Memeorandum


Powered by TypePad

« At The Risk Of Over-Generalizing... | Main | Waas On Plame And Libby »

August 06, 2005

Comments

Martin

I did see Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC last summer saying Rove was known to use crsytal meth on occasion. I can't find a transcript, but I clearly remember the show and her saying it.

kim

Hopping mad.

Nests of vipers, all of 'em.
==============

BumperStickerist

I did see Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC last summer saying Rove was known to use crsytal meth on occasion. I can't find a transcript, but I clearly remember the show and her saying it.

I saw that too. But you left out the part where she held up typed documents from circa 1977 to substantiate the claim that Rove was a speed freak.

A closer examination revealed that the typewriter used to produce the documents had kerning, proportional spacing, superscript, and, iirc, the ability to mix type fonts and point sizes within the document with no discernable human error with alignment on subsequent lines.

Andrea stands by the story, and vows to get to the bottom of the issue. /eyeroll

----------------------------

regarding the 'false memory' with Mitchell's other statements - I haven't been able to find recordings of Mitchell's appearances on Imus (which is where I think I heard the 'cocktail circuit' bit) nor is the Imus show transcribed and archived online.

Also, while the show has closed captioning, there are many, many times where the transcriber gets garbled .. so a fuzzy search looking for 'cock tale sir cut' might be needed.

If someone were to pull an hour's worth of Mitchell's appearances over the past year from Imus, I'd listen through them to find the cut.

fwiw, the contact info for Bernard McGurk from WFAN wasn't working or perhaps he could look up the show's guest list and have tapes pulled.

kim

I'll bet Fitz is after perjury, whose, I don't know. There are just too many people who knew about Plame for a prosecutor to prove 'outing' beyond a reasonable doubt.
===============================================

Martin

"If someone were to pull an hour's worth of Mitchell's appearances over the past year from Imus, I'd listen through them to find the cut."

Step away from the computer...

kim

This is a case of:

A. Wilson perjury, yellow cake forgery, moral penury.

B. CIAacide. Referral to DOJ turns over large rock on them.

C. Press stonewalling the facts.

D. Administration deviousity.

E. Onlooker horror. Bystander casualties.

F. All of the above.

Many correct answers possible.
===========================================

kim

I think I like 'deviocity' better.
=================================

kim

Just take the quiz, post your answers, and I'll have a grad get back to you.
==============================

kim

I like 'F'. The Plame "Affair is a WMD.
========================================

boris

I'll bet Fitz is after perjury

I think it's more likely he's stirring the pot. Information on who and how subplots that cause damage occur is probably very interesting to the new heads of security, intelligence and state departments.

SamAm

Ahh, the Mitchell-Imus rumor. An even more tenuous version of the Powerline-Mitchell rumor (which I saw bandied about the right so often as to be comical in effect). Hasn't the idea that she knew and others knew been superseded by other events, like her claims similar to Russert's (but more detailed) as to it not being common knowledge but in fact a serious matter. She's not conducted herself, currently or in the past 2 years as if she believed the matter of Plame's identity was a DC open secret. And nothing I've seen says she's been called before the grand jury. If she had this important for the administration information, she'd have gone. And Miller wouldn't be in jail, Rove and Libby wouldn't be fibbing about their sources, and so forth.

Also, if there's perjury there's obstruction and greater crimes. There's no need to lie if there's no illegality going on.

I'll just repeat again what I've said before.

The administration did not need reporters to tell it information it requested from government sources and channels.

BumperStickerist

Well, as happy as I am to participate in rumor mongering, the "Imus/Mitchell" exchange consisted of Mitchell, per my recollection, telling Imus that it was known in DC circles that Plame worked at the CIA, not that she was a former undercover operative.

That Klaxon was sounded by Ambassador Wilson.


and, yes, it is time to step away from the keyboard.

boris

it was known in DC circles that Plame worked at the CIA

Andrea could reasonably comment on damage done when Valerie's CIA employment and undercover status became public knowledge. That she might have been among the DC inner circle who knew where Valerie worked is not inconsistent with such commentary at all.

Jim E.

You can't seriously deny that Karl "We Will Fuck Him Like He's Never Been Fucked Before" Rove and Bob "Bullshit!" Novak are are partisan hotheads. If they aren't, no one is.

Do synonyms count? If so, check out this liberal media bias:

NY Times on Bill Richardson, May 9, 2004: "At times, he can be reckless, hot-tempered and a vainglorious showboat. A Democratic ticket with him and John Kerry -- hollow-eyed, estranged from his appetites, subsisting on a diet of rectitude and moral fiber alone -- would be a striking comedy of contrasts and perhaps not the one Kerry is striving for." (This is from a profile, not an opinion piece. It slurs two Dems at once.)


Jeff

Well, liberals being more likely to be potheads (excepting you libertarian types), perhaps that explains why we aren't called hotheads. I'd be surprised if LBJ wasn't called one, though.

Syl

More info from my classification management source...

I'm afraid the watercooler talk about Valery and the CIA is a red herring. Although the source of classified info is important, it does not matter if an individual who has been briefed on matters of classification and release of information (as any administration official is) has learned something from gossip or from a classified document or from the press, if he has reason to believe the information may be classified.

One of the things briefed on is specifically CIA employment. That's a red flag indicating you must find out whether the individual's employment is classified before disseminating further. You cannot confirm information you heard at the watercooler (or from a reporter or a newspaper article). You must have 'no comment' on it. You must neither confirm nor deny.

'I heard that too' is not something you can prosecute. It's neither a confirmation nor a denial.

But 'his wife works at the CIA' is bad bad bad.

Sorry.


kim

Furthermore, "I heard that, too." means someone said it. Happy Trails to Fitz, since so many knew.
==================================================

boris

You must have 'no comment' on it. You must neither confirm nor deny.

While the suggestion that Harlow 'blew it' was credible in a speculative sense, the claim that all government workers are under the same restraint is not.

Were Harlow dismissed and in jail for breaking the rule it would be more so.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Syl, it is only prosecutable if you had access to the information through your security clearance. If it's something told to you by someone who clearly doesn't have such access you'd not be expected to think it's classified.

Tim Russert was simply wrong to take out of context the SF 312 verbage he read to Ken Mehlman on MTP.

Syl

Boris

Strawman. I didn't say 'all government workers'.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Speaking of partisan hotheads, we haven't forgotten ol' Larry O'Donnell have we:

http://flyunderthebridge.blogspot.com/2004/10/little-worried-about-how-election-is.html

Patrick R. Sullivan

Here's the language that Rove might have read (we don't know if he actually had a security clearance in July 2003):

----------quote-------------
Question 19: If information that a signer of the SF 312 knows to have been classified appears in a public source, for example, in a newspaper article, may the signer assume that the information has been declassified and disseminate it elsewhere?

Answer: No. Information remains classified until it has been officially declassified. Its disclosure in a public source does not declassify the information. Of course, merely quoting the public source in the abstract is not a second unauthorized disclosure. However, 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.
---------endquote---------

Highlight 1: 'If information that a signer of the SF 312 *knows to have been classified* appears in a public source...'

