going to do it here, right now. Just to clarify, for those of you who are not familiar with grand jury rules...all that goes on in the grand jury room is secret, but the witness, him or herself, is free to talk about it. I'm free to talk about it. And I fully plan to. I'm going to talk about it in the pages of Time magazine where I still work."

TCO

yeah, I agree that her referring him doesn't make him less qualified. I just thought it was wierd when he said she didn't. I mean puh-leeze. Neither of us knows what went down, but if you had to bet, would you say that they had a pillow talk at night and then Val raised his name in a staff meeting or would you say that some third party independantly out of his black book rolodex just coincidentally came up with Val's hubby because he was the shiznet?

jukeboxgrad

TCO: "it was wierd when he said she didn't"

He didn't just say that. A "senior intelligence official" also said that.

"some third party independantly out of his black book rolodex just coincidentally came up with Val's hubby because he was the shiznet?"

Exactly, and I provided the citation explaining that: "They [the officers who did ask Wilson to check the uranium story] were aware of who she was married to, which is not surprising."

I assume you know he already had made a similar trip to Niger, for the same department. So it's not as if they only knew about him becase Val was flogging the idea on his behalf. They already knew this guy, without Val needing to say a word.

"Neither of us knows what went down"

True. But that didn't stop Rove from saying "authorized," and it's not stopping a ton of people from calling Wilson a liar over this point, when in fact the evidence for that claim is hazy at best.

TCO

So if it comes out that he lied about that, you will have something to say against him? I was not under impression that he was still holding to this line. Even papers reported that she had referred him. Are you sure you're not being tendentious? Are you going to make me read all those long posts? and dig through the primary sources?

Seven Machos

TCO -- You sound like an amiable, reasonable person. Please allow me to give you an ill tip: Juke doesn't really know much, other than that he is totally sure of his own knowledge.

jukeboxgrad

SEVEN: "an ill tip"

I never ran into that before, but in your case it sounds about right. Regardless, I appreciate the reverse endorsement, if you know what I mean.

TCO: "So if it comes out that he lied about that, you will have something to say against him?"

Sorry, too hypothetical, so I can only say it depends.

"I was not under impression that he was still holding to this line."

As far as I know, he is "still holding to this line."

He said this very recently: "One of the things I asked them to do was go out and re- interview an officer who they had quoted as saying that she had dropped my name into the hat or she had suggested me. He went to see her and said that he had not said that and he wished for an opportunity to correct the record. As far as I know, they never did."

"Even papers reported that she had referred him."

I know. A good reminder that you shouldn't believe everything you read in the papers.

"Are you sure you're not being tendentious?"

That's a fair characterization only if you think I'm saying things that are at odds with the facts. Let me know if that's how it looks to you.

"Are you going to make me read all those long posts?"

I posted a nice short one on the other thread, here.

"and dig through the primary sources?"

I already did, so you don't have to. But I would be very happy to help you with links and page numbers, if you want to see for yourself.

kim

JBG: You are awfully certain and specific when detailing Rove's events and awfully circumspect when speculating on Wilson's misdeeds and connections to the CIA. Is this style purposeful or are you just a propagandist?

Consistency of curiosity is a hallmark of the posters on Tom's board. It's also scientific. You have a collection of facts and quotes, now really analyze them and figure out Joe. If your life, not just your argument, depended on Joe, would you stick with him?
=====================================

Slartibartfast
It does not matter if he knew it was classified.

Yes, actually, it does. The intention of SF 312 is to discourage inadvertent unauthorized exposure of classified information by one who's had access to that information by obtaining the proper clearance and need-to-know. It's not a given that Rove had the level of clearance required to know about Plame's status; if he wasn't, then he was at the receiving end of an unauthorized release of data.

There's a whole pamphlet of background information that speaks to this, including cites of applicable statutes. Every single one of the applicable statutes deals with either deliberate exposure of information one has legitimate access to, or distribution of information known to be classified with intent to damage the security of this country.

JMHO, of course, but I signed this thing over two decades ago and have been getting yearly briefings for at least the last decade. I could be wrong, but I rather doubt it.

