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Carl Rove leaked CIA operative?
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TheMosco
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Jul 3, 2005, 12:55 AM
 
So word is going around that it was Carl Rove that leaked Wilson's wife as a CIA agent. If true, someone's career is done.

Newsweek article from the upcoming july 11th issue:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8445696/site/newsweek/

SO Rove's Lawyer is saying that Rove did talk to the reporters, but did not give any names of agents.

Things I found interesting:

But in an interview with NEWSWEEK, Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed that Rove had been interviewed by Cooper for the article. It is unclear, however, what passed between Cooper and Rove.
In early October 2003, NEWSWEEK reported that immediately after Novak's column appeared in July, Rove called MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews and told him that Wilson's wife was "fair game." But White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters at the time that any suggestion that Rove had played a role in outing Plame was "totally ridiculous." On Oct. 10, McClellan was asked directly if Rove and two other White House aides had ever discussed Valerie Plame with any reporters. McClellan said he had spoken with all three, and "those individuals assured me they were not involved in this."
{emphasis mine}

Even if he didn't leak it, being interviewed for the article sure sounds like being "involved" to em. Kinda shady.
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Krusty
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Jul 3, 2005, 02:46 AM
 
I saw this story early this morning here but wonder what, if any impact it will end up having.

Joseph Wilson already stated it was Karl Rove back in 2003. Nobody listened. Novak clearly broke the law in reporting the name and stated that he'd gotten the information from inside the White House. The White House simply ignored the issue and refused to conduct any sort of investigation.

Point being, its been pretty solidly established for a couple of years that someone in the White House was engaged in this act of treason but it was successfully made into a non-issue. What do you want to bet that it will just blow over ... both houses of congress are from the same party as the President. Hence, we will likely not see anything made out of it even if it becomes established fact that Rove did it.
     
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Jul 3, 2005, 07:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Krusty
I saw this story early this morning here but wonder what, if any impact it will end up having.

Joseph Wilson already stated it was Karl Rove back in 2003. Nobody listened. Novak clearly broke the law in reporting the name and stated that he'd gotten the information from inside the White House. The White House simply ignored the issue and refused to conduct any sort of investigation.

Point being, its been pretty solidly established for a couple of years that someone in the White House was engaged in this act of treason but it was successfully made into a non-issue. What do you want to bet that it will just blow over ... both houses of congress are from the same party as the President. Hence, we will likely not see anything made out of it even if it becomes established fact that Rove did it.
It's amazing how the government has seemingly used the distraction strategy to change the focus from who outed Plame to whether the two reporters will go to jail for not revealing their source. And whu isn't Novak in jail?
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Jul 3, 2005, 09:40 AM
 
Can someone explaim to me how it Novak got a free pass here? I've never understood this part.
     
zizban
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Jul 3, 2005, 10:17 AM
 
Well, with the recent SC ruling, I don't think Novak is safe. Carl Rove's MO has always been "Leave no bodies" so I have a hard time believing it was him who leaked it. Someone close to him, possibly.
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Jul 3, 2005, 11:45 AM
 
Karl Rove is the power behind Bush.
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Millennium
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Jul 3, 2005, 06:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by zizban
Well, with the recent SC ruling, I don't think Novak is safe. Carl Rove's MO has always been "Leave no bodies" so I have a hard time believing it was him who leaked it. Someone close to him, possibly.
I have a little difficulty believing it myself; Rove isn't normally this sloppy. He's been slipping a little in the past month or two, but the Plame leak happened at his peak. He had any number of subordinates who could have done this, so why do it himself?

Seriously; when you're doing so well, you don't expose your higher-ups to this kind of risk except for one reason: to use them as bait. If Rove really did do this then he's up to something, as if the fact that he has a pulse didn't make that obvious already. He should of course be arrested and tried, but I hope that the Bush-haters don't let their lust to eradicate conservatism get the better of them and make them too hasty. Make damn sure every i is dotted and every t is crossed, because this can only be a trap.

Then again, perhaps we've already been caught in it. Consider: the freedom of the press has been severely compromised, and yet how many people aren't angry about that, because it seems that Rove himself was the culprit after all? The leak was a horrible thing, but was finding the perpetrator really worth losing the right to speak anonymously to the press?

Not that whether Rove is arrested matters all that much. Even if Rove is arrested, there's a great deal of work to be done before he can be tried: consider grand-jury indictment, jury selection, determining who has jurisdiction, and so on. By the time this gets to trial, Bush's term will be nearly over, and I'd bet a lot of money that Bush will pardon him on the last day of his term.