Highlight 2: 'merely quoting the public source in the abstract is not a second unauthorized disclosure'.

boris

Strawman: ... (as any administration official is)

Close enough for the point, if the rule is to be widely applied in a strict sense then Harlow should be in more trouble than he seems to be.

Syl

I was dodging a monster T-storm for the past couple of hours. ufda.

Boris...we don't know that Harlow is not in trouble.

Patrick R...Good source. Highlight 2 would be like 'I heard that too' not 'his wife works for the CIA'.

The Cooper call thus seems to gain more importance. However what we don't know is if Rove (or Libby or Hadley) asked someone official if it was okay and they said 'yes'.

Nobody has leaked on that (yet?)

boris

we don't know that Harlow is not in trouble.

Of all the things we don't know and thereby should not be used for the purpose of rank speculation, this one item is where you draw the line?

C'mon ...

If there is a rule and it supposedly applies to CIA officials and administration officials, would not one expect it also applies to justice department officials, national defense officials, home security officials, state department officials, etc ad nauseum. Sorry if "government workers" was too generic for you (not).

Syl

Patrick

"Syl, it is only prosecutable if you had access to the information through your security clearance. If it's something told to you by someone who clearly doesn't have such access you'd not be expected to think it's classified."

No, this isn't necessarily true. And in the case of CIA employees, because of the situation of having both covert and non-covert agents it's a blanket rule that you must get clearance before you disseminate, or further disseminate, the fact that someone is a CIA employee.

It makes no difference whatsoever who you heard the info from.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'It makes no difference whatsoever who you heard the info from.'

Not according to the official handbook on what signing the SF-312 obliges you to do. It's:

'knows to have been classified '

Syl

I didn't state that right. CIA employment itself is classified information. And I don't think it's credible for someone in a senior administration capaciity to plead ignorance. They need permission to further disseminate, no matter the source.

Boris

I don't get your beef. Nobody's been indicted for anything yet. I've not said Harlow is off the hook, have I?

Geek, Esq.

This disturbs me.

"Rove as hothead" undercuts my vision of Rove as "cold, evil schemer."

Stepping away from the keyboard . . .

Patrick R. Sullivan

CIA employment is NOT itself classified. And Novak is a 'public source' because he clearly doesn't have a security clearance.

Here's another blurb from the official manual:

' 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.'

Note that you can be prosecuted:

'only if he or she knows or reasonably should know that'

It is hardly reasonable to think that a journalist knows the name of a deep cover CIA agent.

Syl

Patrick.

No. CIA employment IS classified UNTIL someone declassifies that information for a specific employee. Harlow confirmed to Novak that Valery worked for the CIA. Novak could simply assume, since Harlow is an official source, that the info is declassified. I don't think Novak is in trouble.

"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"

Exactly. And certain unnamed administration officials (and, hey, I'm a Bush supporter) should know or reasonably know that CIA employment is classified. So if they're not sure about a specific individual, they have to ASK someone OFFICIAL before they disseminate or confirm. There is no way they know that a specific person's employment has been declassified just because there's water cooler gossip.

Syl

But, as I mentioned earlier, it's possible they or he or she or it DID ask somebody official and was told it was okay.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Also, the requirements needed to prosecute for disclosing a covert CIA agent's identity are even more stringent than for other classified information:

-----------quote----------
PROTECTION OF IDENTITIES OF CERTAIN UNITED STATES UNDERCOVER INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS, AGENTS, INFORMANTS, AND SOURCES

Sec. 601.(a) Whoever, having or having had authorized access to classified information that identifies a covert agent, intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States....
----------endquote---------

Not only does it say that you had to have had access to classified information identifying someone as an agent, but you have to know that the U.S. is actively concealing it. No way does that fit Rove.

Seven Machos

Syl: Who does Porter Goss work for?

CIA employment itself is NOT classified information. This is not a good premise because it is wrong.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Syl, I'm not saying Novak is in trouble. And, it isn't classified information that Porter Goss and roughly 2/3 of his charges are CIA employees.

Rove hears from public source Robert Novak what public source Judith Miller (and possibly other public sources) has also told him. He thus is allowed to 'quote...public source [Miller to public source Novak] in the abstract'.

According the the official ground rules:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/isoo/sf312.html

Syl

Patrick...that's my take too. I don't think there can be a prosecution under that act. In fact I think it's likely Rove didn't know Valery's status at all. But, he had the obligation to find out. Who knows, maybe Rove called Harlow too.

Seven. Sorry, CIA employment is classified. it's declassified on an individual basis. The fact that Porter Goss works at the CIA would be declassified information, not unclassified. Harlow works for the CIA too.

Syl

Patrick

"He thus is allowed to 'quote...public source [Miller to public source Novak] in the abstract'."

Rove could say "Miller told me Wilson's wife is CIA". He could not say "Wilson's wife is CIA".

See the difference?

boris

I don't get your beef.

What beef ??? Where's the beef ??? All I wrote was that if the rule is to be widely applied in a strict sense then Harlow should be in more trouble than he seems to be.

I don't buy "widely applied in a strict sense".

former Deputy Director of the CIA:
... but she was working in an analytical organization, and there’s nothing that precludes anyone from identifying analytical officers.
If there's a hard and fast rule I think he would have qualified that statement. Not saying there is no rule ... or that Harlow is 100% free and clear ... just that I don't buy that "government OFFICIALS" are strictly bound by one.

Syl

Patrick

"And, it isn't classified information that Porter Goss and roughly 2/3 of his charges are CIA employees."

That's just being silly. It IS classified information that X is one of them.

Seven Machos

Syl: Sorry. You are wrong. CIA employment is not classified. It is CLASSIFIABLE on an individual basis, and even then the Agency must take affirmative steps to conceal.

kim

Like not use birth name?
========================

Syl

"and even then the Agency must take affirmative steps to conceal."

And that includes the exhortation not to disclose or confirm that an employee works at the CIA unless you've cleared it with someone authorized to okay it.

Because of the situation of having both covert and non-covert workerbees at CIA, this is the rule. And anyone signing an NDA is given this information as part of the briefing according to my source.

Did certain individuals sign an NDA and when? What other briefings were they given. People just don't show up at the WH and start to work, this stuff is part of orientation.

Syl

Boris

"Harlow should be in more trouble than he seems to be."

Ah, you can't go by the press. To the press Rove and only Rove is in trouble. They barely noticed Harlow, and that only to dig at Novak.

I don't know what to make of the quote from the former Dep Dir of the CIA. My slowly shifting paradigm hat hasn't rotated enough to parse it.

Syl

I hate thunderstorms. :(

jukeboxgrad

PATRICK: "it is only prosecutable if you had access to the information through your security clearance."

Syl is right and you're wrong. To be more precise, you're correct with regard to IIPA, but you're wrong with regard to the Espionage Act. This is explained well here and here.

There's a lot of confusion about this, I think because some folks are overly focused on IIPA and not realizing it's not the only law that might apply. I think another reason for the confusion is posts like this, by Dale Franks. (Thanks to Geek for bring this post to our attention.) Franks asks the following question (which is similar to what Patrick said): "Did Mr. Rove's knowledge of Ms. Plame's status at the CIA come from his access to classified knowledge, or did it come from some other parties." Franks is implying this distinction matters. Under the Espionage Act, it doesn't.