Jim E.

kim,
What do Wilson's alleged misdeeds (I'm not aware of any "misdeeds" on his part, but whatever) have to do with Rove's alleged misdeeds? Seems to me that Rove's actions should be judged independently of Wilson's.

Or are you just a propagandist? (Actually, we all know that answer to that one already. All one has to do is read your 10:29 am post at the top of this thread.)

jukeboxgrad

KIM: "awfully circumspect when speculating on Wilson's misdeeds and connections to the CIA"

For someone who thinks being specific is a good thing, I guess you've just provided a pretty good example of failing to be specific. If you want to provide a single example of me being "awfully circumspect" about anything, you might look slightly less foolish.

"If your life, not just your argument, depended on Joe, would you stick with him?"

I realize you're desperately interested in distracting attention from Rove's carelessness with classified information, and subsequent cover up. I also realize you think talking about Wilson is a good way to do that, as if Wilson is the one who currently holds a high position in our government, with ongoing access to highly sensitive material. Trouble is, Wilson doesn't. Rove does.

As I've said elsewhere, even if one accepts the idea that both Wilson and Plame are creeps, liars and traitors (or even, horror of horrors, Democrats), none of that gives Rove a free pass to out an agent. I realize this concept is sufficiently nuanced that it goes right over your head.

SLART: "Yes, actually, it does [matter if he knew it was classified]"

Notice the word "negligently" in the following passage: "Officers and employees of the United States Government ... shall be subject to appropriate sanctions if they knowingly, willfully, or negligently disclose to unauthorized persons information properly classified under this order or predecessor orders" (link).

I think that word indicates your assertions are incorrect. Do you have a different interpretation of the word?

Slartibartfast
Do you have a different interpretation of the word?

Why, no. It just doesn't apply here, is all. In this context, "negligent" would be something like accidentally putting classified documents in your briefcase and taking them from their repository. In order to show negligence, you'd have to demonstrate that Rove knew Plame was NOC, in which case it'd be pretty obvious what happened. If, on the other hand, Rove didn't know Plame was NOC, then he'd have no reason to consult the CIA before answering.

If you can establish that Rove had proper need-to-know, and had been briefed on Plame's NOC status (should be pretty simple; the CIA would know) then you've got Rove by the testicles. If you cannot, then Rove falls outside the rules you linked to because he's neither an originating agency nor an authorized recipient in an outside agency. If Rove's been briefed at the level required for him to know Plame was NOC, then he'd know that information is classified even if he was given it by someone who wasn't cleared. If, on the other hand, Rove wasn't briefed at that level, he'd have no reason to suspect that her identity was classified.

Again, read the rest of the sections. When you do, it'll be clear that this EO is directed toward information flow out of originating agencies or other authorized holders of classified data.

jukeboxgrad

SLART: "If, on the other hand, Rove didn't know Plame was NOC, then he'd have no reason to consult the CIA before answering."

Thanks for taking the time to respond in detail. Here's another resource I should have mentioned earlier (although I have mentioned it recently on this blog, in one or more other threads): "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.

In other words, the burden is on Rove to show that he checked on her covert (or not) status before he blabbed about her. Therefore I think your ignorance defense ("if ... Rove didn't know Plame was NOC") doesn't fly.

"Rove falls outside the rules you linked to"

Are you claiming Rove falls outside SF312 (the source of the passage I just quoted)? Why?

By the way, it's not only that Rove knew she was CIA (and shared that with one or more reporters). Rove also knew (and leaked) that her area was WMD, obviously a sensitive, strategic area. This in itself should have been a clue to Rove that there was at least a possibility that Plame was covert.

Anyway, just the fact that she was CIA should have been enough to raise the question. Obviously not every CIA employee is covert. But many are: "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).

"If, on the other hand, Rove wasn't briefed at that level, he'd have no reason to suspect that her identity was classified."

I think I've shown that Rove indeed had ample reason to "suspect" that there was at least some possibility that she might be covert. Just the fact that she was a CIA employee was more than enough, in my opinion. And in any case, SF312 stipulates that if he had any doubt, the burden was on him to check it out before he opened his mouth.

