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Author Topic: Emails Will Reveal that Rove Outed CIA Operative Valerie Plame
Dagonee
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Since the leaker didn't do that, it would be hard to convict him on that basis. At minimum, you'd have to show he intended to aid the enemeny. Lacking any proof of intent, this would require in part a showing that it did aid the enement so that his intent could be inferred.
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KnightEnder
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Wonder if anybody did any investigating to see how many of her contacts were killed after her outing?

And Dag, I was realy hoping you would know the legal reason behind the length of this investigation. Not that I'm complaining. I was afraid it would never come about.

KE

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KnightEnder
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On a personal note; what about loyalty to your country? How could any good American do such a thing?

KE

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Dagonee
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quote:
Wonder if anybody did any investigating to see how many of her contacts were killed after her outing?
I'd like to see that investigation.

quote:
And Dag, I was realy hoping you would know the legal reason behind the length of this investigation.
I missed your edit. These things take time. The only admissible evidence of the leak (assuming it wasn't done on paper) will be testimony derived from the witnesses personal knowledge or a "party admission," which means an overheard confession. If the reporter told the editor, "Rove told me this," the editor cannot testify in court to that. It's admissible in the grand jury, but not at trial. Phone records (unless recorded) will only corroborate, not provide evidence of the leak itself.

So they have to get the reporters' testimony. If they have Novak's, they would want corroboration. If they think he lied, they'll want to get him for perjury.

The leak to the reporters who didn't publish is a crime if the leak was a crime at all, I believe, so even though they can't corroborate that the leaker told Novak, they can establish a pattern.

Given that they almost have to have that testimony, they had to go through the two sets of appeals (one on quashing, one on contempt) with Cooper and Miller.

The other side of this is that the Prosecution really has to be careful what they say both to preserve their case, avoid poisoning the jury pool, and meet their ethical obligations. So while the investigation takes a lot of time, no progress can really be announced. If the prosecution gets a name in grand jury, he can't even announce that it happened, although we'll pretty much know when an indictment is returned.

In short, it's a long, tedious process that's had two sets of appeals. There have probably been hundreds of interviews and at least a dozen GJ witnesses.

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Dagonee
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quote:
On a personal note; what about loyalty to your country? How could any good American do such a thing?
There's only one interpretation I can put on this that doesn't amount to disloyalty, and that is that they didn't know she recruited people. Her name is not a secret in the Washington establishment, and it's possible they thought she was a field analyst who didn't work undercover. We've seen inadvertent leaks in committee hearings on Bolton, for example, which I attributed to carelessness on the part of the office staff.

I have no idea if that's the case. The best possible interpretation of the leaker's actions, though, still amounts to unacceptable recklessness. Someone works for the CIA, you check before using their name.

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RickyB
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For that, her contacts would have to be disclosed...

Look, it obviously isn't legal treason, but outing a secret agent is a crime in and of itself. Rove (assuming, with great relish, that it's him) can't say "I didn't know she was in the CIA", because that's precisely what he disclosed. And there's a limit to how much he can be believed by playing dumb and saying "I thought she was an analyst, not an agent". I doubt very much that the public would buy it. So he won't go to jail, but that'll cost King George even more.

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RickyB
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And even if they bought it, that would mean gross incompetence. Is there really no amount of that at which y'all of the right-wing persuasion will say "enough!"?
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Dagonee
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A. Unless you think Rove called Cooper this morning and told him to testify, it wasn't him.

B. Read the law. It's been posted a bunch of times here. There's a lot more to it than "outing a secret agent." It's not "a crime in and of itself."

C. I haven't defended the leak at all. I've tried to rein in hyperbole about the situation.

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RickyB
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Thanks, Earl. Smart ole Bob, covering his hide...
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The Drake
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Well, once the person is definitively identified, I would think that they will be very nervous having put a CIA agent at risk...

Those guys and gals play rough, and don't care much about breaking laws or if a law was broken. One might find oneself renditioned to Syria while vacationing in Italy...

Mmmm. [Smile] Warm Happy Thought.

Whomever it is should immediately resign, as a bare minimum. I guarantee that protecting that person, just like refusing Rumsfeld's resignation, will cost the Administration political points.