Franks adds to the confusion by citing only paragraph d of the Espionage Act while ignoring paragraph e. The former refers to someone "lawfully having possession" of classified information (and this corresponds to Patrick's statement "if you had access to the information through your security clearance"). But Franks and Patrick are both ignoring the next paragraph, section e, whichs refers to "unauthorized possession." In other words, the Espionage Act says clearly it doesn't matter whether or not "you had access to the information through your security clearance." Classified information is classified information, regardless of whether it fell into your hands legitimately or illegitimately.

This corresponds with what Syl correctly said: "it does not matter if an individual who has been briefed on matters of classification and release of information ... has learned something from gossip or from a classified document or from the press, if he has reason to believe the information may be classified."

"If it's something told to you by someone who clearly doesn't have such access you'd not be expected to think it's classified."

Nowhere in SF-312, the Espionage Act, or related government documents is there support for such an outlandish idea. The mere fact that information is being given to you by an unauthorized source is far from sufficient basis to be sure the information is unclassified. If there was any doubt, Rove had a duty to confirm first: "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" (link).

It's interesting to note that the recent Franklin indictment refers specifically to the Espionage Act (both paragraphs d and e), and also SF-312, as well as this specific provision of SF-312: "he agreed that if he was uncertain about the classification status of information, he was required to confirm from an authorized official that the information is unclassified before he could disclose it."

"we don't know if he actually had a security clearance in July 2003"

As I've said, Rove was a "regular participant" in the "White House Iraq Group" (link). According to some reports, he chaired this group. It's extremely hard to imagine he did this with no security clearance. If that's true, it's perhaps an even bigger scandal.

"merely quoting the public source in the abstract is not a second unauthorized disclosure"

It's quite a stretch to claim some kind of "public source" ("for example, in a newspaper article"), since the relevant conversations happened before Plame's identity as a CIA employee had been published anywhere.

"Not according to the official handbook on what signing the SF-312 obliges you to do. It's: 'knows to have been classified'"

Who are you trying to kid? You're grabbing one phrase completely out of context. That's not even from the form. It's from the explanatory handbook. And it's from Question 19, which is making a specific point about a "public source," which does not apply in this case because nothing had yet been published. And you're using that phrase to essentially make the claim that if you're in doubt, it's perfectly fine to err in the direction of endangering national security. Even though SF-312 explicitly says if in doubt, check first.

"Novak is a 'public source' because he clearly doesn't have a security clearance."

More nonsense. The term "public source" appears nowhere in SF-312. It appears in the briefing booklet, and only in connection with Question 19, which clearly says " a public source, for example, in a newspaper article." In other words, any random unauthorized person conveying classified information (even if they happen to be a journalist) is not automatically "a public source."

"the requirements needed to prosecute for disclosing a covert CIA agent's identity are even more stringent than for other classified information"

The text you cite is not from the Espionage Act, it's from IIPA. As I said, with regard to the latter you have a point. With regard to the former you don't.

jukeboxgrad

SYL: "what we don't know is if Rove (or Libby or Hadley) asked someone official if it was okay and they said 'yes'."

That's a good question. I think that if such a thing had happened, big-mouth Luskin would have found a way to generate some spin along those lines.

Also, it's hard to imagine, if Rove had asked, why he would have gotten an answer substantially different than the answer Novak got from Harlow. In other words, I think Rove's fans should be praying that Rove didn't ask.

"I don't think Novak is in trouble."

A very important difference between Novak and Rove is that only the latter signed SF-312.

"Rove could say 'Miller told me Wilson's wife is CIA'. He could not say 'Wilson's wife is CIA'."

No, he couldn't even say "Miller told me Wilson's wife is CIA." I think you're misinterpreting Question 19 ("quoting the public source in the abstract") in the same way that Patrick is. A "public source" is not just any random unauthorized person who is spreading gossip (even if that person happens to be a journalist). A "public source" is something published and generally available to the public (and that's why Question 19 explicitly gives the example of a "newspaper article"). And "quoting the public source in the abstract" is simply this: "yes, I read in the NYT that X and Y and Z." The point of this business about "quoting the public source in the abstract" is to let you know that you won't be prosecuted merely for saying "yes, I read in the NYT that X and Y and Z." This business about "quoting the public source in the abstract" is not a blanket loophole where any unauthorized person (perhaps because they happen to be employed as a journalist) is magically considered a "public source," and any effort to retransmit the classified information you got from that person is magically OK because you're only "quoting the public source in the abstract."

boris

Juke, I only read your posts if they fit on one screen.

jukeboxgrad

I'm at a loss for words to describe how little I care whether or not you read my posts.

boris

A loss for words? Major improvement already!

BTW quoting chapter and verse of gov regulations is even less informative than quoting scripture. At least the bible is a finite document. When CIA personel like Harlow and the former deputy director act clueless about them applying them to everyone else is pointless. You might as well say that there is some law on some book capable of throwing everyone in the country in jail.

Syl

JBG

I'm mostly with you on the first post, but not the second.

Well, yes, Luskin probably would have let the word out somehow that Rove had asked for and gotten permission. Maybe.

But the stuff about the answer from Harlow is sideways. Harlow never looked up Valery's status until after he first spoke to Novak. It was AFTER he looked her up that he called Novak back. So, if someone else had asked Harlow previous to that, Harlow may also have confirmed.

It's really possibly that this whole situation is like a plane crash. There's never one answer to why it happened, there are a series of things.

We cannot discount the possibility that all the discussed info surrounding the valerie/wilson/niger thing took precedence in people's heads over a detail like checking CIA status. Oh, lookie what we found. Combine that with a possible atmosphere of everyone knowing she worked at the CIA. People goofed.

That doesn't necessarily get them off the hook, but it is an explanation for the how.

And there may very well be some official Rove went to who confirmed for whatever reason.
And Luskin/Rove could be playing rope-a-dope. Let the press and Dems stew, and look foolish when it turns out Rove was indeed cleared to say what he said, no matter if erroneously.

Speculation. But, well, it's possible and can't be totally ruled out.

As for public source business, you're wrong. "quoting the public source in the abstract" is NOT disseminating classified material because it neither confirms nor denies the info.

If Novak, a journalist who hasn't printed a word yet, says to Rove "Wilson's wife works at the CIA" it is still non-prosecutable for Rove to respond "I heard that too".

Jim E.

Syl,
With regards to your last line: how is Novak a "public source"? It seems that once an article is published, that is a "public source" (and Novak would be the author), since the information is out in the general public. Yet Rove's alleged statement ("yeah, I heard that too) was not in response to a public source, but to a private conversation. It was only as a result of Rove's response that Novak got his second confirming source, which allowed him to publish and go "public." Does that make sense?

P.S. I'm not sure it matters, but Novak doesn't even regard himself as a "public figure." So how would a private conversation with a non-public figure constitute a "public source" for Rove?

Syl

Because 'I heard that too' is not confirming or denying the specific information.

The error is that Novak THOUGHT it was a confirmation. It wasn't.

Yesterday I heard Charlie claim Bob hates peanuts. Today Sally called me and said Bob hates peanuts.

I respond 'I heard that too'.

Understand now? Doesn't matter who I say it to, public, private, whatever. I'm not confirming or denying anything.

Jim E.

Ah, OK. Thanks.

Jim E.

But wait -- what about Rove telling Cooper? And what about the administration source that told Pincus the info out of the blue? Is that different?

Etienne

I'm enjoying Syl's objectivity on this thread. But the ingenuousness of others here really surprises me. Why does anyone actually BELIEVE Rove really obtained this information from a reporter? The whole thing stinks of planted stories that were carefully aligned after the fact.

I'm not expecting any indictments on the initial investigation of outing a covert agent, although that would be a welcome surprise. I think it's all too obvious at this point that the crimes will end up being along the lines of conspiracy, obstruction and perjury. Rove & Co. have had wonderful success over the years manipulating the media to cover his crimes, but this one got away from him. He should have stuck to maligning peoples' patriotism and sexuality, his usual modus operandi. When he messed with national security clearances, he inadvertantly called in the big dogs on himself.

kim

Perhaps you're right. Wilson for perjury, the press for obstruction, the CIA for conspiracy.
=================================================

jukeboxgrad

SYL: "'quoting the public source in the abstract' is NOT disseminating classified material because it neither confirms nor denies the info. If Novak, a journalist who hasn't printed a word yet, says to Rove 'Wilson's wife works at the CIA' it is still non-prosecutable for Rove to respond 'I heard that too'."

There are two different issues here, which should be understood separately. Although it's easy to see why they have a tendency to get wrapped up together, which is what's happening in thiis discussion. One issue has to do with the phrase "public source." The other issue has to do with the sentence "I heard that too."

The phrase "public source" is used in the SF-312 briefing booklet, Question 19. One issue is what is the meaning of this phrase. Another issue is the significance of the statement "I heard that too" (which, according to Luskin, is what Rove said to Novak), and whether it represents a disssemination of information, or whether it doesn't rise to that level.

Your post here (and also your more recent statement which I cited above) sort of blends these two issues together, and I think they need to be treated separately.

Patrick has claimed that the language in Question 19 ("public source") is somehow relevant here. It's not, because Q. 19 is talking about something like a newspaper article. In our matter, there was no newspaper article (not yet).

This leaves the question of "I heard that too," and whether or not this is considered an act of disseminating information, or whether it's something more innocent than that.

And this is where the two issues can sometimes coincide, which is where the confusion comes in. If you're saying "I heard that too" in reference to a newspaper article (in other words, a true "public source" such as referenced in Q. 19), it seems clear that Q. 19 is saying you're off the hook. You're simply, as Q. 19 puts it, "quoting the public source in the abstract," which doesn't rise to the level of being considered an act of disseminating information.

However, that's not what happened here. There was no newspaper article (or other published material available to the public), so there was no "public source," in the sense described in Q. 19. Since there was no "public source," it's not possible to claim that Rove was "quoting the public source in the abstract." It's only possible to claim that Rove was "quoting a private conversation in the abstract."

Trouble is, there's nothing in the Espionage Act or in SF-312 to indicate this is OK. If the SF-312 briefing booklet wanted us to understand a loophole with regard to "quoting a private conversation in the abstract," it would have said so. Trouble is, it didn't. It said something quite different.

So here's the bottom-line, bringing together the two issues. If Rove had said "I heard that too" in explicit reference to a newspaper article (or a similar publicly available published source), that would clearly be exactly what Q. 19 is talking about, and Rove would therefore have no liability for his statement. Trouble is, Q. 19 is not providing a loophole to coyly repeat something you heard in a private conversation (from either an authorized or unauthorized source). That's what Rove did (i.e., coyly repeat, in effect, something he heard in a private conversation). "I heard that too" was not the correct response. The correct response was "no comment, and by the way, you're talking about something that might be classified, so you should stop, and I have to get off the phone now to call the Agency so they can investigate what you're doing, and where you got it." By the way, that's also essentially the response Rove should have given, and apparently did not give, to his prior ostensible media sources.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned a common-sense example which illustrates this point. Imagine two kids in kindergarten. Jack says to Joe "Tommy wets his bed every night." Joe says "I heard that too." That's not the appropriate answer. Joe needed to say "that's not our business, and you shouldn't be saying that to anyone."

This perspective makes sense with regard to everyday gossip, and it also makes sense with regard to classified information. Q. 19 brings up a reasonable exception with regard to information that's already been published to the general public ("for example, a newspaper article") but it's a mistake to inflate that exception to mean something bigger than what Q. 19 indicates.

Here's a common-sense example regarding classified information. Suppose Judy says to Karl "the password controlling our nuclear arsenal is Rosebud." Karl should be alarmed and warn the Agency. Instead, he says "that's interesting, and where are you going on vacation this summer?" Next day, Bob calls Karl and says "a little birdy told me that the password controlling our nuclear arsenal is Rosebud; what do you think about that?" Karl should be alarmed and warn the Agency. Instead, he says "I heard that too, and where are you going on vacation this summer?"

Yes, Q. 19 provides a loophole for "I heard that too," but only in a situation of a "public source," which Q. 19 explicitly describes as something like "a newspaper article." "Public source" in the context of Q. 19 obviously does not mean "yes, I heard the information from a member of the general public, so therefore it's fine for me to coyly help to further disseminate this information."

Here's another way to ask yourself the question: outside of Q. 19, can you find, anywhere in SF-312, the briefing booklet, or the Espionage Act, support for the idea that "I heard that too" might ever be OK? No, support for this idea is limited to Q. 19, which is clearly only talking about something like "a newspaper article."

By the way, some people seem to think that "I heard that too" is OK because Novak already knew (ostensibly). Trouble is, it doesn't work that way. Outside of the specific exception described in Q. 19, there's no support for the idea that no harm is done if you're telling someone who already knows.

By the way, I think it's worth noticing that the phrase "public source" appears nowhere in the Espionage Act itself. In fact, the word "public" does not appear in the Espionage Act. The word "source" appears once. Similarly, the phrase "public source" appears nowhere in SF-312 (the form itself). In fact, the word "source" does not appear in SF-312 (the form itself). The word "public" appears once. The phrase "public source" appears only in the SF-312 briefing booklet, and there only in Question 19. And Q. 19 clearly indicates it's only talking about something like "a newspaper article."

Aside from all that, recall that the idea that all Rove said is "I heard that too" is via Luskin, apparently. And this doesn't necessarily correspond with what Novak suggested, that two SAO came to him.

Further aside from all that, perhaps what's most important is what Jim E said: this whole business about "I heard that too" only potentially applies to the Novak-Rove conversation, not the Cooper-Rove conversation.

jukeboxgrad

Syl, one more thing. You said "there may very well be some official Rove went to who confirmed for whatever reason."