Anyway, there is now a bit more reason to believe that in fact Rove knew of her covert status, or at least had enough clues that he had an obligation to ask. This report quotes the WSJ as saying that "the paragraph in the memo discussing Ms. Wilson's involvement in her husband's trip is marked at the beginning with a letter designation in brackets to indicate the information shouldn't be shared, according to the person familiar with the memo."

kim

JBG: 'Awfully circumspect' was not a good choice of words to express my meaning. I meant to say that you do not entertain the notion that Joe has done wrong.

And what gives you the idea that Rove has used a free pass to out an agent? Not established fact.
============================================

jukeboxgrad

KIM: "I meant to say that you do not entertain the notion that Joe has done wrong."

I'm sure Wilson "has done wrong." He's human, like the rest of us. It's just that virtually all the accusations against him are either sleazy distortions or outright lies. I've given several clearly-documented examples of this.

"what gives you the idea that Rove has used a free pass to out an agent? Not established fact."

It is indeed an "established fact" that Rove told Cooper that Plame worked for the CIA, regarding WMD. It's also an "established fact" that Rove and the White House lied about this for a couple of years.

Unless Rove can show that he knew for sure that Plame was not a covert operative (and there is no indication that he lifted a finger to try to find out), then he did something very wrong.

Blather about (paraphrase) "not overseas for 5 years" or "lots of the neighbors already knew" or "he originally heard it from another reporter" doesn't negate any of the facts I just described.

Slartibartfast
Are you claiming Rove falls outside SF312 (the source of the passage I just quoted)?

It's possible that this does not apply, yes. I refer you to "Background and Purpose", paragraph 2:

"All persons with authorized access to classified information shall be required to sign a nondisclosure agreement as a condition of access."
Martin

So persons with unauthorized access are free to do what they want with it?

Slartibartfast

No, Martin, persons with unauthorized access on the receiving end are, in most circumstances, not taken to task. Depending on circumstances, of course.

F'rinstance: if, purely hypothetically, Rove was told Plame was CIA and NOT told that that was classified and NOT briefed on the level of classification, then it's probably a given that he's not going to be held responsible. This is a rather different circumstance than, say, a bit of technological data that one might happen across. If Rove didn't know Plame was undercover, then he'd have no reason to suspect that her identity might be classified.

Not saying this is the case, but it could be for all we know.

jukeboxgrad

SLART: "It's possible that this does not apply, yes"

Thanks for the clear answer.

You cite: "All persons with _authorized_ access to classified information shall be required to sign a nondisclosure agreement as a condition of access."

I don't see any great mystery in the word "authorized" in that sentence. I take the phrase "All persons with authorized access to classified information" to mean "all persons with a security clearance," or "all persons who work with various kinds of classified information as a normal part of their job."

It wouldn't make sense to write "All persons with access to classified information" (i.e., omitting the word "authorized") because that might convey the absurd impression that if the janitor (a person who lacks "authorized" access) grabs a secret memo out of the trash (and in that manner has now become a person "with access to classified information"), everything is fine as long as he quickly signs a SF312. In my opinion, this is the simple reason why the word "authorized" is used. I think you're adding other meanings that aren't there, and don't make sense.

"persons with unauthorized access on the receiving end are, in most circumstances, not taken to task"

That makes sense. For the most part the violation is in the sending, not the receiving. That's why I don't think it matters much (at least as far as the case against Rove is concerned) how Rove got the info. What matters is what he did with it.

"if ... Rove was told Plame was CIA and NOT told that that was classified and NOT briefed on the level of classification, then it's probably a given that he's not going to be held responsible ... If Rove didn't know Plame was undercover, then he'd have no reason to suspect that her identity might be classified."

In my opinion, your asserton flies in the face of this: "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."

It makes no sense to design a security system that encourages people to err in the direction of leaks, i.e., to assume something is leakable unless explicitly instructed otherwise. On the contrary. And the passage in the preceding paragraph indicates that in fact the system which employs Rove is counting on him to err on the side of caution, if there is any uncertainty.

As far as "he'd have no reason to suspect," I've already explained that just the fact of a person working for CIA is in fact good "reason to suspect" the person might be undercover. Rove had an obligation to ask, and there's no indication he did.