Incidentally, while it does not rise to the level of treason, it is likely a crime under:

50 USC Sec. 421

Look up the text here, abbreviated below.

quote:
(a) Disclosure of information by persons having or having had
access to classified information that identifies covert agent

(b) Disclosure of information by persons who learn identity of
covert agents as result of having access to classified
information

(c) Disclosure of information by persons in course of pattern of
activities intended to identify and expose covert agents

Of course, at issue is the definition of a covert agent. Defined elsewhere in the code as:

quote:
(4) The term "covert agent" means -

(A) a present or retired officer or employee of an
intelligence agency or a present or retired member of the Armed
Forces assigned to duty with an intelligence agency -

(i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member
is classified information, and

(ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within
the last five years served outside the United States; or

(B) a United States citizen whose intelligence relationship
to the United States is classified information, and -

(i) who resides and acts outside the United States as an
agent of, or informant or source of operational assistance
to, an intelligence agency, or

(ii) who is at the time of the disclosure acting as an
agent of, or informant to, the foreign counterintelligence or
foreign counterterrorism components of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation; or

(C) an individual, other than a United States citizen, whose
past or present intelligence relationship to the United States
is classified information and who is a present or former agent
of, or a present or former informant or source of operational
assistance to, an intelligence agency.



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Dagonee
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The abbreviated version leaves out most of the elements. I'll just do A as an example, adding brackets around each element and numbering it:

quote:
(a) Disclosure of information by persons having or having had access to classified information that identifies covert agent

Whoever, [1. having or having had authorized access] [2. to classified information] [3. that identifies] [4. a covert agent], [5. intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent] [6. to any individual not authorized to receive classified information], [7. knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent] and [8. (knowing) that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States], shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

First, the access had to be authorized, so 1 is in doubt. Especially because it was common knowledge around Washington that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, bringing 8 into doubt. It's not clear her identity was classified, bringing 2 into doubt, and it's not clear she qualifies as a "covert agent."
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The Drake
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1 and 2: If that person didn't have authorized access, the next one in the chain would. At some point, IF classified information is revealed, SOMEBODY with access to it had to transfer it to unclassified individuals.

8 is in doubt, but since not everyone who works for the CIA is covert, revealing the covert status or activities of a public agent is still covered, is it not? I think 8 is the hardest one to prove, and this restriction also applies to parts b and c.

As far as being a covert agent, since even retired agents are covered, I would think that if she ever had covert duties, it would still apply.

Wiki has an analysis and links.

Anyway, this is the statute that applies, not treason. [Big Grin]

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Dagonee
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quote:
1 and 2: If that person didn't have authorized access, the next one in the chain would. At some point, IF classified information is revealed, SOMEBODY with access to it had to transfer it to unclassified individuals.
The common knowledge thing is pretty hard to get around. Apparantly lots of people knew she was CIA. If this is the case, then the person who "leaked" might have gotten it at the water cooler or even a cocktail party.

quote:
As far as being a covert agent, since even retired agents are covered, I would think that if she ever had covert duties, it would still apply.
Only if she served outside the U.S. in the last 5 years, presumably as a covert agent.

Your right that 8 is probably the most likely to be disputed.

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Bryan Erickson
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quote:
Originally posted by David Ricardo:
True, Dagonee, you are right on the technical basis. But, for all practical purposes, it is still treason in my book. Outing our covert CIA operatives during a time of war against Muslim fundamentalist terrorists hurts our war effort much more than if the same Bush Administration official had taken up arms against the United States.

It's highly likely that several of Plame's field contacts were killed by precisely the terrorists we are fighting when the news of her CIA status became public - costing us valuable intelligence sources and betraying those who valuably aided the defense of our nation, and enabling the terrorists to discover and eliminate U.S.-supported threats to their success. How would that not include giving aid and comfort to our enemies?
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Dagonee
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"Highly likely?"

Is this speculation, or do you have a source?

And intent/knowledge is still an element of treason.

[ July 06, 2005, 10:46 PM: Message edited by: Dagonee ]

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Bryan Erickson
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As far as I know, there's no public knowledge of a specific killing of a secret intelligence source due to Plame's outing - it would be remarkable if something like that did come to light. I based that on what I've picked up from general assessments by sources knowledgeable on intelligence. I don't have a source offhand - maybe someone else has one, or I will look it up later.

As for intent, this is totally outside my field of legal expertise, but I think proving intent for treason may be easier than proving the specific intent spelled out by that covert agent statute.

[ July 06, 2005, 11:33 PM: Message edited by: Bryan Erickson ]

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The Drake
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There have been a lot better candidates for treason than this case. If we were going to charge anyone with treason, this isn't it.
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David Ricardo
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Rove was Cooper's source. Not only that, he did in fact tell Cooper about Valerie Plame (Wilson's wife) work at the CIA before Novak went to press with his column. Newsweek reports in greater detail:

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8525978/site/newsweek/

quote:
July 18 issue - It was 11:07 on a Friday morning, July 11, 2003, and Time magazine correspondent Matt Cooper was tapping out an e-mail to his bureau chief, Michael Duffy. "Subject: Rove/P&C," (for personal and confidential), Cooper began. "Spoke to Rove on double super secret background for about two mins before he went on vacation ..." Cooper proceeded to spell out some guidance on a story that was beginning to roil Washington. He finished, "please don't source this to rove or even WH [White House]" and suggested another reporter check with the CIA.

[...]

Cooper wrote that Rove offered him a "big warning" not to "get too far out on Wilson." Rove told Cooper that Wilson's trip had not been authorized by "DCIA"—CIA Director George Tenet—or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, "it was, KR [Karl Rove] said, Wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip." Wilson's wife is Plame, then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA's Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division.


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Omega M.
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Well, innocent until proven guilty, right?
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javelin
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From the same article (which tells ya you should always read the thing, instead of trusting the quoter to actually summarize the content):

quote:
Nothing in the Cooper e-mail suggests that Rove used Plame's name or knew she was a covert operative. Nonetheless, it is significant that Rove was speaking to Cooper before Novak's column appeared; in other words, before Plame's identity had been published. Fitzgerald has been looking for evidence that Rove spoke to other reporters as well. "Karl Rove has shared with Fitzgerald all the information he has about any potentially relevant contacts he has had with any reporters, including Matt Cooper," Luskin told NEWSWEEK.

A source close to Rove, who declined to be identified because he did not wish to run afoul of the prosecutor or government investigators, added that there was "absolutely no inconsistency" between Cooper's e-mail and what Rove has testified to during his three grand-jury appearances in the case. "A fair reading of the e-mail makes clear that the information conveyed was not part of an organized effort to disclose Plame's identity, but was an effort to discourage Time from publishing things that turned out to be false," the source said, referring to claims in circulation at the time that Cheney and high-level CIA officials arranged for Wilson's trip to Africa.



[ July 11, 2005, 11:44 AM: Message edited by: javelin ]

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David Ricardo
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quote:
Nothing in the Cooper e-mail suggests that Rove used Plame's name or knew she was a covert operative. Nonetheless, it is significant that Rove was speaking to Cooper before Novak's column appeared; in other words, before Plame's identity had been published. Fitzgerald has been looking for evidence that Rove spoke to other reporters as well. "Karl Rove has shared with Fitzgerald all the information he has about any potentially relevant contacts he has had with any reporters, including Matt Cooper," Luskin told NEWSWEEK.
The key words there are that "Luskin said." Also of note is that Luskin is spinning for Rove precisely because Luskin is Rove's lawyer.

Remember that Luskin is Karl Rove's lawyer, and right now Luskin is trying to mount the "[Rove] did not inhale" defense by insinuating that Karl Rove never named Valerie Plame by name even though Rove did call her "Wilson's wife" when he revealed that "Wilson's wife" worked as a CIA agent.

quote:
it was, KR [Karl Rove] said, Wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip.
The fact of the matter is that Luskin is trying to maintain a very legalistic defense of Rove by arguing that Rove never said the words "Valerie Plame" -- and thus he did not really out Valerie Plame. Even if she happens to be the "Wilson's wife" that Rove outed to Cooper as a CIA agent. Of course, to any rational person, it is pretty obvious that Rove was outing Valerie Plame when he outed "Wilson's wife."

But of course, Rove is taking a page out of the Clintonian "I did not inhale defense. Heh.

[ July 11, 2005, 03:51 PM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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David Ricardo
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http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/07/11/politics/main708165.shtml

quote:
For two years, the White House has insisted that presidential adviser Karl Rove had nothing to do with the leak of a CIA officer's identity. And President Bush said the leaker would be fired.
Hmm, is Karl Rove fired yet? Hmm, no? I wonder why...

Meanwhile, Scott McClellan gets skewered by the White House Press corps because he found himself caught red-handed in a bald-faced lie when he asserted that it was "ridiculous to suggest that Karl Rove was involved". Here is the transcript from the hilarious White House press briefing where Scott McClellan clams up quickly as he finds himself in a firestorm of embarrassing questions:

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000977098

quote:
Q: Does the president stand by his pledge to fire anyone involved in a leak of the name of a CIA operative?

MCCLELLAN: I appreciate your question. I think your question is being asked related to some reports that are in reference to an ongoing criminal investigation. The criminal investigation that you reference is something that continues at this point.

And as I’ve previously stated, while that investigation is ongoing, the White House is not going to comment on it.

The president directed the White House to cooperate fully with the investigation. And as part of cooperating fully with the investigation, we made a decision that we weren’t going to comment on it while it is ongoing.

Q: I actually wasn’t talking about any investigation. But in June of 2004, the president said that he would fire anybody who was involved in this leak to the press about information. I just wanted to know: Is that still his position?

MCCLELLAN: Yes, but this question is coming up in the context of this ongoing investigation, and that’s why I said that our policy continues to be that we’re not going to get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation from this podium.

The prosecutors overseeing the investigation had expressed a preference to us that one way to help the investigation is not to be commenting on it from this podium....

Q: Scott, if I could point out: Contradictory to that statement, on September 29th of 2003, while the investigation was ongoing, you clearly commented on it. You were the first one to have said that if anybody from the White House was involved, they would be fired. And then, on June 10th of 2004, at Sea Island Plantation, in the midst of this investigation, when the president made his comments that, yes, he would fire anybody from the White House who was involved. So why have you commented on this during the process of the investigation in the past, but now you’ve suddenly drawn a curtain around it under the statement of, 'We’re not going to comment on an ongoing investigation'?

MCCLELLAN: Again, John, I appreciate the question. I know you want to get to the bottom of this. No one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the president of the United States. And I think the way to be most helpful is to not get into commenting on it while it is an ongoing investigation. And that’s something that the people overseeing the investigation have expressed a preference that we follow.

And that’s why we’re continuing to follow that approach and that policy. Now, I remember very well what was previously said. And, at some point, I will be glad to talk about it, but not until after the investigation is complete.

Q: So could I just ask: When did you change your mind to say that it was OK to comment during the course of an investigation before, but now it’s not?

MCCLELLAN: Well, I think maybe you missed what I was saying in reference to Terry’s question at the beginning. There came a point, when the investigation got under way, when those overseeing the investigation asked that it would be — or said that it would be their preference that we not get into discussing it while it is ongoing.
I think that’s the way to be most helpful to help them advance the investigation and get to the bottom of it.

Q: Scott, can I ask you this: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?

MCCLELLAN: Again, David, this is a question relating to a ongoing investigation, and you have my response related to the investigation. And I don't think you should read anything into it other than: We're going to continue not to comment on it while it's ongoing.

Q: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003, when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliot Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this"?

MCCLELLAN: And if you will recall, I said that, as part of helping the investigators move forward on the investigation, we're not going to get into commenting on it. That was something I stated back near that time as well.

Q: Scott, this is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us, after having commented with that level of detail, and tell people watching this that somehow you've decided not to talk. You've got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium or not?

MCCLELLAN: I'm well aware, like you, of what was previously said. And I will be glad to talk about it at the appropriate time. The appropriate time is when the investigation...

Q: (inaudible) when it's appropriate and when it's inappropriate?

MCCLELLAN: If you'll let me finish.

Q: No, you're not finishing. You're not saying anything. You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke about Joseph Wilson's wife. So don't you owe the American public a fuller explanation. Was he involved or was he not? Because contrary to what you told the American people, he did indeed talk about his wife, didn't he?

MCCLELLAN: There will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.

Q: Do you think people will accept that, what you're saying today?

MCCLELLAN: Again, I've responded to the question.

QUESTION: You're in a bad spot here, Scott... because after the investigation began -- after the criminal investigation was under way -- you said, October 10th, 2003, "I spoke with those individuals, Rove, Abrams and Libby. As I pointed out, those individuals assured me they were not involved in this," from that podium. That's after the criminal investigation began.

Now that Rove has essentially been caught red-handed peddling this information, all of a sudden you have respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation?


MCCLELLAN: No, that's not a correct characterization. And I think you are well aware of that.....

And we want to be helpful so that they can get to the bottom of this. Because no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the president of the United States.

I am well aware of what was said previously. I remember well what was said previously. And at some point I look forward to talking about it. But until the investigation is complete, I'm just not going to do that.

Q: So you're now saying that after you cleared Rove and the others from that podium, then the prosecutors asked you not to speak anymore and since then you haven't.

MCCLELLAN: Again, you're continuing to ask questions relating to an ongoing criminal investigation and I'm just not going to respond to them.

Q: When did they ask you to stop commenting on it, Scott? Can you pin down a date?

MCCLELLAN: Back in that time period.

Q: Well, then the president commented on it nine months later. So was he not following the White House plan?

MCCLELLAN: I appreciate your questions. You can keep asking them, but you have my response.

Q: Well, we are going to keep asking them. When did the president learn that Karl Rove had had a conversation with a news reporter about the involvement of Joseph Wilson's wife in the decision to send him to Africa?

MCCLELLAN: I've responded to the questions.

Q: [B]When did the president learn that Karl Rove had been...[/B

MCCLELLAN: I've responded to your questions.

Q: After the investigation is completed, will you then be consistent with your word and the president's word that anybody who was involved will be let go?

MCCLELLAN: Again, after the investigation is complete, I will be glad to talk about it at that point.

Q: Can you walk us through why, given the fact that Rove's lawyer has spoken publicly about this, it is inconsistent with the investigation, that it compromises the investigation to talk about the involvement of Karl Rove, the deputy chief of staff, here?

MCCLELLAN: Well, those overseeing the investigation expressed a preference to us that we not get into commenting on the investigation while it's ongoing. And that was what they requested of the White House. And so I think in order to be helpful to that investigation, we are following their direction.

Q: Does the president continue to have confidence in Mr. Rove?

MCCLELLAN: Again, these are all questions coming up in the context of an ongoing criminal investigation. And you've heard my response on this.

Q: So you're not going to respond as to whether or not the president has confidence in his deputy chief of staff?

MCCLELLAN: You're asking this question in the context of an ongoing investigation, and I would not read anything into it other then I'm simply going to comment on an ongoing investigation.

Q: Has there been any change, or is there a plan for Mr. Rove's portfolio to be altered in any way?

MCCLELLAN: Again, you have my response to these questions....

***

Q: There’s a difference between commenting publicly on an action and taking action in response to it. Newsweek put out a story, an e-mail saying that Karl Rove passed national security information on to a reporter that outed a CIA officer. Now, are you saying that the president is not taking any action in response to that? Because I presume that the prosecutor did not ask you not to take action and that if he did you still would not necessarily abide by that; that the president is free to respond to news reports, regardless of whether there’s an investigation or not.

So are you saying that he’s not going to do anything about this until the investigation is fully over and done with?

MCCLELLAN: Well, I think the president has previously spoken to this.

This continues to be an ongoing criminal investigation. No one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the president of the United States. And we’re just not going to have more to say on it until that investigation is complete.


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Adam Masterman
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David,
That is indeed one of the funniest things I have ever read. McClellan dodges bullets like an agent from the Matrix. Unfortunately for him, the press brought out a gattling gun of facts. Poor Smith. [Big Grin]
Adam

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kenmeer livermaile
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Andrew Card knew what he was doing when he retired when he did. [Wink]
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TomDavidson
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quote:

This continues to be an ongoing criminal investigation. No one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the president of the United States.

He needs to get this tattooed on his forehead.
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The Drake
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A gatling gun of facts? As much as I like the imagery, the press are simply roasting him for not making a statement. If they had facts, they wouldn't have to do that. They did construct some neat traps though. My favorite was:

"So you're not going to respond as to whether or not the president has confidence in his deputy chief of staff?"

I don't know how you can stonewall that one, but Scott soldiered on.


I mean traps, in the sense of Socratic dialogue, not traps in the sense of being unfair or disingenuous. Clearly, something is up - or he wants to take zero risk. They must be trying to decide what to do. If I had to guess, Karl will have to take one for the team if he turns out to have provided material information, as opposed to other explanations.

I don't see how they can avoid it, given the strong statements they've made in the past. Not that he'll face prosecution, but he'll have to step down - at least officially.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"A gatling gun of facts? As much as I like the imagery, the press are simply roasting him for not making a statement. If they had facts, they wouldn't have to do that."

Gatling guns must, by necessity, fire functionally identical bullets of the same tautological caliber over and over and over and over and over and over...

...to gattle their cages.

[ July 11, 2005, 09:21 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
. If I had to guess, Karl will have to take one for the team if he turns out to have provided material information, as opposed to other explanations.
I would guess so too. Problem is, in the past, Bush has seemed to show no awareness at all when his people screw up. I would be seriously unsuprised if Rove turns out to be the leaker, and then Bush turns around and gives him an accomodation. It has precedents.
Adam

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
. If I had to guess, Karl will have to take one for the team if he turns out to have provided material information, as opposed to other explanations.
I would guess so too. Problem is, in the past, Bush has seemed to show no awareness at all when his people screw up. I would be seriously unsuprised if Rove turns out to be the leaker, and then Bush turns around and gives him an accomodation. It has precedents.
Adam

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I would be seriously unsuprised if Rove turns out to be the leaker, and then Bush turns around and gives him an accomodation. It has precedents."

Me too. I anticipate that, within the next 3 & 1/2 remainging presidential years, we'll see a collapsible caste of cards of enormous proportion collapse.

Sad. Because the likes of Hillary will be there to pick up the viable pieces.

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The Drake
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
I would guess so too. Problem is, in the past, Bush has seemed to show no awareness at all when his people screw up. I would be seriously unsuprised if Rove turns out to be the leaker, and then Bush turns around and gives him an accomodation. It has precedents.
Adam

An accomodation? Or a commendation? Or a medal? [Wink]
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Adam Masterman
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oops. [Embarrassed]
Adam

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David Ricardo
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Ex-Republican CIA Officer Larry Johnson puts the Rove/Plame outing in proper perspective:

http://www.tpmcafe.com/story/2005/7/13/04720/9340

quote:
The misinformation being spread in the media about the Plame affair is alarming and damaging to the longterm security interests of the United States. Republicans' talking points are trying to savage Joe Wilson and, by implication, his wife, Valerie Plame as liars. That is the truly big lie.

For starters, Valerie Plame was an undercover operations officer until outed in the press by Robert Novak. Novak's column was not an isolated attack. It was in fact part of a coordinated, orchestrated smear that we now know includes at least Karl Rove.

Valerie Plame was a classmate of mine from the day she started with the CIA.
I entered on duty at the CIA in September 1985. All of my classmates were undercover--in other words, we told our family and friends that we were working for other overt U.S. Government agencies. We had official cover. That means we had a black passport--i.e., a diplomatic passport. If we were caught overseas engaged in espionage activity the black passport was a get out of jail free card.

A few of my classmates, and Valerie was one of these, became a non-official cover officer. That meant she agreed to operate overseas without the protection of a diplomatic passport. If caught in that status she would have been executed.

The lies by people like Victoria Toensing, Representative Peter King, and P. J. O'Rourke insist that Valerie was nothing, just a desk jockey. Yet, until Robert Novak betrayed her she was still undercover and the company that was her front was still a secret to the world. When Novak outed Valerie he also compromised her company and every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company and with her.

The Republicans now want to hide behind the legalism that "no laws were broken". I don't know if a man made law was broken but an ethical and moral code was breached. For the first time a group of partisan political operatives publically identified a CIA NOC. They have set a precendent that the next group of political hacks may feel free to violate.

They try to hide behind the specious claim that Joe Wilson "lied". Although Joe did not lie let's follow that reasoning to the logical conclusion. Let's use the same standard for the Bush Administration. Here are the facts. Bush's lies have resulted in the deaths of almost 1800 American soldiers and the mutilation of 12,000. Joe Wilson has not killed anyone. He tried to prevent the needless death of Americans and the loss of American prestige in the world.

But don't take my word for it, read the biased Senate intelligence committee report. Even though it was slanted to try to portray Joe in the worst possible light this fact emerges on page 52 of the report: According to the US Ambassador to Niger (who was commenting on Joe's visit in February 2002), "Ambassador Wilson reached the same conclusion that the Embassy has reached that it was highly unlikely that anything between Iraq and Niger was going on." Joe's findings were consistent with those of the Deputy Commander of the European Command, Major General Fulford.

The Republicans insist on the lie that Val got her husband the job. She did not. She was not a division director, instead she was the equivalent of an Army major. Yes it is true she recommended her husband to do the job that needed to be done but the decision to send Joe Wilson on this mission was made by her bosses.

At the end of the day, Joe Wilson was right. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It was the Bush Administration that pushed that lie and because of that lie Americans are dying. Shame on those who continue to slander Joe Wilson while giving Bush and his pack of liars a pass. That's the true outrage.

For the record, Larry Johnson was a partisan and loyal Republican all the way up until the outing of his CIA colleague Valerie Plame (he withdrew his Republican Party registration in disgust when Valerie Plame was outed in 2003). Of course, since the time two years ago that the Bush Administration maliciously outed her CIA NOC operative status, Larry Johnson has been outraged by the pathetic political attacks against our country's national security by small-minded men who are so pathetic that they stoop to cowardly attacking the wives of their political enemies -- even at the cost of this country's national security. As should we all.

[ July 13, 2005, 10:40 AM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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javelin
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Thank God I know that Larry Johnson is/was a good Republican. Everything makes sense now.

Now I know that even though I'm a conservative, I too can hurl invective at Bush and his administration. It's so... freeing!

[ July 13, 2005, 10:45 AM: Message edited by: javelin ]

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David Ricardo
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For the record, I have good friends of mine who work at the CIA. When I first learned of what had transpired in regard to Valerie Plame's outing by the Bush Administration in July 2003, I had already been hearing disturbing anecdotes from my friends about how Administration civilian officials were pressuring CIA intelligence analysts to interpret the raw data in such a way that would support the Bush Administration's case for WMDs in Iraq.

So, it was with great disgust that I learned in July 2003 of the ridiculous political attack made by the Bush Administration against our own CIA. Put simply, top officials in the Bush Administration cowardly attacked their political enemy's wife (what kind of self-respecting man attacks someone's wife?!?!) -- and outed a non-official cover CIA operative who specialized in WMD nonproliferation operations in the Middle East -- all in a blatant effort to twist the intelligence into supporting the Administration's false WMD case in Iraq.

Then I think of my friends who work at the CIA (a couple of whom are women as well), and blood boils even more. Heroes, who every day continually fight a shadow war to protect America interests at home and abroad, constantly been misused and compromised and attacked by political hacks who never once spent a day defending this country against its many foreign enemies.

And that's really what turned me against the Administration ever since -- my feeling since July 2003 that the Administration is full of scum that would willingly endanger American national security just so they could score a political attack on a political enemy's wife.

Such men of such character are not fit to protect American national security, and it is no surprise why they are continuing to fail in Iraq because they always put narrow political interests ahead of the country's greater good.

[ July 13, 2005, 10:53 AM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Thank God I know that Larry Johnson is/was a good Republican. Everything makes sense now. Now I know that even though I'm a conservative, I too can hurl invective at Bush and his administration. It's so... freeing!"

Aye. So is learning to tie one's shoelaces to their respective shoe and not the other.

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Sancselfieme
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Apparently Bush, who never passes up a chance to defend and deny charges against even the most seemingly-guilty people in his admin., passed on public endorsement of Rove.

quote:
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush passed up a chance Wednesday to express confidence in senior aide Karl Rove in a political fight over a news leak that exposed a CIA officer's identity. The lack of endorsement surprised some White House officials who had been told Bush would back his embattled friend.

Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, later asserted that Rove had "cooperated fully" in the federal investigation, had done nothing wrong and was prepared to provide additional information to a special prosecutor if needed.

"This is a serious investigation," Bush told reporters after a Cabinet meeting, with Rove sitting just behind him. "And it is very important for people not to prejudge the investigation based on media reports."

Later in the day, White House spokesman Scott McClellan insisted that Rove did have Bush's support. "As I indicated yesterday, every person who works here at the White House, including Karl Rove, has the confidence of the president," McClellan said.


Bush said he would not discuss the matter further until a criminal investigation is finished.

Across town, a federal grand jury heard more testimony in its probe into whether anyone in the administration illegally leaked the name of CIA officer Valerie Plame in July 2003. Her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, a critic of the administration's rationale for invading Iraq, has said the leak was an attempt to discredit him.

Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper, who wrote an article that identified Plame, appeared before the grand jury for 2 1/2 hours.

"I testified openly and honestly," Cooper said outside the courthouse, without divulging details. "I have no idea whether a crime was committed or not. That's something the special counsel's going to have to determine."

Wednesday evening, Luskin, Rove's attorney, issued a statement saying that Cooper's testimony would "not call into question the accuracy or completeness of anything Rove has previously said to the prosecutor or the grand jury."

Rove has cooperated completely with the special prosecutor, and he has been repeatedly assured he is not a target of the investigation," said Luskin. "Rove has done nothing wrong. We're confident he will not become a target after the special prosecutor has reviewed all evidence."

If special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald "seeks additional information from Rove in light of Cooper's testimony, Rove will promptly provide it," the lawyer's statement said.

The dispute has taken a toll on the White House and its allies, threatening to jeopardize the president's domestic agenda and leading to an aggressive GOP campaign to blunt Democratic calls for Rove's firing or resignation. With urging from the White House, Republican congressmen lined up in support of Rove and most GOP politicians outside Washington followed suit.

"It's a tempest in a teapot," said Denzil Garrison, former state GOP leader in Oklahoma. But some Republicans said Rove may need to go. "I think he should resign," said Jim Holt, a Republican state senator in Arkansas who is running for lieutenant governor. "I hope Karl Rove doesn't come gunning for me."

Bush previously had suggested he'd fire anyone found to have been a leaker in the case.

Bombarded with Rove questions for a third straight day, McClellan said, "I think we've exhausted the discussion on this the last couple of days." Joking about the toll of the controversy, he said, "It may not look like it, but there's a little flesh that's been taken out of me the past few days."

McClellan said Bush had not expressed confidence in Rove in the Cabinet session because no one had asked him that directly. The question put to Bush was whether he had spoken with Rove about the Plame matter, whether he believed Rove had acted improperly, and whether it was appropriate for the White House to say in 2003 that Rove was not involved in the leak.

McClellan said Bush agreed with Laura Bush, who earlier Wednesday told reporters traveling with her in Africa that Rove was a good family friend.

"I have instructed every member of my staff to fully cooperate in this investigation," Bush said. "We're in the midst of an ongoing investigation and I will be more than happy to comment further once the investigation is completed."

The failure by Bush to publicly back Rove left some White House advisers privately wondering whether the president was distancing himself from his longtime adviser.

The White House has previously said Rove was not involved in the leak. But an internal Time magazine e-mail disclosed over the weekend suggested Rove mentioned to Time reporter Cooper that Wilson's wife was a CIA agent.

She was first publicly identified by name as an operative in a July 2003 opinion piece by syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak. Rove, through his lawyer, has confirmed that he talked to Cooper but has denied providing Plame's name or leaking classified information.

Each political side intensified its attempts to discredit the other on Wednesday, producing a flurry of press releases and news conferences.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and three other Senate Democratic leaders - Charles Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan - sent a letter to Andrew Card, the White House chief of staff, asking him to release results of an initial internal investigation into the leak and to begin a new probe "to explain public inconsistencies."

MoveOn, a liberal advocacy group, announced its members would stage a protest in front of the White House on Thursday to demand Rove's firing.

Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, called Democratic attacks on Rove "out of control and entirely inappropriate ... accusations based on rumor and innuendo."


"Full-support" indeed, usually Bush is never loathe to provide his "full support" in his own words (ie: Rumsfeld, Gonsalez, Pitt, Naesse, etc.) even when guilt is very apparent. Looks like Bush is already trying to distance himself from Rove. For the admin. who shamelessly denies the strongest of charges I can only assume this is the biggest admission of guilt I have ever seen.
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Funean
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I must say, this is very hard to respect.
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Ivan
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Anyone else catch The Daily Show's take on this? "Which award does Rove get? Tenet screwed up the WMD thing, he gets the Medal of Freedom. Condi Rice was the Nat Sec adivsor during the largest foreign attack on American soil in two hundred years, and she got a title bump. So what reward could possibly be big enough to match the size of Rove's screwup?"

Oh, Mr. President... [Roll Eyes]

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WarrsawPact
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Whoops!
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