(And yes, Fark readers, I did post something very like this there yesterday).
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Stegabot
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Jul 3, 2005, 07:34 PM
 
There is one big problem though,if Rove was the leak,why would two journalists go to jail for it willingly,all they have to do is say Karl Rove was the leak and the MSM would do the rest considering this all happenned in 2003,a year before the election.I don't give a hoo-ha in regards to unindentified sources,the press would not give any pass to any member of Bush Cabinet especially Karl Rove .They would nail him and Novak in a heartbeat and would had used that scandal to beat Bush last year and hand Kerry the presidency.
Those two reporters are protecting somebody big,big enough to go to jail for contempt and it is surely not Karl Rove.
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Millennium
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Jul 4, 2005, 11:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Stegabot
There is one big problem though,if Rove was the leak,why would two journalists go to jail for it willingly,all they have to do is say Karl Rove was the leak and the MSM would do the rest considering this all happenned in 2003,a year before the election.I don't give a hoo-ha in regards to unindentified sources,the press would not give any pass to any member of Bush Cabinet especially Karl Rove .They would nail him and Novak in a heartbeat and would had used that scandal to beat Bush last year and hand Kerry the presidency.
Because even if it is Karl Rove, were they to reveal their sources willingly nobody would ever be willing to speak to them anonymously again; they did it once,so why not again? There's also a decent chance they'd be fired for violating confidentiality, because if they weren't then that entire media outlet might find itself in a situation where nobody would ever speak to any of their reporters anonymously again, because they would be seen as condoning confidentiality violations.

To reporters, confidentiality is a very big deal, and it's somthing you do not violate willingly. It simply Is Not Done, and the consequences for doing it are severe.
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SimeyTheLimey
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Jul 4, 2005, 12:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Millennium
Because even if it is Karl Rove, were they to reveal their sources willingly nobody would ever be willing to speak to them anonymously again; they did it once,so why not again? There's also a decent chance they'd be fired for violating confidentiality, because if they weren't then that entire media outlet might find itself in a situation where nobody would ever speak to any of their reporters anonymously again, because they would be seen as condoning confidentiality violations.

To reporters, confidentiality is a very big deal, and it's somthing you do not violate willingly. It simply Is Not Done, and the consequences for doing it are severe.
There is still no evidence whatsoever that it was Rove. All there is is O'Donnell irresposisibly jumping to conclusions based on the fact that Rove was a source of the reporters in question. A source is not necessarily the source. After all, it's hardly surprising that Rove talks to reporters from time to time. Most people at that level of government do, and that isn't a crime. He denies that he leaked the information, and has testified before the grand jury.

In any case, there is severe doubt there even was a crime here. Link. It's not unlikely that there will be no indictments of any leakers, and that in fact, the only criminals here will turn out to be the journalists who are committing contempt. And of course, the Wilsons don't exactly come out of this as heroes. Valerie Plame was a government employee who recommended her husband for a lucrative assignment. There is a word for that kind of corruption: nepotism.
     
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Jul 4, 2005, 05:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
In any case, there is severe doubt there even was a crime here. Link. It's not unlikely that there will be no indictments of any leakers, and that in fact, the only criminals here will turn out to be the journalists who are committing contempt. And of course, the Wilsons don't exactly come out of this as heroes. Valerie Plame was a government employee who recommended her husband for a lucrative assignment. There is a word for that kind of corruption: nepotism.
That's a very unconvincing argument you linked to about whether a crime was committed. It's all speculation (these rumors about Rove are also speculative). I agree that there will not be any indictments of any leakers, but the reason is pretty obviously for completely different reasons.
     
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Jul 4, 2005, 07:32 PM
 
..so how has Novak dodged this...if the court wants to know who leaked..why not ask him..of all people...can someone shed some light on this.
     
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Jul 5, 2005, 06:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
There is still no evidence whatsoever that it was Rove.
This is true; the things I've said are based on the assumption that Rove was actually the one who did it. I admit, my conclusions seem far-fetched, but I don't think they're any more so than the possibility that Rove actually did this.
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Jul 5, 2005, 09:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by KarlG
Karl Rove is the power behind Bush.
So who's this "Carl Rove" figure?
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Jul 5, 2005, 04:25 PM
 
..so no one here knows why Novak's off the hook.
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Jul 5, 2005, 05:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Moderator
..so no one here knows why Novak's off the hook.
He's "off the hook" because the statute at issue only applies to government employees with access to classified information. Novak is not within the statute. He is a journalist who simply reported what he was told. Such dissemination is constitutionally protected even if the information is released illegally. The leaker can be prosecuted, but not the person who just repeats the leak once the leaker leaked it.

However, journalists have no privilege not to reveal their sources when concealing those sources impedes a criminal prosecution. Journalists do not have the power to immunize criminal conduct and prevent lawful investigations into potential crimes. That's why some of the journalists here were in danger of going to jail for contempt. They think they are above the law and they are not.

Apparently, Novak has cooperated with the independent prosecutor, and therefore is apparently not in contempt. Link to a rather informative piece by David Corn. But note, the special prosecutor himself is saying virtually nothing about any of this and the proceedings of the grand jury (as is always the case) are secret.
( Last edited by SimeyTheLimey; Jul 5, 2005 at 05:27 PM. )
     
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Jul 6, 2005, 05:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
The conclusion in particular is pretty damning.

Those are indeed damn important questions. But the news about Rove has shifted the discussion back to the leak itself and the question, whodunit? It's been two years since the leak occurred. In that time, Bush has expressed little outrage about this despicable act. His White House took no steps of its own to determine who leaked the Plame information. At one point, Bush practically joked that finding the leaker would be rather hard. Even if the leak, for reasons I noted above, does not meet the threshold for a prosecution, it still was a thuggish act and a firing offense. Does Bush want on his staff people who out CIA officials (who are working to protect the nation from the WMD threat) in order to score political points? If Fitzgerald, at the end of the day, says he does not have enough evidence to indict anyone, will Bush take actions of his own to find and boot the leakers? He has given no indication he feels so compelled. On Capitol Hill, the House and Senate intelligence committees, controlled by Republicans, never mounted investigations of their own. And, by the way, Fitzgerald, should he fail to bring indictments, has no obligation at the end of his inquiry to produce a public report that explains what he did and did not uncover.