Aside from that, it's quite reasonable to speculate that Rove indeed knew her status, and was perfectly aware of what he was doing. In my opinion, this is reflected in Novak's use of the word "operative," which is commonly defined as "secret agent."

Slartibartfast
I take the phrase "All persons with authorized access to classified information" to mean "all persons with a security clearance," or "all persons who work with various kinds of classified information as a normal part of their job."

Well, that would be incorrect. "Authorized access" means exactly what it says: that you are authorized to access the data in question. If I have, say, a Secret clearance and someone cleared to hold that information negligently exposes me to TS information that's not properly marked, that person is authorized to access the information and is liable under various federal statues, whereas I am not. The same goes for TS-codeword; if someone fails to tell me that TS-codeword information is classified TS-codeword, and I have a TS clearance but have not been briefed under the codeword, my access to that information is not authorized. When reading "authorized access", the natural question is "authorized by whom"? The answer is: authorized by the classifying authority, which in the material accompanying the nondisclosure agreement you and I keep directing each other to read is specified to be the head of the agency classifying the information. If Plame's NOC status is classified at the codeword level, there can be no doubt whether he's cleared to know it or not. The CIA would know, because they would have had to brief him and add his name to the fairly short list of people authorized to know. If Plame's name is classified only at the Secret level, there's still going to be a classification guide that Rove had to have signed off on in order to be granted access. He might not have read it, but it's still his responsibility to have read it and he's liable under the law as if he did.

So, either Rove was authorized to have access to Plame's NOC status and had been briefed on it, or he wasn't. In the former case, he's almost certainly prosecutable because he knew; in the latter case the question is still open.

jukeboxgrad

SLART: "If I have, say, a Secret clearance and someone cleared to hold that information negligently exposes me to TS information that's not properly marked, that person is authorized to access the information and is liable under various federal statues, whereas I am not."

OK, let's run with that example. I understand at least part of what you're saying, that the liable person in your example is the discloser, not the diclosee. But let's take it a step further. You, the disclosee, now have in your hands some material that is classified TS. Let's say you take this material and you post it on a sandwich-board sign, and march around Times Square for a few days, disclosing this information to thousands of people. Now the shoe is on the other foot: earlier, you were merely a disclosee. But now you are a discloser. You are distributing TS material to thousands of people who are obviously not authorized to have it.

Are you trying to tell me that you are immune from accountability for what you did, because you were never "authorized" to have this material to begin with? So what? You're still leaking TS info. Is your defense that you didn't know it was TS? Who knows, but that's a separate issue from making the claim that you have a free pass to disclose this info to anyone you like, and you have immunity simply because you were never authorized to see the info to begin with.

Sorry, that just makes no sense to me. I have a hard time believing that's really what you're trying to say.

"So, either Rove was authorized to have access to Plame's NOC status and had been briefed on it, or he wasn't. In the former case, he's almost certainly prosecutable because he knew; in the latter case the question is still open."

I think you're mixing up two questions that are essentially separate. One question is, was Rove authorized to see the material. I think you're saying this has some relevance; I'm saying it doesn't mean much, one way or another.

The other question is, did Rove know that what he was disclosing was classified. My point is that he had a duty to know, and he needed to err on the side of discretion, if he wasn't sure. I think SF312 explicitly calls for this, and I don't see this giant loophole that you're describing, based on the idea that people are only required to be careful with classified info they were authorized to see to begin with (and conversely can be indiscriminately indiscreet with classified info, if it's stuff that came into their hands in an unauthorized manner).

Slartibartfast
I think SF312 explicitly calls for this, and I don't see this giant loophole that you're describing, based on the idea that people are only required to be careful with classified info they were authorized to see to begin with (and conversely can be indiscriminately indiscreet with classified info, if it's stuff that came into their hands in an unauthorized manner).

Could have something to do with the "authorized access" part of the NDA. I've already made this argument completely here and in other threads, and if you cannot absorb this point I see little reason to continue.

jukeboxgrad

SLART: "I've already made this argument completely"

OK, fair enough. If you can though, I would be grateful if you would just answer yes or no to the question I asked. I am asking this again only because I'm still not sure I'm understanding you correctly.