There's some unhelpful ambiguity here, which I'm sure is unintentional. You could be saying "an official told Rove that Plame worked for the CIA" or, "an official told Rove that Plame worked for the CIA and this was classified information" or, "an official told Rove that Plame worked for the CIA and that this was unclassified information." Just wondering.

jukeboxgrad

BORIS: "quoting chapter and verse of gov regulations is even less informative than quoting scripture"

If you're not careful what you say you're going to piss off the base. By the way, I notice you raised no complaints about "quoting chapter and verse of gov regulations" when your pal Patrick was doing so in an attempt to peddle various ludicrous assertions.

"CIA personel like Harlow and the former deputy director act clueless"

What's clueless is making assumptions (about the Harlow-Rove conversations) that go beyond the limited information that's available. As for Inman, he worked at the CIA for a year. He left 23 years ago. Let us know how much first-hand knowledge he has about Plame's status.

"You might as well say that there is some law on some book capable of throwing everyone in the country in jail."

I see you've been looking at the secret drafts for the new Patriot Act.

kim

Your definition of 'public source' belongs in the old information age, not the new one.
================================================

kim

I do not intend to criticize length, but every time I see one of your posts reaching to the sky, I think of Icarus. You have built a contraption, sometimes elegantly, made of material that simply wasn't engineered for the standards of proof required for what you want to do with it; the radiant power of truth may free you from that contraption quite abruptly. Your bias, your links to similar biases, your selective quotation of facts, and your biased interpretation of them put the lie to your obvious talents for organizing information. Use that talent in service of the truth. That's really reaching to the sky.

boris

Let us know how much first-hand knowledge he has about Plame's ...

Irrelevant, the point specifically addressed CIA policy.

... and there’s nothing that precludes anyone from identifying analytical officers.
I'll refrain from the usual snarky insult of your reading comprehension this one time.

Don't let it happen again.

kim

There is, after all, only truth and beauty.
===========================================

Tollhouse

All that remains is for someone to explain why Philip Agee was never prosecuted under the Espionage act.

jukeboxgrad

KIM: "Your definition of 'public source' belongs in the old information age"

You can be relied upon to confuse the issue by saying something completely pointless. The question is regarding Rove's source. No one is claiming he read it in a newspaper article, or some similar publicly available published material (which is what Q. 19 is talking about). No one is even claiming he read it on a blog (and if that claim was being made, then maybe you would indeed have some kind of a point). To the extent there are those who claim he learned it from a source outside the government, the claim is that he learned it in a private communication of some kind. Whether this private communication was in person, on the phone, on cell phone, on satellite phone, via email, via ICQ, via AIM, via Blackberry, via tin-cans-and-string, via lipstick Judy scrawled on a bathroom mirror, via English, via Esperanto, via Pig Latin or via some combination of the above, is completely beside the point. In other words, your comment about "the old information age" is a complete distraction and a pointless waste of time. Par for the course, in your case.

jukeboxgrad

BORIS: "the point specifically addressed CIA policy"

This is Inman's statement that fascinates you so enormously (you've posted it at least three times, and that's aside from Patrick also posting it): "she was working in an analytical organization, and there’s nothing that precludes anyone from identifying analytical officers."

There are a number of odd things about Inman's statement. Plame reportedly "works in the CIA's Directorate of Operations -- the part of the agency in charge of spying."

This is corroborated by SSCI. According to SSCI (p. 39), Wilson was dispatched by CPD (Counterproliferation Division), which is part of DO (Directorate of Operations). Plame's famous memo was addressed to the Deputy Chief of the CPD.

According to the CIA web site, the DO seems to be a synonym for "Clandestine Service."

Back to what Inman said. It's a little hard to know exactly what he means by the term "analytical officers." If you do a google on this (with CIA) you find essentially nothing (outside of Inman's own statement). In other words, it's not as if this is some clearly understood and widely used term.

Presumably it does not mean "anyone who works in CPD, or DO."

Similarly, it's hard to know what Inman means by "analytical organization." Presumably he does not mean the CIA as a whole. Presumably he also does not mean the entire DO, or the entire CPD. So what does he mean? That's not at all clear. Maybe someone would like to ask him.

In the absence of some clarification, I think it's not wise to try to build too much of a superstructure on top of Inman's quite perplexing sentence. Since he left the CIA 23 years ago (after working there for only a year), he's not likely to be familiar with Plame's exact status. As far as "the point specifically addressed CIA policy," it seems unlikely the Inman was trying to tell us that "CIA policy" is that "nothing precludes anyone from identifying" random folks who work in the DO, or in CPD.

Etienne

JBG's posts are indeed long and intricate, but so is this case, despite the strenuous efforts of apologists to tsk tsk it into a "non-scandal", lol. However, never count out this band of bastards out. Newsweek has a story that gives a new clue to the next Bushista obstructionist ploy : appoint another crooked Bush crony to keep Fitzgerald in line.

Face it, this administration out-Nixons Nixon. They were born in the death throes of the first Imperial Presidency, tested the limits of committing crimes in plain sight during the Iran Contra disgrace and now have the government they bought and paid for with all their life's work. They're hardly going to allow themselves to be held accountable to the American people in an honest court of law, not if they can help it. If Fitzgerald manages to stay standing against this band of thieves, he'll be a true American hero.

kim

Well, JBG, you have proposed a long list of potential witnesses. I'm sure there are others.

And I notice another little rhetorical trick of yours. You are descending to ad hominems instead of answers to my questions, or refutations of my points.
===============================================
=================================================

kim

Etienne, how you have managed to build this case of Wilson Munchausen, CIA chaos, and press stonewalling into a federal case of gossip against the administration, I don't know? You should look at another piece of the elephant.
=============================================

boris

Plame reportedly "works in

Plame was just the context not the point. As I've stated before so I doubt that reading comprehension is your problem. Seems more like deliberate foggery now.

Your draconian interpretations of government regs do not square with either Harlow's action nor the words of former Deputy Director of the CIA:

... and there’s nothing that precludes anyone from identifying analytical officers.
So who shall I put credence in? Your partisan interpretations based on demonstrated lack of reading comprehension? Or people who have actually worked for the CIA.

If CIA officials are not applying your regs and Syl's rule in a strict consistent fashion with themselves then I don't expect the men in black to jump ugly and open a big can of whupass all over Karl Rove anytime soon.

That's my only point. If you still don't get it you're out of luck because I'm not going to spend 7 screens and 39 links to lead you to water you're not going to drink.

Marcel

There was obviously a concerted effort on the part of senior White House officials to reveal that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA. Now we are told that Scooter Libby met Judy Miller on July 8, 2003. Libby discussed it with Matt Cooper and Tim Russert. Karl Rove discussed it with Matt Cooper and Bob Novak. We aren't sure who Novak's original source was, but Novak admits: "I didn't dig it out, it was given to me. They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it."

All the parsing of words and interpretation of various statutes does not obscure the fact that this was a planned operation by the White House. Legal or illegal, it was disgusting thing to do. More serious is the failure of the President to root out those responsible and deal with them. That is a failure of leadership.

Syl

JBG

re your splitting hairs over 'public source', you're wrong. You have not defined 'public source', it's only your opinion.

Public source would be anybody not officially authorized to disseminate the information.

Marcel and Etienne

Your use of words such as disgusting, bastards, obstructionists kinda leaves you out of the running for serious consideration of your opinions and statements.

Patrick R. Sullivan

I fear Boris's hopes of juke being at a loss for words have been dashed.

As for the argument that a public source is ONLY something like a newspaper article, that's made up out of whole cloth.

I realize that in the world of Ham Sandwich ala Martha Stewart, a vindictive and/or ambitious prosecutor might do just about anything, but any defense attorney will quickly point out to such that 'public source' isn't defined narrowly in the official guidelines of the very government that is bringing charges. Hence, the term gets a broad interpretation, including a member of the public saying something. As opposed to a government source.

As for juke's:

'Rove was a "regular participant" in the "White House Iraq Group" (link). According to some reports, he chaired this group. It's extremely hard to imagine he did this with no security clearance.'

Your failure of imagination isn't legally binding. The WHIG was a political group, created specifically for the purpose of communicating with the public (members included Mary Matalin and Karen Hughes), so it would be better that they NOT have security clearances. Especially at levels that would allow access to the names of covert CIA agents.

Finally, there's another good reason that Rove could plausibly cite to explain why it didn't dawn on him that he should call the CIA to ask about Plame. That if her status was covert, her husband would hardly be writing NY Times Op-eds about issues she worked secretly on.

Patrick R. Sullivan

As for the idea that Porter Goss's CIA employment was ever classified, that's ridiculous on its face. He was nominated publicly BEFORE he took the job.

BumperStickerist

also, using the JBG-brand MicroParse technique, "working at" the CIA does not mean "working for" the CIA. Ergo, Plame's cover, as such, was not blown, as such.

Of course, there was no mention of Plame's previous covert work by Novak. For that tidbit of information we needed Plame's husband to come forth.

As for JBG's stalwart work at typing about things he's just recently become familiar with. Well... personally I'd nominate the Jukester for the Walt Starr Award.

The Walt Starr Award is given for industrious reading and theoretical application of regulations with mind-numbing perserverance in the face of common-sense, experience, and logic.

In the Walt Starr Bush Outstanding Unit Medal Fraud "Scoop" - Lieutenant Bush did the unthinkable. Bush wore a unit ribbon for a picture, contrary to some reg, somewhere, which meant ... something ... but something evil ... because Bush is descended from a lineage of Evil, that includes Nazis.

When Good Sir Walt was informed that adding a unit ribbon for the dress uniform for the duration you were at the unit was common (depending on the unit)practice, that that particular custom was a 'yeah - that shit happened' one by ex-military types of Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, and - heck - Anarchist persuasions, old Walt persisted, quoting regs, insisting on documentation for unit customs and practices.

And, no doubt, Walt's quite pleased with his effort to take down Bush through Bush's junior officer malfeaseance, if not the result of that effort. Because, 'yeah, that shit happened sometimes' "Shit" meaning that the first sergeant or an officer would say 'We wear the unit citation here, go get the ribbon from the exchange and have it on your uniform.'

Which, btw, was a pain in the ass because you ended up needing to buy a new ribbon bar, keeping the old one for when you left, and you had to reposition the ribbons on the new bar above the pocket, et cetera, et cetera.

But, bringing this back to Evil Rove and involving some experience -

*having worked with highly classified information* -

the SF-312 violation, if there is one, and JBG's arguments are less than persuasive, seems the type that would require the person to attend a refresher course on classified rather than doing jail time.

And that would be the case if it were Karl Rove or Dick Morris circa 1996.

And, yes, there are 'slap on the wrist' remedies like refresher trainings that are available and appropriate - if needed.

BumperStickerist

Wrong link above:
Walt Starr Journalism Inaction

millco88

Help me out here. Why exactly would the White House have outed Plame?? How does it help their case? How does it hurt Wilson? Didn't it just help him sell books and get a gig with the Kerry campaign? Aren't we just relying on Wilson for motive??

That's my problem with this whole Rove = Machiavelli thing. Why would they orchestrate the "outing"? I can understand why they would want to back away from the "Cheney sent Wilson" meme. That makes sense. But why would they KNOWINGLY out an agent? Where's the benefit to the WH??

Please honest answers only. I'm not looking for partisan talking points. I just don't see a motive for the whole thing.

Walter

Millco, the Wilson article attempted to disprove a part of the Administration's claim that Saddam had an active nuclear weapons programs (other than the Niger yellowcake, there were reports of aluminum tubes for centrifuges, and nuclear weapons labs). When Wilson wrote the article in July 03 there had been little published information to rebuke any of the WMD claims. The President had included the famous "16 words" in the State of the Union address in Jan 03, referring to "uranium from Africa". And the Vice President had been pushing the Iraq nuclear threat since March 02.

In the 5 days after the Wilson article appeared, the White House (Rice, Tenet, Fleischer) admitted that the 16 words should not have been in the State of the Union. But suddenly they stopped issuing retractions and began to attack Wilson. Several White House officials characterized Wilson's trip as insignificant, merely a boondoggle set up by his CIA wife. In hindsight the White House could have made their point about the relevance of the trip without the reference to his wife.

SteveMG

Milco88:
Well, outing Plame's status as a covert agent or operative would have zero benefit to the W.H. as far as I can determine.

If, however, you believe that Rove and Bush are pure evil, trying to discern motive is irrelevant. Evil people do evil things regardless of whether it's smart or logical. Rove is so evil that he will do anything to retaliate against critics even if, as in this case, the retaliation - i.e., outing Plame as (perhaps) a covert agent - makes little overt sense.

The argument, stripped of the politics, is that the W.H. wanted to retaliate against Wilson for his N.Y. Times piece which accused the Administration of manipulating intelligence in order to justify removing the Iraqi regime.

So, among other things, Rove et al. wanted to discredit Wilson by revealing that his mission was really a fraudulent one that wasn't ordered by the Vice President but, instead, was the result of nepotism on the part of Wilson's wife. Additionally, it has the benefit of ruining Plame's career as a covert agent. For all intents and purposes, she'll have to take a desk job since she can no longer travel abroad on covert missions.

In revealing - or corroborating or agreeing or hinting (choose your words) that Wilsons' wife was working for the CIA and that she was involved in sending Wilson, the W.H. allegedly violated several laws.

The disagreement, as far as I can tell, is how directly involved Rove et al. were in explicitly revealing her status. Did they pass on rumors? Or did they openly reveal her position?

So, I guess the short answer to your question is that critics believe that Rove et al. revealed Plame's covert status in order to ruin her career. They wanted to ruin her job as punishment for Wilson's NY Times piece and public comments accusing the W.H. of manipulating intelligence to support a war against Iraq.

SMG

kim

Some people want to forget that there was a war within the government about the aluminum tubes with expert vs expert action. When the consequences of being wrong are so horrendous, a responsible government will err on the safe side and lead the people along the correct course. What luck to have Rice/Bush instead of Berger/Gore, or Wilson/Kerry, or Some/Such.
===============================================

SteveMG

Milco88:
Quick addendum:

The short-term benefit in revealing Plame's covert status would be to ruin her career and to get back at Wilson for attacking the W.H. publicly.

The long-term benefit would be to send a signal to other critics that the W.H. would retaliate quite fiercely to critics.

So, the motives to outing Plame would be: (1) to get back at Wilson and Plame (ruining here career as a covert agent) and (2) indicating to other critics that they'll be squashed if they question the W.H.

SMG

Etienne

I don't think Plame was outed in order to destroy her career as punishment to her husband.

I think the only motivation was to discredit Wilson. Discrediting Wilson was important because the WH was in the middle of a critical marketing campaign - selling the legitimacy of war to the American people. They could NOT discredit him sufficiently on the merits. Therefore, they had to paint him as a liar, by augmenting his statements about being sent by Cheney's office, portraying those statements as outrageous lies. This could only be done by claiming that he instead was sent by his wife (codespeak "girlie man"), along with the implication his mission (and thereby HE) was insignificant, trivial, self serving and perhaps even calculated to undermine the President.

The reason so much attention is on Rove - when he is clearly only one player among many - is because this strategy has Rove's DNA all over it.

I'm sorry if strong moral commentary on my own government's actions makes my statements automatically moot. It might behoove some readers here to consider that all the moral judgments in America today are not being routed by the conservative media machine.

millco88

Isn't that an important point, that they could have done it another way? If you believe all the speculation on this and other sites, this was some well-thought out conspiracy to out Plame involving numerous WH personnel. Yet, if they wanted to "get even" with Wilson, couldn't they have had him audited, had Porter Goss fire his wife, etc., rather than engage in all this Machiavellian nonsense??

It just seems that the missing piece to all this is the motive. So doesn't it seem likely that what is obvious, that no one in the WH really knew she was covert, is true?? If no one was aware of her covert status before this all began, doesn't it completely change the way this has been characterized?? Mistakenly outing an agent versus deliberately outing an agent is a pretty big distinction, IMO.

I mean, didn't the CIA know that Wilson was going to open this can of worms because they approved the op-ed?? Shouldn't someone at the CIA have asked, what would the WH do in response? And maybe we should let someone know to keep her name out of it?

Maybe they did, and if so, whoever disregarded that should pay the price, whatever that is. But if you believe in conspiracy theories, isn't it possible that the CIA was behind it all??

It just seems that the CIA had all the critical pieces of information -- why Wilson was sent, who sent him, what he actually discovered, Plame's status, who knew it, etc., BEFORE Wilson went public. It doesn't look like the WH had that info a priori. Maybe they did, but don't we know that the CIA did?? You see where I'm going??

SteveMG

Millco88:
Many of your points are sound and have been made elsewhere here.

Wilson must have known - or the CIA at least - that by publicly criticizing the W.H. and by mentioning his mission to Niger that a whole series of new questions re his mission would be raised.

And that as a result of the heightened questioning by the press and public into the matter, that inevitably his wife's job with the CIA would come up.

Wilson's entire mission - from start to finish - was poorly thought out. His wife never should have been involved; or she never should have suggested him for the task. And then he writes a major piece in the NY Times?

Oy. Why not just sent yourself on fire on the W.H. lawn Wilson? Would have received less attention.

One note: Re the CIA's knowledge of Wilson's mission, his wife's role, et cetera.

Reportedly the W.H. received a top secret memo providing much of the above information after Wilson wrote his story in the NY Times. Part of Fitzgerald's investigation is into who saw that document and whether they passed on any of the information to others.

SMG

millco88

Steve,

Thanks for the input. I haven't read all the posts in all the threads, so I might have missed a few speculations.

SteveMG

Etienee:
Fair point. As I have stated elsewhere, I think Rove should have resigned; at the very least he was reckless in handling classified information. He's an example of the danger - whether Republican or Democrat administrations - of permitting campaign advisers and political types to handle classified information. Doesn't matter whether it's Rove or Carville or Begala, the temptation to use the stuff is too great. And at the very least, it raises a lot of questions.

And if Rove is found to have revealed Plame's name, he should be horse-whipped as well as frog-marched.

However, those of us on the right do have to be a little, well, nonplussed at the sudden concern on the left (I'm generalizing) over Rove's "treason". I don't remember reading similar outrage over the historic acts of treason by Hiss and the Rosenbergs et cetera et cetera. In fact, in many quarters on the left (The Nation in particular) those three figures have been robustly defended.

Again, not saying you are guilty of this. Just "some" quarters of the left.

But that's another topic for another day.

SMG

Marcel

Re: the possibility that the CIA itself outed Plame. They may have had all of the information. But it wouldn't make sense for the CIA to set events in motion that would lead to a Special Prosecutor being appointed. The CIA did not need to ask Justice to investigate but did so.

It is interesting on a hot summer afternoon to speculate that the CIA leaked it, or that Joe Wilson himself leaked it, or that White House officials heard it from the Press. Yet we all have enough information to know with certainty that the leak was orchestrated within the White House. Questions do remain; we don't know exactly who was involved or whether the leaking actually broke any laws. More importantly, we don't know the origins of the forged documents about the Niger yellowcake.

Syl

Marcel

Keep in mind that 'the CIA' in one sentence someone writes, may not be the same people represented by 'the CIA' in another sentence.

Not everyone in the CIA know, or much care, what others in the CIA are doing.

SteveMG

"As I have stated elsewhere, I think Rove should have resigned; at the very least he was reckless in handling classified information."

Why just Rove? Why not Libby, Hadley, anyone at all who opened their mouth at anytime re Mrs. Wilson?

What bugs me about 'fire Rove' statements is the lack of concern over the responsibility of anyone else involved.

I mean, wait for the derned investigation to be completed before asking for resignations. All we have to go on is what has been reported in the press...and that's more than likely selective because of their own involvement.

richard mcenroe

Tollhouse -- Or Senator Leahy, whose Intelligence Committee links got at least one CIA overseas operative killed. When was he prosecuted?

And I'm sorry, Tom, but Karl Rove can't be a hothead. It would get the inside of his shiny black helmet all sweaty...

Etienne

I don't see how Wilson "should have known" his wife's name would get dragged into print if he openly criticized the government. Perhaps he had confidence in the integrity of the government he served. Maybe it didn't occur to him that the White House would act so cavalierly with matters of such serious protocol. In hindsight, he was foolish to think so, but if we're talking motive, it's quite a hard case to make that he himself was the one placing his wife's covert status in the public spotlight. He probably also figured, quite rightly, that even if she was the one who mentioned his name for the trip, her relevance to the ultimate findings of his trip was ZERO. As that was the topic of the op-ed, why should he have feared her being outed?

As for being nonplussed at attitudes toward treason: I'm not sure it's treason specifically that has aroused the outrage from the left. I think it is a general revulsion at the politicization of our national security, at the way this party in power seems to regard national security as their own private property, to be played with as needed for their own political ends. That they impugn the patriotism of their critics in the course of their own deviant behavior is what adds the moral fuel to the fire.