Rove may be in trouble. Or this could be a false alert. But this did-Rove-do-it bubble is a useful reminder. Two years ago, senior Bush administration officials revealed classified information, undid the career of a national security official, and endangered ongoing anti-WMD programs in order to pursue a political vendetta against a critic, and to date there has been no accountability.
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Jul 6, 2005, 06:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by nath
Rove may be in trouble. Or this could be a false alert. But this did-Rove-do-it bubble is a useful reminder. Two years ago, senior Bush administration officials revealed classified information, undid the career of a national security official, and endangered ongoing anti-WMD programs in order to pursue a political vendetta against a critic, and to date there has been no accountability.
Does it also not bother you that this "national security official" (actually, a mid-level career intelligence analyst) recommended an unqualified person for a high level intelligence mission simply because that person happened to be her husband? I mean I realize that none of this concerns your government (which is why it is kind of odd that you are so concerned about this) but such high level corruption ought to be troubling.

And remember, she wasn't really under cover and she was never placed in any danger. She was working in Washington, DC at the time and her identity was listed on Wilson's biography on the web. That's one of the reasons that the op-ed I linked to earlier by the authors of the statute in question suggests that there may well have been no crime here at all. Who she was was common knowledge (at least in certain circles). What wasn't well known was her nepotism, which is what Novak wrote about.

Edit: the New York Times apparently agrees that there was likely no crime:

Meanwhile, an even more basic issue has been raised in recent articles in The Washington Post and elsewhere: the real possibility that the disclosure of Ms. Plame's identity, while an abuse of power, may not have violated any law. Before any reporters are jailed, searching court review is needed to determine whether the facts indeed support a criminal prosecution under existing provisions of the law protecting the identities of covert operatives.
( Last edited by SimeyTheLimey; Jul 6, 2005 at 07:03 AM. )
     
nath
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Jul 6, 2005, 07:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
Does it also not bother you that this "national security official" (actually, a mid-level career intelligence analyst) recommended an unqualified person for a high level intelligence mission simply because that person happened to be her husband? I mean I realize that none of this concerns your government (which is why it is kind of odd that you are so concerned about this) but such high level corruption ought to be troubling.
I'm not really that bothered, and there wasn't anything in my post to suggest I was. In any case, my government has it's own similar infiltrations by spin meisters to worry about.

Anyway, the higher the level of corruption, the more seriously I take it. I think that's the point of the conclusion to the article you posted.

Again,

In that time, Bush has expressed little outrage about this despicable act. His White House took no steps of its own to determine who leaked the Plame information. At one point, Bush practically joked that finding the leaker would be rather hard. Even if the leak, for reasons I noted above, does not meet the threshold for a prosecution, it still was a thuggish act and a firing offense. Does Bush want on his staff people who out CIA officials (who are working to protect the nation from the WMD threat) in order to score political points?
     
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Jul 6, 2005, 07:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
He's "off the hook" because the statute at issue only applies to government employees with access to classified information. Novak is not within the statute. He is a journalist who simply reported what he was told. Such dissemination is constitutionally protected even if the information is released illegally.
I thought the Thinksecret case slapped that argument down....though I suppose Novak is saying he didn't know the info was illegally leaked.

Still...how is it that these two journalists are in contempt..how is their situation different from that of Novak?
     
Louis_SX
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Jul 6, 2005, 09:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by Moderator
Can someone explaim to me how it Novak got a free pass here? I've never understood this part.
Quite simply, he's a journalist. It's the same answer-to-noone schlock that let Jayson Blair survive for so long just making up stories. The press need not reveal its sources...or, at least, that's been the tradition.
     
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Jul 6, 2005, 12:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Louis_SX
Quite simply, he's a journalist. The press need not reveal its sources...or, at least, that's been the tradition.
If that were the case the Time and NYT reporters would also be off the hook. How is Novak different...is what don't understand.

Why them..but not him.
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Jul 6, 2005, 02:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Louis_SX
Quite simply, he's a journalist. It's the same answer-to-noone schlock that let Jayson Blair survive for so long just making up stories. The press need not reveal its sources...or, at least, that's been the tradition.
No, it's never been the tradition that journalists can shield criminal suspects from the law. There is no federal privilege for journalists. The Supeme Court decided that decades ago, and Congress specifically declined to create one in the Federal Rules of Evidence. Journalists must cooperate with an ongoing criminal investigation or go to jail.
     
mr. natural
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Jul 6, 2005, 06:42 PM
 
Posted by Slimey:
Does it also not bother you that this "national security official" (actually, a mid-level career intelligence analyst) recommended an unqualified person for a high level intelligence mission simply because that person happened to be her husband?
Actually, no, because, as usual, you've spun a mighty tale of deception here.

Joseph Wilson, was a former charge d'affaires official in Baghdad, an ambassador to a French West African Country, who had also spent time in Niger, as well as a former Assistant NSC Director for Africa. Seeing as he had ties to both countries involved, Niger and Iraq, as well as experience from his time spent in the NSC as it related to African issues (which may in fact have involved issues of uranium mining, etc.), I'd say he was pretty damn well qualified.

Valerie Plame's position within the CIA is still not entirely clear cut (which is entirely consistent with the way the CIA operates; i.e., in secrecy -- but it is worth noting that Wilson's public bio as to whom he had married, does not otherwise undermine her classified position in the CIA), but it does appear that she was a well regarded analyst on WMD issues, and that her position in a CIA fronted energy co. was classified information; that her outing may not pass the test of the law in question, none the less, harm was done to the CIA operation of which she was a part of -- an operation meant to gather intelligence about rogue countries and terrorists trying to get their hands on WMD.

One would think, especially the way Bush and his toadies keep reminding us, that this is a matter of utmost importance to our national security. But now, when it comes to protecting their flank in this flak, they want us to believe: Hey, it's all about the alleged "nepotism."

Yeah, right.

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Jul 7, 2005, 10:28 AM
 
Simey,
does it concern you at all that the identity of a CIA agent involved in the investigation of WMD in Iraq, pre-war, was compromised?
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SimeyTheLimey
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Jul 7, 2005, 01:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by gadster
Simey,
does it concern you at all that the identity of a CIA agent involved in the investigation of WMD in Iraq, pre-war, was compromised?
The information I have seen indicates that her identity was well known. See the articles I have posted which indocate not only that, but also that Wilson had her identity on his biography on the web (since taken down).

Second, I'd prefer that government officers not corruptly recommend members of their own families for government contracts. I can't say I have much sympathy for her.
     
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Jul 7, 2005, 04:48 PM
 
so where is the liberal media? this story seems to have fizzeled
     
mr. natural
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Jul 7, 2005, 07:35 PM
 
Posted by Simey:
The information I have seen indicates that her identity was well known. See the articles I have posted which indocate not only that, but also that Wilson had her identity on his biography on the web (since taken down).

Second, I'd prefer that government officers not corruptly recommend members of their own families for government contracts.
This is more typical slime-ball misdirection.

Your first link, to a Washington Post article discussing the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and it's application to this Plame outing, "indicates" nothing of the sort. What the article does say is this: "If it were known on the Washington cocktail circuit, as has been alleged, that Wilson's wife is with the agency, a possessor of that gossip would have no reason to believe that information is classified..." (emphasis mine.)

Note all the qualifiers in the above sentence. None of them "indicate" anything factual about this story as you would have us believe it.

Strike one.

Your second link, to David Corn's article (mainly about Karl Rove's involvement), also "indicates" nothing about the allegations in the way you suggest. In fact, there is no mention of these unsubstantiated beliefs -- the lone exception being a re-quote of Novak's original story!

Strike two.

Your third link to the NYTimes opinion also "indicates" nothing about her "identity."

Strike three. You're out.

And this is where we look at the way Simey uses the phrase: identity

He intends that we assume Wilson's public identification of the fact that he married a woman formerly named Valarie Plame (in his "Who's Who in America" entry) to include a belief that this amounts to also identifying her as a CIA agent working on WMD intelligence. A does not equal B, but Simey would have us think it does. Nor does the possibility that within the cocktail circuit of Washington insiders some of them knew that Valerie worked at Langley amount to a knowing what her real job was, never mind compromising it.

Sorry, but Simey's so out to right field in this regard it should now be obvious.

Even Novak, in his follow-up story of October 1, 2003 about this mess, wrote:

At the CIA, the official designated to talk to me denied that Wilson's wife had inspired his selection but said she was delegated to request his help.
As far as official pronouncements go, this is it; straight from the horse's mouth who got this bailiwick rolling. Everything else, especially the "nepotism" charge, is alleged. Nothing has been proven to support this accusation -- it's all sideshow bluster meant to persuade one from considering the fact that someone (or two) in the White House compromised (perhaps unknowingly) an ongoing CIA intelligence gathering operation in order to exact political payback. This is the real disease here. (If at all possible they should be the ones whose career is shattered, not Valerie Plame's -- although the damage to hers is done).

Worse -- if Bush's drumbeat propaganda about 9/11, Iraq, freedom, terrorists and WMD, and how he is doing everything he can to ensure our safety, is to be believed -- a CIA fronted energy company meant to gather intelligence about WMD is down the toilet. So much for waging an effective war on terror when there are political scores to settle. And so it goes in the cloistered power corrupted corridors of this White House gang; led by a chump, who never lets pass an opportunity to keep the buck spinning, spinning, and spinning.


[edit: fixed an incomplete sentence, and strengthened another point.]
( Last edited by mr. natural; Jul 7, 2005 at 10:36 PM. )

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Jul 7, 2005, 07:49 PM
 
...
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Jul 7, 2005, 10:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
Does it also not bother you that this "national security official" (actually, a mid-level career intelligence analyst) recommended an unqualified person for a high level intelligence mission simply because that person happened to be her husband? I mean I realize that none of this concerns your government (which is why it is kind of odd that you are so concerned about this) but such high level corruption ought to be troubling.

And remember, she wasn't really under cover and she was never placed in any danger. She was working in Washington, DC at the time and her identity was listed on Wilson's biography on the web. That's one of the reasons that the op-ed I linked to earlier by the authors of the statute in question suggests that there may well have been no crime here at all. Who she was was common knowledge (at least in certain circles). What wasn't well known was her nepotism, which is what Novak wrote about.
I, too, am puzzled. If she wasn't that important, how does it amount to "high-level corruption"? Has there been any investigation into nepotism, as there is for the leak? Wouldn't a higher-up have been responsible for the decision to hire Wilson? Is there any evidence that protocol, which you usually seem to have faith in, wasn't followed? Is it even unusual for someone to recommend a spouse under these circumstances?

But let's assume there was nepotism of a sort, and that Wilson is a pompous ***hole, and that there was no criminality: Do you not have a single unkind word for high-level administration officials who would compromise the identity of one of our own covert, if not 100% covert, intelligence operatives in an attempt to discredit someone else for publicly disagreeing with the administration? That isn't high-level corruption, but Plame recommending her spouse for an open position is? Maybe I'm getting old and feeble (actually, I know I'm getting old and feeble), but I don't quite follow you.
     
mr. natural
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Jul 7, 2005, 11:02 PM
 
Posted by zigzag:
Wouldn't a higher-up have been responsible for the decision to hire Wilson?
From what I have read, and I don't have the link in front of me, his hiring happened within the counter-proliferation dept. that was overseeing this Niger-Iraq uranium link. Apparently, it did not rise to the level of the CIA director; rather he (or some assistant) may have passed it to them to deal with.

Is there any evidence that protocol, which you usually seem to have faith in, wasn't followed?
Based on all of the above, no.

Is it even unusual for someone to recommend a spouse under these circumstances?
You expect Simey, an aspiring lawyer whose partisan take on this has been exposed, to answer this impartially?

Do you not have a single unkind word for high-level administration officials who would compromise the identity of one of our own covert, if not 100% covert, intelligence operatives in an attempt to discredit someone else for publicly disagreeing with the administration?
Well now, that is the $64,000 question, ain't it!

I'll believe it when I see it! And without some of his lawyer-esque in training qualifiers either!

[edit: fixed the cia dept. involved]
( Last edited by mr. natural; Jul 7, 2005 at 11:25 PM. )

"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind." George Orwell
     
nath
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Jul 8, 2005, 01:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by zigzag
But let's assume there was nepotism of a sort, and that Wilson is a pompous ***hole, and that there was no criminality: Do you not have a single unkind word for high-level administration officials who would compromise the identity of one of our own covert, if not 100% covert, intelligence operatives in an attempt to discredit someone else for publicly disagreeing with the administration? That isn't high-level corruption, but Plame recommending her spouse for an open position is? Maybe I'm getting old and feeble (actually, I know I'm getting old and feeble), but I don't quite follow you.


and, quoted for relevance:

"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind." George Orwell
     
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Jul 8, 2005, 02:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
There is no federal privilege for journalists.
Except, y'know, the GODDAMN CONSTITUTION.
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Jul 8, 2005, 06:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
Except, y'know, the GODDAMN CONSTITUTION.
What the hell are you talking about? What I said is accurate. There is no journalist's-source privilege in federal law. The Rule 501 of the Federal Rules of evidence covers privileges and it does so by incorporating the common law. Federal common law recognizes marital privileges, the attorney-client privilege, and the psychotherapist-patient privilege. The only constitutional privileges are the speech and debate clause (with a qualified one for staff) and (by implication) executive privileges. That's it.

If you were thinking that the First Amendment gives journalists the right to shield sources, it does not. This has been ruled upon by the Supreme Court. Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972). Anything you have heard to the contrary (at least at the federal level) is wrong.
( Last edited by SimeyTheLimey; Jul 8, 2005 at 09:50 AM. )
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Jul 8, 2005, 06:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by zigzag
But let's assume there was nepotism of a sort, and that Wilson is a pompous ***hole, and that there was no criminality: Do you not have a single unkind word for high-level administration officials who would compromise the identity of one of our own covert, if not 100% covert, intelligence operatives in an attempt to discredit someone else for publicly disagreeing with the administration?
I do think it was nepotism, that Wilson is a pompous so and so and that there was no criminality. Whether I get upset about this depends entirely on whether it is criminal. If it is not criminal, then all I see is hardball politics. Both parties play hardball. Wilson certainly was when he decided to lie about his mission on the op-ed pages of the NYT (what he said there is not what the 9/11 Commission said he reported at the time to his superiors). So he entered the hardball realm of politics and lost the game. Big deal.

Unfortunately, what I see too often is Democrats who think that everyone should overlook Democratic hardball, but get upset about Republican. This isn't the only example, think about the flap about Rove's comments about liberals after 9/11. With all the namecalling that Democrats engage in, I think they have lost the privilege of being outraged. And the same goes here. Democrats LOVE to play the game of personal destruction. Look at what happens in the Senate Judiciary committee. Democrats also LOVE to play the game of leak-to-the-press. Look at all the adulation recently about Felt. I never see any criticism when it helps Democrats. Why should I be upset when Republicans play the same game? If a law has been broken, then fine, convict. But that where the line has been drawn and is the only standard that would upset me unless Democrats plan to behave better as well. I am not interested in unilateral disarmament.

So was it mean to redress the balance with the useful and relevant information that Wilson got the job because of nepotism? Maybe. But that is the game as both sides play it, and please stop pretending otherwise. I am sick to death of Democrats and their partisan outrage and I don't see why I should be bullied into sharing it.
     
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Jul 8, 2005, 06:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
Dems are evil too, etc
Rubbish. This act of slime was conducted by a government, not a party. That is a very important distinction.
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Jul 8, 2005, 06:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by nath
Rubbish. This act of slime was conducted by a government, not a party. That is a very important distinction.
That is the most ridiculous argument. Party politics goes on inside government and outside. It's extremely naive to think otherwise.

All I am saying is that both parties behave the same, so unilateral outrage is unwarranted. I see no reasons to hold the Republicans to any higher standards than the Democrats hold themselves to.

Edit: and also there is this fact that nobody to my knowledge has commented on. Wilson is himself a leaker of classified information. His mission was classified, and he took it upon himself to declassify it on the pages of the New York Times. Should we arrest him?
( Last edited by SimeyTheLimey; Jul 8, 2005 at 06:48 AM. )
     
nath
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Jul 8, 2005, 06:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
That is the most ridiculous argument. Party politics goes on inside government and outside.
Even ignoring your shamefully low expectations of government conduct - which whatever you say, is and should be considered seperately from party politics - why on earth should CIA operatives expect to be used as pawns in a game of political 'hardball'?

And who exactly was Rove (or whoever) playing his little game with? The Democrats? The notoriously liberal CIA?

Or just the truth? (again)

Sorry Simey, but you are starting to look pretty silly on this one.
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Jul 8, 2005, 07:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by nath
Even ignoring your shamefully low expectations of government conduct - which whatever you say, is and should be considered seperately from party politics - why on earth should CIA operatives expect to be used as pawns in a game of political 'hardball'?
If they behave apolitically, then yes. But only then. What you don't get to do is what too many partisans in the civil service seem to think they can do which is play partisan politics under guise of being non-partisan. There is no firm line here that makes someone exempt from criticism, but there is a line. Wilson crossed over into partisan politics, and when he did, he became fair game by the somewhat dirty rules of the game. Both sides do the same thing.

Again, the fact that Plame was a CIA employee is only relevant if there was a crime committed, which requires the knowledge that she was undercover (if indeed she was), and the intent to remove her cover and so on. Otherwise, the CIA is just another government job, and Plame just another government employee. In this case, one who misused the public trust for personal gain in a way relevant to a story concerning her husband. I personally doubt very much that anyone leaked her name to punish him. That's his spin. More likely it just came out by way of explanation of how a buffoon like Wilson could have been sent on something so critical rather than a real intelligence agent from a real intelligence agency like the CIA or DIA. I suppose if anything disturbs me it is that underlying fact.

Otherwise, I see nothing here that particularly outrages me any more than a lot of what goes on in Washington. The only reason this is still alive is that Democrats think that they can score points with it.
     
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Jul 8, 2005, 07:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
That's his spin.




Quoted for mind-blowing irony!
     
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Jul 8, 2005, 09:50 AM
 
has this thing earned a "gate" suffix yet?
     
zigzag
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Jul 8, 2005, 10:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
I do think it was nepotism, that Wilson is a pompous so and so and that there was no criminality. Whether I get upset about this depends entirely on whether it is criminal. If it is not criminal, then all I see is hardball politics. Both parties play hardball. Wilson certainly was when he decided to lie about his mission on the op-ed pages of the NYT (what he said there is not what the 9/11 Commission said he reported at the time to his superiors). So he entered the hardball realm of politics and lost the game. Big deal.

Unfortunately, what I see too often is Democrats who think that everyone should overlook Democratic hardball, but get upset about Republican. This isn't the only example, think about the flap about Rove's comments about liberals after 9/11. With all the namecalling that Democrats engage in, I think they have lost the privilege of being outraged. And the same goes here. Democrats LOVE to play the game of personal destruction. Look at what happens in the Senate Judiciary committee. Democrats also LOVE to play the game of leak-to-the-press. Look at all the adulation recently about Felt. I never see any criticism when it helps Democrats. Why should I be upset when Republicans play the same game? If a law has been broken, then fine, convict. But that where the line has been drawn and is the only standard that would upset me unless Democrats plan to behave better as well. I am not interested in unilateral disarmament.

So was it mean to redress the balance with the useful and relevant information that Wilson got the job because of nepotism? Maybe. But that is the game as both sides play it, and please stop pretending otherwise. I am sick to death of Democrats and their partisan outrage and I don't see why I should be bullied into sharing it.
I never pretended that both sides don't play the game - I'd be the last to suggest that - I was only wondering whether you had any objection to administration officials feeding this sort of information to the press in what was clearly an act of retribution. You answered the question.

If Wilson (formerly a hero, according to Bush I) had falsely confirmed the administration's claims, and it was revealed that he had been recommended by his wife, I have no doubt that the opposition would also be crying "nepotism" or whatever. I suspect that there was nothing that unusual about it either way - I'm not aware that any improprieties have been found - which is why I think it's a rather thin argument for rationalizing the leak. But based on what I've read, I find the idea of the leak inexcusable in any case. I guess we'll learn more over the next few weeks.
( Last edited by zigzag; Jul 8, 2005 at 10:31 AM. )
     
Chuckit
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Jul 8, 2005, 10:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
If you were thinking that the First Amendment gives journalists the right to shield sources, it does not. This has been ruled upon by the Supreme Court. Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972). Anything you have heard to the contrary (at least at the federal level) is wrong.
The Supreme Court can rule however it likes, but my copy of the Bill of Rights still has a version of the First Amendment that includes "freedom…of the press." If the Supreme Court failed to notice this, that just means the court was wrong (and they have been in many cases, as evidenced by the fact that they rule completely contradictory things), not that the protection isn't in there.

The Supreme Court's ruling on this matter more or less ignored the issue. They showed that reporters aren't able to do blatantly harmful things that violate the rights of other people, and reasoned from those rulings that reporters must actually have no special protections at all from being locked up by government in the course of doing their job. Of course, if that were the case, they would not explicitly be mentioned in the First Amendment, which they are. The court basically looked at everything except the First Amendment, and then ruled the the First Amendment must not exist. The Supreme Court is not infallible, and has reversed its own rulings before. This is one that ought to be.
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TheMosco  (op)
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Jul 8, 2005, 10:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
likely it just came out by way of explanation of how a buffoon like Wilson could have been sent on something so critical rather than a real intelligence agent from a real intelligence agency like the CIA or DIA. I suppose if anything disturbs me it is that underlying fact.

Otherwise, I see nothing here that particularly outrages me any more than a lot of what goes on in Washington. The only reason this is still alive is that Democrats think that they can score points with it.
I will counter your national review article with this:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in630711.shtml

and http://www.davidcorn.com/WParchive/66.html
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SimeyTheLimey
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Jul 8, 2005, 10:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
The Supreme Court can rule however it likes, but my copy of the Bill of Rights still has a version of the First Amendment that includes "freedom…of the press." If the Supreme Court failed to notice this, that just means the court was wrong (and they have been in many cases, as evidenced by the fact that they rule completely contradictory things), not that the protection isn't in there.
They didn't fail to notice it. If you had read the opinion I linked to you would see that they addressed the matter with great care. "Freedom of the Press" doesn't mean any special rights attach to professional newspapers. They have no rights under the first amendment that you and I don't have. If the rule were otherwise then you would have the courts going down one of two very dangerous roads. Either the courts would have to in effect get into the business of licensing newspapers (because they would have to decide who gets these special rights, and who does not). Or they could continue to say that everyone has the same freedom of speech rights, in which case everyone would have the right to obstruct justice. Neither is a good choice.

Besides that, "the press" in 1789 didn't refer to newspapers and professional journalists the way we have them today, because those kinds of newspapers and journalists didn't exist. In fact, in 1789, freedom of the press meant something quite narrow. It meant only freedom of privately printed documents from prior restraints and government stamps. Most "journalism" was in the form of privately published pamphlets and irregular journals self-published by individuals. They operated more like today's webblogs than the big institutional newspapers of today. So your reading of "the press" to mean special rules for newspapers is simply wrong. The fact that in the 20th century, professional journalists came to call themselves "the press" is irrelevant. The Constitutional phrase predates their nickname for themselves, and as the court pointed out, nobody ever even suggested such a special right should be created until 1958.

This is an especially important fact to keep in mind now that new technologies are coming into effect. I'm sure a lot of professional journalists would love for the law to give them special rights that would keep the competition at bay. I.e. special status that non-professional journalists (that is, the public) don't have. But the fact is, they have no special constitutional rights, never have had special constitutional rights, nor should any industry ever have them. Their rights are the same as yours and mine, no more, no less.
     
mr. natural
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Jul 8, 2005, 01:22 PM
 
posted by Simey:
Whether I get upset about this depends entirely on whether it is criminal. If it is not criminal, then all I see is hardball politics. Both parties play hardball. Wilson certainly was when he decided to lie about his mission on the op-ed pages of the NYT (what he said there is not what the 9/11 Commission said he reported at the time to his superiors). So he entered the hardball realm of politics and lost the game.
Just how did Wilson "lie"?

His NYTimes op-ed piece can be found here.

Please show us exactly where and how he lied. And then link it to what the "9/11 Commission" reported.


[pause]



Oh, wait, there is no such link to the 9/11 Commission report because the 9/11 Commission didn't investigate any of this Niger-Iraq, Wilson-Plame sideshow BS.

So, who's lying now?

And of course, Simey didn't answer zigzag's question: "Do you not have a single unkind word for high-level administration officials who would compromise the identity of one of our own covert, if not 100% covert, intelligence operatives in an attempt to discredit someone else for publicly disagreeing with the administration? That isn't high-level corruption, but Plame recommending her spouse for an open position is?"

Apparently, in Simey's book of political moral-relativity, playing hard-ball politics trumps national security concerns. The fact remains that whether it rises to the level of a criminal act provable in a court of law, covert CIA WMD intelligence gathering has been undermined -- by an administration that likes to trumpet how they are the best folks to ensure our national security! And for what it is worth, that's what my outrage is about. Yet none of this seems to bother Simey in the least.



Hard to believe but there it is.

"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind." George Orwell
     
Chuckit
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Jul 8, 2005, 03:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
They didn't fail to notice it. If you had read the opinion I linked to you would see that they addressed the matter with great care. "Freedom of the Press" doesn't mean any special rights attach to professional newspapers. They have no rights under the first amendment that you and I don't have. If the rule were otherwise then you would have the courts going down one of two very dangerous roads. Either the courts would have to in effect get into the business of licensing newspapers (because they would have to decide who gets these special rights, and who does not). Or they could continue to say that everyone has the same freedom of speech rights, in which case everyone would have the right to obstruct justice. Neither is a good choice.
If "freedom of the press" doesn't refer to rights for the press, I'm lost.

These arguments work about as well for any other type of privileged communication. That's a big part of the problem with the whole deal: There is a much better case for journalists' sources being privileged than conversations between, say, husband and wife. If you want to do away with privileged communication, that's a whole different matter.

Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
Besides that, "the press" in 1789 didn't refer to newspapers and professional journalists the way we have them today, because those kinds of newspapers and journalists didn't exist. In fact, in 1789, freedom of the press meant something quite narrow. It meant only freedom of privately printed documents from prior restraints and government stamps. Most "journalism" was in the form of privately published pamphlets and irregular journals self-published by individuals. They operated more like today's webblogs than the big institutional newspapers of today. So your reading of "the press" to mean special rules for newspapers is simply wrong. The fact that in the 20th century, professional journalists came to call themselves "the press" is irrelevant. The Constitutional phrase predates their nickname for themselves
I think you're mistaken, Simey. Benjamin Franklin, one of the authors of the constitution, was a newspaper man, and referred to himself as a member of "the press." So we can be quite sure what he and his colleagues meant by the phrase — journalists, more or less as we know them today.

Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
This is an especially important fact to keep in mind now that new technologies are coming into effect. I'm sure a lot of professional journalists would love for the law to give them special rights that would keep the competition at bay. I.e. special status that non-professional journalists (that is, the public) don't have.
In what way are the public "non-professional journalists"? They train themselves and dedicate their lives to objectively seeking out the truth and publishing it for the world to read non-professionally?

Originally Posted by SimeyTheLimey
But the fact is, they have no special constitutional rights, never have had special constitutional rights, nor should any industry ever have them. Their rights are the same as yours and mine, no more, no less.
Tell that to priests, lawyers and head-shrinkers.

The Founding Fathers clearly thought that journalism was a very special profession. Thomas Jefferson even went so far as to declare, "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." I agree with Jefferson. Responsible journalists should be encouraged to seek out information for the public, not punished for their professional ethics.
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nath
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Jul 8, 2005, 04:01 PM
 
Wow, Franklin was a secret protest writer for women's rights?!

You find out some cool stuff on the interweb sometimes.
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Jul 8, 2005, 04:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
If "freedom of the press" doesn't refer to rights for the press, I'm lost.
Good of you to admit it.

The best way to read "the press" is probably simply as the right to publish information. Franklin is a pretty good example of what 18th Century publication was like. He wasn't anything remotely comparable to a modern newspaper. He was a printer who published pamphlets as well as items for other people who paid him to print for them. If you ever get the chance you should take a look at some of them. They are fun to read, but they aren't what we would call newspapers, and there was no real journalism involved. It was all very casual by modern standards and not dissimilar to the way modern bloggers work. Writing in the 18th Century certainly was not something restricted to one occupation and it would be terrible if the right to publish information were limited to a professional class of people. That right belongs to us all.

The liberty of the press is not confined to newspapers and periodicals. It necessarily embraces pamphlets and leaflets. These indeed have been historic weapons in the defense of liberty, as the pamphlets of Thomas Paine and others in our own history abundantly attest. The press in its connotation comprehends every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion.
Lovell v. City of Griffin, 303 U.S. 444 (1934).

And that is the nub of the problem. The First Amendment applies equally to everyone because absolutely everyone can be a pamphleteer. If you grant the privilege not to testify to law enforcement to everyone, you have seriously hampered the ability of law enforcement to do their job. Therefore, you restrict such a privilege to only where there is a recognized public need and keep the applicable group as small as possible. For example, people seeking legal advice, married couples, government officials. But in those cases there is no constitutional problem with limiting it. Here there would be because we don't hold that the First Amendment only applies to professional journalists the way we limit the practice of law to lawyers.

I agree with you by the way that the case for the spousal and marital communications privileges aren't especially strong -- especially the marital communications privilege. But heterosexuals have this habit of granting their relationships special rights and privileges. In any case, those ones are very well established and at least arguably rationally based. They are also self-limited because married couples only have one spouse it could apply to each. In any case, the answer to one privilege isn't to run about willy-nilly granting every other one that some group argues for. For example, you mention the priest-penitant privilege. That one isn generally recognized in federal court either (except in an Erie case). Nor the accountants' privilege or probably most of the other ones you believe in. Yes, those groups argue for special status. They all believe that they are vital to the Republic. That doesn't make it so.

Finally, as for journalists professional ethics. That gets a big "Ha!" What exam did Rather sit to become a journalist? Was he "disbarred?" or have his license taken away by a disciplinary body the way a real profession regulates its own? Journalists are not a profession, they are a commercial trade. They have ethics in exactly the the same way Walmart does. And like Walmart no doubt they would love to have a government monopoly. But they don't deserve any special government monopoly status, and giving them one would hurt free speech. And that is as good a reason as any to cut their pretensions down.
( Last edited by SimeyTheLimey; Jul 8, 2005 at 04:47 PM. )
     
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Jul 10, 2005, 11:42 AM
 
Who the hell cares.

Plame was using her job to play politics. That's all this is when it comes down to it...politics.
     
 
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