I asked this question above (in connection with the example about a sandwich-board sign in Times Square): are you trying to tell me that you are immune from accountability for what you did, because you were never 'authorized' to have this material to begin with?

Slartibartfast

"Immune" is probably not the word I'd use, but in essence, this text says something like that, but distinctly different. If Rove didn't know the information was classified, this explicitly sets him aside from liability.

Slartibartfast

That said, if I were a guy who inadvertently spilled the beans (and, again, I'm not saying this is the case here), I'd be apologizing right and left, and perhaps offering up my resignation. But that's me, and hypothetically at that.

TexasToast

Slarti

I’ve been reading what you said about the SF-312 on both threads. The answer to question 13 (which you cite) is not a part of the agreement, but it appears to state that if the actor knew or should have known the material is classified and he his action will result in its disclosure, the agreement is breached. Can you point me to where in the SF-312 or the Briefing Booklet the agreement applies only to classified information the actor is authorized to have? Using your analysis, only the authorized actor is liable for disclosure, but I don’t see that from the agreement or the attached commentary.

Thanks.

PS I wouldn't hold my breath for anything approaching an apoplgy.

jukeboxgrad

SLART: "If Rove didn't know the information was classified, this explicitly sets him aside from liability."

Sorry, but you're shifting your argument. I thought we were talking about getting access to info I'm not authorized to have. That's different from the point you're raising now: "I didn't know it was classified."

I thought you were saying something like "Rove is explicitly protected from liability because the info he circulated was info he was not authorized to have." Now I'm not sure what you're saying.

Any, with regard to uncertainty, I think you're wrong, because "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."

In other words, it's not good enough for Rove to say "I didn't know it was classified." Rove needs to be able to say "I was certain it was not classified." Do you think he's in a position to say that? I don't think so.

"says something like that, but distinctly different"

When I spot a phrase like that, I have a few warning lights and buzzers that start to go off.

TT: "Can you point me to where in the SF-312 or the Briefing Booklet the agreement applies only to classified information the actor is authorized to have? Using your analysis, only the authorized actor is liable for disclosure, but I don’t see that from the agreement or the attached commentary."

Thank you for so clearly summarizing what I find confusing about Slart's presentation.

Slartibartfast
Sorry, but you're shifting your argument.

Um, no, this has been my argument all along.

I thought we were talking about getting access to info I'm not authorized to have.

I wouldn't word it exactly that way.

That's different from the point you're raising now: "I didn't know it was classified."

That's not my point. I guess that explains why you think I've shifted my argument, though.

I thought you were saying something like "Rove is explicitly protected from liability because the info he circulated was info he was not authorized to have." Now I'm not sure what you're saying.

Well, no. What I'm saying is Rove's not necessarily guilty of anything if he was given information he wasn't authorized to have, and wasn't advised to its classification. Note that I've explicitly, on multiple occasions, noted that I'm not claiming that this is the way it actually happened, simply that this is a possibility.

Any, with regard to uncertainty, I think you're wrong, because "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."

Well, you thinking me wrong doesn't make it so. See, taking this the way you're taking it would require everyone, everywhere who's ever signed this form to check their classification authority before saying anything they weren't absolutely sure was unclassified, in any capacity, even casual conversations at home. This is not the purpose of this statement, however. The purpose is that if you suspect that something may be classified and your classification guide isn't clear on the subject (which, all too often, they aren't), then you should check with the classification authority before releasing it as unclassified.

I'll give you a couple of examples:

1) I used to do missile defense simulation runs remotely (this was so long ago that we used a 9600 baud modem, which were brand new at the time). Our classification guide had recently been revised to classify the magnitude of the range vector at point of closest approach, but we thought maybe printing out the target and missile positions at point of closest approach might be acceptable, although we were highly skeptical (which, duh). We asked the classification authority, and to our astonishment they assented.

2) While doing some work for another program, I noticed a chart had a table, and if you divided column A by column B, you got a classified parameter, and what's more it was obvious that you could get it. I consulted with the classifying authority, and they said it's unclassified.

These are examples of what's meant by that statement. What you're implying...well, nothing would ever get done.

TexasToast

What I'm saying is Rove's not necessarily guilty of anything if he was given information he wasn't authorized to have, and wasn't advised to its classification.

OK, but .....

If the facts show that he knew or should have known that Plame's status was classified, he is in breach of the express terms of the NDA. Further, if a reasonable man would think that the ID of a CIA operative might be classified info, he has a duty to inquire under the NDA. It all comes down to whether or not it was reasonable for him to think that the ID of a CIA operative would not be the subject of classification.

jukeboxgrad

"Rove's not necessarily guilty of anything if he was given information he wasn't authorized to have, and wasn't advised to its classification."

The part that I'm most stuck on is "information he wasn't authorized to have." I don't see how that's relevant in any way. Then again I'm also stuck on the second part.

Here's another example. I'm a janitor in the CIA building. Let's imagine that I actually did sign an SF-312. There are certain secret mops I had to learn about. OK, so I'm mopping, and a guy in a trench coat walks up to me. He shoves something in my pocket and keeps walking.

Later on I look at the document. It's titled "Names of covert US agents in Moscow." Let's further imagine that for whatever reason it has none of the mumbo-jumbo markings that certain folks like to talk about. (Maybe for whatever reason someone transcribed the information so as to remove all those markings.)

Let's stop right there. Is the first part of your statement ("he was given information he wasn't authorized to have") satisified? I would assume yes. A janitor is not authorized to have a list of names of covert agents.

How about the second part of your statement: "wasn't advised to its classification." That's satisfied too, right? The trench coat guy didn't advise me of anything. He just kept walking. And there is no blinking neon on the memo that says "THIS IS TOP SECRET, YOU IDIOT. DON'T HANG THIS IN THE WINDOW AT WALMART."

In other words I "wasn't advised to its classification," right?

Next day I decide to hang the memo in the window at Wal-Mart.

After a bunch of our guys in Moscow mysteriously disappear, more trench-coat guys come to my house.

I describe your reasoning to the judge. He says "I don't care what Slart said. It doesn't matter that you were given information you weren't authorized to have, and it doesn't matter that you weren't advised to its classification.

What matters is that you leaked classified information, and any reasonable person should have understood that there was at least a possibility that this information was classified. And your SF-312 requires that when in doubt, ask first."

Question: how did the judge do?

jukeboxgrad

Oh yeah, one more thing.

SLART: "What you're implying...well, nothing would ever get done."

I forgot to tell you. That was also part of my defense; I explained that to the judge. I said, "hey judge, think about what you're implying, just imagine if every single time I was mopping and some guy shoved a memo in my pocket titled 'Names of covert US agents in Moscow,' that I was required to actually check with someone before I took that and hung it in the window at Wal-Mart. Are you serious? I would have to check every single time? Well, nothing would ever get done!"

Back to Rove: "hey judge, I'm a busy guy. You're suggesting that every single time I tell a reporter that a certain person works for the CIA, you're telling me I need to check first to make sure they're not covert? Every single time I discuss various CIA employees with reporters? Every time? Really? Well, nothing would ever get done!"

"These are examples of what's meant by that statement."

This is what really gets me. You provide examples of things that seem relatively minor (compared with outing a covert agent). You indicate that you erred on the side of caution; you asked first. Then you say "These are examples of what's meant by that statement." In other words, it's important to check first when you're dealing with a table of range vectors, but not important to check first when possibly outing a covert agent? Because that would mean that "nothing would ever get done?"

This is very complicated stuff, this world of secrets. The little stuff you have to check on, and with the big stuff you get to let it ride. What do I know.

TexasToast

Juke

Your janitor has a duty to inquire under your facts. One can't be held responsible for disseminating classified info if it is not reasonable to think the info is classified. Most fact situations that Slart is describing are not clear-cut. A scientist discussing atomic theory in a journal could be guilty if the brush is drawn too broadly.

In the instant case, ISTM that dodging the duty to inquire has some relevance to the information disclosed by pro-Rove leakers. But as AM points out, without the facts, we are all like Dr Frist diagnosing Terri S. based on video.

kim

Much Gracious.
==============

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame