John Dean discusses the legal aspects of the Plame outing - the "Randel Precedent" - if followed -- bodes ill For Karl Rove.
Consider this excerpt:
Karl Rove may be able to claim that he did not know he was leaking "classified information" about a "covert agent," but there can be no question he understood that what he was leaking was "sensitive information." The very fact that Matt Cooper called it "double super secret background" information suggests Rove knew of its sensitivity, if he did not know it was classified information (which by definition is sensitive).
United States District Court Judge Richard Story's statement to Jonathan Randel, at the time of sentencing, might have an unpleasant ring for Karl Rove. Judge Story told Randel that he surely must have appreciated the risks in leaking DEA information. "Anything that would affect the security of officers and of the operations of the agency would be of tremendous concern, I think, to any law-abiding citizen in this country," the judge observed. Judge Story concluded this leak of sensitive information was "a very serious crime."
"In my view," he explained, "it is a very serious offense because of the risk that comes with it, and part of that risk is because of the position" that Randel held in the DEA. But the risk posed by the information Rove leaked is multiplied many times over; it occurred at a time when the nation was considering going to war over weapons of mass destruction. And Rove was risking the identity of, in attempting to discredit, a WMD proliferation expert, Valerie Plame Wilson.
Karl and Bob Novak Have a History of Co-Conspiracy Rove Reportedly Held Phone Talk on CIA Officer by David Johnston and Richard W. Stevenson, The New York Times [Reprinted Friday 15 July 2005- Truthout]
This is not the first time Mr. Rove has been linked to a leak reported by Mr. Novak. In 1992, Mr. Rove was fired from the Texas campaign to re-elect the first President Bush because of suspicions that he had leaked information to Mr. Novak about shortfalls in the Texas organization's fund-raising. Both Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak have denied that Mr. Rove had been the source.
Novak is such a scumbag.
The latest on Novak shows that Novak has probably lied. Has Novak committed perjury? From Americablog:
Novak's own statement contradicts story that HE told Rove about Plame, and not vice versa by John in DC - 7/15/2005 01:09:00 PM
Astute reader Ted just alerted to what appears to be a lie from either Novak or Rove.
Today's big story is that Rove supposedly never gave Valerie Plame's name to Novak - but rather that Novak mentioned Plame was CIA and Rove said "yeah I heard that too," or something to that effect.
In fact, here's what Novak said in his first interview that we know of just after he leaked Plame's name in print:
Novak, in an interview, said his sources had come to him with the information. "I didn't dig it out, it was given to me," he said. "They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it."
Read that again. I didn't dig it out, it was given to me - they gave me the name. That does not jibe with Rove's anonymous buddy telling the NYT that it was Novak who first brought up Plame as CIA and NOT Rove.
"Time for this site to illustrate the main contrast between liberals who answer the call of duty and Karl Rove, who smears them and participates in endangering them in order to play politics. Karl Rove is running scared and Bush is protecting him. This is your moment to go on the offensive...Link this site."
This is becoming an incredibly popular website: 82,498 visitors since June 24, 2005. It is a site set up for the purpose of receiving email from men and women serving currently in the United States military or veterans who are angry at Karl Rove's recent comments. The proprietor does not serve in the military himself. His aim is to let Karl Rove know that when it comes to defending the USA, there are no Democrats or Republicans, just Americans.
Regarding Judy Miller's privileged (and ethically questionable) "access" to Karl Rove and other official goons who would conspire to betray CIA, and protecting these goons as "sources", Palast says:
"Every rule has an exception. My mama always told me to "compliment the chef" at dinner. But that doesn't apply when the chef pees in your soup. Likewise, there's an exception to the rule of source protection. When officialdom uses "you-can't-use-my- name" to cover a lie, the official is not a source, but a disinformation propagandist -- and Miller and The Times have been all too willing to play Izvestia to the Bush's Kremlinesque prevarications.
And that is what Miller is protecting: the evil called "access."
The great poison in the corpus of American journalism is the lust for tidbits of supposedly "inside" information which is more often than not inside misinformation parading as hot news." - [LINK-CommonDreams.com]
The whole thing makes me want to take a shower to scrub away the filth of power-abuse and propaganda; the stinking lovechild borne of the intercourse between journalists with 'access-ego' and lying White House goons, off my brain. If only it could be that easy.
* A tip o'the hat to Dr. Menlo, who has some great links at his site.
But there's one GOP talking point that I hope they'll go on repeating, and that is that this is just a partisan attack. Lots of Republicans are saying this; as an example, here's Ken Mehlman again:
"It's disappointing that once again, so many Democrat leaders are taking their political cues from the far-left, Moveon wing of the party. The bottom line is Karl Rove was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story based on a false premise and the Democrats are engaging in blatant partisan political attacks."
Republicans: please keep saying this. Keep telling the American people that it's only Democrats who think it's wrong to out an undercover CIA agent. Keep saying that the only reason anyone would think it's any sort of a problem to put vindictiveness and a desire to discredit one's political opponents above national security is "partisanship"....Because most people know better. Most people know that you just do not out undercover agents at all, and you surely do not out them to score political points. And if the Republicans keep telling them that it's only Democrats who care about this, maybe they'll listen.
I have never seen anything as bizarre as CNN's Soledad O'Brien's interview this morning with Congressman Peter King-(R-NY). King was attemping to defend Karl Rove (for whom there is no ethical defense). Soledad's lovely face betrayed incredulity while interviewing this fellow, who reduced himself to a steaming hunk of partisan excrement. We understand the despair of these Republican partisans when we see a hack like King talking all too fast and calling Joe Wilson a liar, flat out. Congressman Peter King is a disgusting creature. He's willingly harboring and coddling a traitor to America. Every decent American citizen knows that you just don't out an undercover agent. Doing it to score a political revenge-point is the supreme example of a scum-of-the-earth abandonment of ethics - and most people understand this clearly. All of the fast talk and filthy accusations serve to make King - and any other who'd publically act the same way - look like a crazy fool. This is the dirtiest attack I've ever seen by any of these partisan goons. Joseph Wilson is a former Ambassador who, along with his wife, have only strived to serve America with honesty, even when it meant insisting on remaining honest while working side by side with the dark and secretive Bush administration.
UPDATE: I just read, in Editor and Publisher, that King, in a recent interview with Joe Scarborough, said that people like Tim Russert should be shot. Men with your clean white coats: get a stretcher and take this fascist boob out on it - in a straight jacket - pronto. He's a terrorist.