However, when it comes to your definitions of what those on the left think, I'm not any expert on the history of American leftism. I'm newly attentive to politics myself, mostly due to the injustices of our current economy on the working class and the cynical dishonesty of this war that the working class is being asked to die in. This Plame incident is important to me because it is part and parcel of the deadly deception that these arrogant bastards perpetrated in our name. As they have refused every step of the way to accept so much as an ounce of responsibility for the consequences of their incompetence and mendacity, it is encouraging to think that perhaps the Rule of Law may be brought to bear on them. It is "we the people" after all who own this government, not Bush, Cheney & their gang of billionaires.

SteveMG

Syl:
IIRC, Rove told the W.H. that he had no role in leaking Plame's name. McClellan goes out as the President's spokesman and repeats that.

Then Rove acknowledges to a grand jury that he told Cooper about Plame. Some dispute as to what those words were - e.g., "I've heard that too" et cetera. He may not have revealed her covert status; but the evidence that he leaked her name seems irrefutable.

We can parse the words until we turn into human towers of Babel. But it's clear (to me) that he wasn't honest.

Now, whether he broke any laws is another matter. At the very least, it seems to me, he was very sloppy handling classified information and, again from my vantage point, he lied to Bush.

Forget about the legal issues for a second. If you were Bush, would you be happy over this?

Rove served Bush very poorly on this matter. He's not a monster, he's not evil, he just messed up. Lots of advisers historically have done so. He wasn't the first and won't be the last.

I'm not going to be a kool-aid drinker (I'm not saying you are). When my side screws up, we have to hold them accountable.

SMG

boris

When my side screws up, we have to hold them accountable.

For what?

Based on Harlow's confirmation of her employment and the words of former Deputy Director of the CIA:

... and there’s nothing that precludes anyone from identifying analytical officers.

Holding Rove MORE accountable for some ill defined protocol than CIA officials hold themselves is just ... well ... self defeating.

And spare me the Harlow screwed up and the Deputy Director mispoke rant, I worked with classified stuff, had a top secret clearance, and I recall that the important stuff was second nature while the piddly crap was mostly formality. So even if the explanation is screwupance and misspeak, it still indicates the significance was in the piddly crap category.



SteveMG

Boris:
We've crossed swords before but I'll try again. Triumph of hope over experience, but what the hell.

Rove works for Bush. Harlow works for the CIA. The latter is a career civil servant. The former is a political appointee.

Rove told McClellan - Bush's proxy - that he (Rove) was not involved in the leaking of Plame's name. I do not care if not one single law was broken by Rove's actions.

He misled Bush.

You cannot have your top adviser misleading you.

I don't care if this story never got out. If my top adviser openly misleads me, he's gone.

SMG

Syl

Etienne

"I think it is a general revulsion at the politicization of our national security"

Please try an experiment. I don't expect or ask you to change your mind. This is just temporary. Just for a fleeting moment pretend that the administration was sincerely worried about our national security and really believed Saddam was a gathering danger to us.

Then listen to a man write an op-ed in the Paper-of-Record accusing them of misleading the country.

Now, before you switch back to your own view, you'll see that it was Wilson who was politicizing our national security and the administration was thrown off balance and reacted.

Okay. Experiment over. Return to your normally scheduled broadcast.

Tommy V

Until the case is strong enough that people who don't already hate the administration are offended this thing isn't going anywhere. There is some reside from all the rumblings, but that will fade unless facts come to the surface.

It's hard to take this seriously when in one sentence someone is bashing Rove and in the next is still spouting the vocabulary of class consciousness.

I hear words like "treason" and I just roll my eyes. Those who have refused to take national security seriously for decades lack the credibility to be the defenders of it. It has a very hollow ring to it.

boris

He misled Bush.

And that makes it W's call.

If I had a Rove working for me I'd give him .001 lashes with a wet noodle, and thank my lucky stars he's not working for the other side.

Etienne

SMG, you're leaving out one possibility that would explain a lot.

Maybe Rove never misled Bush. These are two peas in a pod you're talking about here, two guys who owe their poltical existences to one another. I don't believe Rove would lie to Bush. I believe they have been on the same page on this thing, as they've been on the same page on everything they've done together poltically. Bush always knew what Rove had done. He just honestly figured they had their bases covered, and it was cool to make the kind of blanket statements he made about dismissing anyone responsible. Bush didn't nickname Rove "Turdblossom" for nothing. He knows the man's character better than anyone else.

You can't blame Bush for his passive assumption that it would all blow over. They've had an excellent track record. That's another facet of the story of course. From Sophocles to Shakespeare, there has always been a strong dramatic appeal in the story of hubris exacting its penance.

Syl

SteveMG

You have a point, but consider we don't know exactly what was said by whom when (though it may very well be exactly as you said.)

I think it may be a political calculation by Bush as to whether and when to let Rove go. Bush may have figured it would do his administration more harm than good if he were to fire Rove during the sh*tstorm.

deona

Back to Novak:

I have always thought that Novak, as a token "conservative" on "Crossfire", and since in various other roles on CNN, was a disadvantage to conservatism.

A nice man, but I've always feared he was treated (albeit subtly) as an outright dolt. One would have to admit that he often talked as if he had a mouth full of marbles. I was never proud of his performance.

When I saw his blow-up against that space alien, and heard he was suspended, I hoped upon hope that someone in the conservative camp had talked him into leaving, and staged the whole thing. I almost felt foolish with that theory, but somehow I thought there might be something going on here beyond the obvious.

NOW YOU TELL ME HE IS KARL ROVE'S FRIEND???!!

Sonofagun. My foolish theory is growing legs... Now if they can manipulate the situation to put a believable, quick-on-his-feet, bulldog conservative replacement on CNN, I think it might be a nice show.

Has anyone ever seen Novak make a point against the likes of Carvil and receive ANY respect on ANY CNN panel he's been on?

I haven't.

Again, I love the guy. I just think he's been less than ineffective. Juan Williams does a helluva lot better as a progressive on Fox News than Novak EVER did as a conservative on CNN, IMNSHO.

Deona

deona

Back to Novak:

I have always thought that Novak, as a token "conservative" on "Crossfire", and since in various other roles on CNN, was a disadvantage to conservatism.

A nice man, but I've always feared he was treated (albeit subtly) as an outright dolt. One would have to admit that he often talked as if he had a mouth full of marbles. I was never proud of his performance.

When I saw his blow-up against that space alien, and heard he was suspended, I hoped upon hope that someone in the conservative camp had talked him into leaving, and staged the whole thing. I almost felt foolish with that theory, but somehow I thought there might be something going on here beyond the obvious.

NOW YOU TELL ME HE IS KARL ROVE'S FRIEND???!!

Sonofagun. My foolish theory is growing legs... Now if they can manipulate the situation to put a believable, quick-on-his-feet, bulldog conservative replacement on CNN, I think it might be a nice show.

Has anyone ever seen Novak make a point against the likes of Carvil and receive ANY respect on ANY CNN panel he's been on?

I haven't.

Again, I love the guy. I just think he's been less than ineffective. Juan Williams does a helluva lot better as a progressive on Fox News than Novak EVER did as a conservative on CNN, IMNSHO.

Deona

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame