Did Karl Rove leak the CIA status of Valerie Plame?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Obi-Wan McCartney, Jul 2, 2005.

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  1. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Mitigating circumstances are NOT "unofficial factors that determine how the case is handled," but rather official factors that come into play AT SENTENCING.[/]

    We're basically saying the same thing here. Although I would still question your use of "offical." They're not, but rather an undefined set of circumstances that influence the outcome.

    That's where the disconnect between us lies, Mr. 44. You keep bringing up "dirty politics" as if its some sort of defense, and its not. As with Berger, it might merely lower the severety of the sentence, or perhaps it might not.

    But that's where you're wrong. Berger did use "dirty politics" as a defense, and it influenced the final outcome of his case. No, it's not legally accepted, like an affirmation of self defense, but Berger plead guilty, so there is no ambiguity, it's a matter of public record.

    I keep saying for you to remove the fact that Berger served under Clinton from the equation, it doesn't matter. It certainly doesn't make Berger some sort of superhuman demigod, but let's focus on Berger's own actions as a basic comparison to this topic.

    good ol Wiki
    (look under "criminal investigation," although there are also numerous articles about the case as well.)

    Sure, he didn't come out and say "It's dirty poltics as usual, your honor.." But Berger's claim revolved around the fact that he was not stealing the documents for personal gain, or to hurt the US, but to help Kerry's election campaign.

    He removed 50(and I didn't realize it was that many) classified documents (which all focused on the US's anti-terrorism strategy) from a secure room, and your attitude is one of "what's the big deal?"

    Now, regarding Plame, you've used the term "treason" at least twice in this thread. It may not be exactly "calling for someone's head," but it's in the same ballpark, sitting in the dugout.








  2. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    One, Rove may have found out Plame was CIA via unofficial means. Andrea Mitchell has all but admitted that. You cannot prove Rove disclosed something he'd received in an official capacity - a requirement for the offense he is charged with to have occured.

    Based on the Cooper e-mail, Rove knew Plame was CIA, but he did not know she was undercover. How he came across that info needs to be proven, and that he disclosed it without authorization also need to be proven.
  3. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    Ok, for the record, where did you get the term "dirty politics?" Did Berger actually say it? Because I guess I just don't really understand the term as you are using it.

    It's very difficult for me to understand your exact point because you throw in a mix of your own jargon with legal jargon. Furthermore, you are arguing about what HAPPENED in the Berger case, and I am discussing what COULD happen to Rove.

    In addition, I still fail to see how Sandy Berger is in any way relevant to this case regarding Rove. None at all.

    Furthermore, what crime was Sandy guilty of? We aren't talking about the outing of a CIA operative, so its really difficult to see how you have anything resembling a cogent argument or a valid point in bringing him into this, other than to make the claim that because Berger got away with something, Rove should be able to get away with something. Besides, the link you provided showed that Berger didn't really do anything that hurt national security, the documents were actually self serving documents about how Clinton stopped the millenium bombings.

    Again, at least Kimball was good enough to provide us with the actual text of the statute Rove allegedly violated. "Dirty politics," a term you seem to have coined and applied yourself is not a defense but seems relevant to INTENT. However, intent is not required by the statute, only access, knowledge, and disclosure.

    Kimball, nice to see that when you aren't alienating members from these boards, you still have time to come in and play. For the record, I was talking to JediSmuggler about THIS statement:

    Thus, I was asking what if anything the fact that Wilson was Plame's husband or their alleged attempts to screw with Iraqi War data had to do with Rove's guilt. Furthermore, if you'll notice, I said:


    So here we go:


  4. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Again, rather than being argumentative, let's try and cool off a bit here and discuss the actual statute. Nowhere in teh statute that I can read for catagory A does it require that the person who had the information actually get it from the confidential U.S. sources, just that he had access to it.

    Yes, but in order to have access to it, there are two things that have to actually happen.

    1) The individual has to have clearance (which I believe Rove does have) for the information.

    2) The individual has to be actually granted access to the information (such things are logged, such as who is given a copy of the information and so forth).

    No one has presented any sort of evidence whatsoever to the second point.

    Then there is your assertion that intent is not part of the statute. There, you are flat-out wrong.
    Whoever, having or having had authorized access to classified information that identifies a covert agent, intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent?s intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
    There are several parts of this statute (paragraph b is substantially the same for our purposes here, except that it involves material that doesn't explicitly identify the agent).

    1) The individual has to intentionally disclose the information.
    2) The individual has to know that the information identifies the agent.
    3) The individual has to know that the United States is taking affirmative measures to hide the covert relationship with the US.

    My brother's points all rest heavily upon that last point. If the information appears to be common knowledge, then it is harder to demonstrate that the individual in question knows that the US is taking those affirmative measures.

    So yes, I did read the statute, a lot more carefully than you seem to have done.

    And for all you accuse me of baiting, you have done quite a bit of it yourself.

    Kimball Kinnison
  5. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    Kimball, you are a MOD, you are supposed to set a good example. You set a poor one by attacking me out of nowhere on this issue. (No wonder some of the other mods/x-mods and influential members on the forum talk the smack about you.)

    But fine, if you don't mention anything about this fued again in this post, if you have the decency to not continue insulting me (even though I have insulted you) because you insulted me FIRST and because you are a MOD, I will also make no more mention of it. But something tells me you can't help but have the last word.

    Regardless, at least now we are discussing the actual statute. Let's talk about construction. Where in the statute does it say that the person has to have have gotten the information from the authorized source? I'm just saying, it seems like the statute only requires the person have authorized access, not actually accessed the materials.

    However, I agree that it is probably true that Rove would have to have actually seen the materials to be convicted, since that seems to be the spirit of the statute. But based on the wording in the statute, it just says he has to have the authorized access, not that he learned of the information because of the access. The second part of the statute explicitly talks about having learned. But again, I never said he was guilty. He just could be guilty.

    But is it really likely that Rove, who certainly called TIME magazine's Cooper and told him that Wilson was biased learned of the info FROM A DINNER PARTY?


    Rove Told Reporter of Plame's Role But Didn't Name Her, Attorney Says

    By Josh White
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, July 11, 2005; A01

    White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove spoke with at least one reporter about Valerie Plame's role at the CIA before she was identified as a covert agent in a newspaper column two years ago, but Rove's lawyer said yesterday that his client did not identify her by name.

    Rove had a short conversation with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper on July 11, 2003, three days before Robert D. Novak publicly exposed Plame in a column about her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV. Wilson had come under attack from the White House for his assertions that he found no evidence Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger and that he reported those findings to top administration officials. Wilson publicly accused the administration of leaking his wife's identity as a means of retaliation.

    The leak of Plame's name to the news media spawned a federal grand jury investigation that has been seeking to find the origin of the disclosure. Cooper avoided jail time last week by agreeing to testify before the grand jury about conversations with his sources, while New York Times reporter Judith Miller was jailed for refusing to discuss her confidential sources.

    To be considered a violation of the law, a disclosure by a government official must have been deliberate, the person doing it must have known that the CIA officer was a covert agent, and he or she must have known that the government was actively concealing the covert agent's identity.

    Cooper, according to an internal Time e-mail obtained by Newsweek magazine, spoke with Rove before Novak's column was published. In the conversation, Rove gave Cooper a "big warning" that Wilson's assertions might not be entirely accurate and that it was not the director of the CIA or the vice president who sent Wilson on his trip. Rove apparently told Cooper that it was "Wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip," according to a story in Newsweek's July 18 issue.

    Rove's conversation with Cooper could be significant because it indicates a White House official was discussing Plame prior to her being publicly named and could lead to evidence of how Novak learned her name.

    Although the information is revelatory, it is still unknown whether Rove is a focus of the investigation. Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, has said that Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has told him/>
  6. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    Mr44

    He removed 50(and I didn't realize it was that many) classified documents (which all focused on the US's anti-terrorism strategy) from a secure room

    The article you cite says 'allegedly took as many as 50 documents', and it seems, based on what I read there and on the links provided, that it had to do with the 9/11 commission (considering it occured in 2003 prior to testifying before the commission) rather than the election.

    Either way, Berger was punished for what he did, and rightfully so. My guess is that since he was not sent to jail, either he had an excellent lawyer or what took place wasn't as severe as what could happen under the IPA act. I'd have to review the situation more, but it appears that justice was served.

    Again, regarding the current situation, I hope that if such a violation occured, regardless of who did it, they are punished appropriately.
  7. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Again, regarding the current situation, I hope that if such a violation occured, regardless of who did it, they are punished appropriately.

    Indeed. And if it comes to be known that John Kerry (or any other Democrat) was the one to have leaked Plame's name, there will be a call for the maximum sentence for treason, to be sure.

  8. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Some questions about this case:

    • Why is Judith Miller in jail?
      She didn't write a story about Valerie Plame (though she did research on the leak investigation), and had a waiver from her source in order to talk about her esearch to the grand jury (she received, presumably, the same waiver Cooper received from Karl Rove).

    • Why is Robert Novak not called for testimony?
      His was the first article to "out" Valerie Plame.

    • Why is the press calling this an invasion of First Ammendment rights? That is not the case.

      In fact, there is a long history of case law requiring reporters to testify before grand juries, even if such appearances would violate assurances of confidence to sources. And one decision, in particular, is directly on point.

      In 1972, in Branzburg v. Hayes, the Supreme Court was asked to review three consolidated cases involving reporters who had witnessed alleged drug-related activities in Kentucky and civil disorder activities involving the Black Panthers in Massachusetts and California. The Court's response was unequivocal:
      "We are asked to create another [privilege] by interpreting the First Amendment to grant newsmen a testimonial privilege that other citizens do not enjoy. This we decline to do." (source=findlaw.com

    • Is Judith Miller a "Watchdog", or obstructing justice?
      Another argument being advanced in support of Miller's stand is that enforcement of the subpoena in her case undermines the media's watchdog function.

      Of course, it's true that the press is often referred to as the Fourth Estate or the Fourth Branch of Government, because it monitors government activity, and often is at the forefront of exposing government corruption or misbehavior. And it's undisputable that the news media play a vital watchdog function in our democracy. The legacy of Watergate is to make sure that every introductory civics textbook imparts this lesson.

      This watchdog function is not at issue in the Judith Miller case. But you wouldn't know it from listening to media commentary. Read more about this here.


    Ever get the feeling you're not getting the whole story?

  9. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    In addition, I still fail to see how Sandy Berger is in any way relevant to this case regarding Rove. None at all.

    OWM, the only reason I originally brought it up was to compare similiar situations that may share similiar legal concepts. We all know the situations aren't exact, but there are some similiarities that may aid in the understanding of both situations.

    This discussion should be broken down into two main parts:

    1)The elements of any possible crime. I think we've definately started to cover this part in great detail.

    2)The results/effects that part one above could have. I think this is where the discussion is lacking, and where Berger's final disposition can be used as a comparison


  10. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    Ok, but I'm still not sure how this necessarily relates.

    In Berger's case, the mitigating circumstances mitigated the more heinous crime (of which neither of us seems to be sure) to the lesser, misdemeanor crime (again, I'm not sure which that is.)

    To have a valid comparison, I think we would need to know exactly what Berger was charged with or could have been charged with, and HOW those mitigating circumstances lead to the lesser charge.

    In Rove's case, I'm not sure any mitigating circumstances would do him any good. Again, it's because I'm pretty sure that Berger's mitigating circumstances had to do with an element of intent.

    Mitigating circumstances have a specific legal effect, Mr. 44, and I think that's why I didn't really get it. It just seemed like "Berger got deal so Rove should get a deal too!" But again, they were charged with different crimes, and as such, different circumstances.

    Heck, I feel like I am channeling YOU right now![face_cowboy]
  11. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    The more serious charge could have been the protections against disclosure of classified documents. (Title 18, chpt37, section 798) The penalties range from 10 years imprisonment, or hefty fine.

    He plead guilty to unathorized removal of classifed material, the misdemeanor.

    The comparison comes into play for me because I'm interested in seeing your rationale for claiming Rove, specifically, should be guilty of treason, while Berger was "no big deal."

    The reasons come into play because both men may have had specific reasons for their behavior which could be directly tied to politics.

    If we peel away those political reasons, it may be easier to come to a broader understanding.

  12. Django211 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 1999
    star 4
    John Dean came up with something interesting regarding this case:

    The Espionage Act of 1917

    The Reagan Administration effectively used the Espionage Act of 1917 to prosecute a leak - to the horror of the news media. It was a case that was instituted to make a point, and establish the law, and it did just that in spades.

    In July 1984, Samuel Morrison - the grandson of the eminent naval historian with the same name - leaked three classified photos to Jane's Defense Weekly. The photos were of the Soviet Union's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which had been taken by a U.S. spy satellite.

    Although the photos compromised no national security secrets, and were not given to enemy agents, the Reagan Administration prosecuted the leak. That raised the question: Must the leaker have an evil purpose to be prosecuted?

    The Administration argued that the answer was no. As with Britain's Official Secrets Acts, the leak of classified material alone was enough to trigger imprisonment for up to ten years and fines. And the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed. It held that the such a leak might be prompted by "the most laudable motives, or any motive at all," and it would still be a crime. As a result, Morrison went to jail.

    The Espionage Act, though thrice amended since then, continues to criminalize leaks of classified information, regardless of the reason for the leak. Accordingly, the "two senior administration officials" who leaked the classified information of Mrs. Wilson's work at the CIA to Robert Novak (and, it seems, others) have committed a federal crime."



    Don't forget that Rove testified three times in front of the grand jury, most likely without the knowledge of Cooper's email. This may come down to perjury charges. Whatever the outcome this will hurt the Bush administration. For over the past year Bush and Scott McClellan have denied any leaks coming from within the White House. Going so far to say that anyone caught giving leaks will no longer work for them. So what will happen now after various public statements about leaks?
  13. severian28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2004
    star 5
    The reason that this is going to be very problematic for Rove is the way that Bush said he will deal with any leakers in the White House. Its obvious know that Plames position wasnt going to cause any issues of national security and technically all that Rove is guilty of in this instance is bad manners in degrading Plame in an e-mail for getting her husband a job. It seems to me that the CIA is trying to catch the administration in a squeeze as an act of revenge for the way the administration , particualry the V.P.'s office, have utilized them since 9/11. Well, payback IS a bitch and Rove certainly had career wreckage coming to him. Im fairly certain Senator McCain isnt shedding any tears or anyone else who was unethically detroyed during election years by Roves despicable tactics.
  14. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    I for one do not agree with convicting Karl Rove if it means the judicial decision on the sources of the press stands. I do not agree with pressuring reporters to reveal thier sources.

    But as for earlier arguments about Rove being so stupid as to physically meet with a reporter and leak the name: of COURSE he is, because it wasn't stupid. Protection of confidential sources has been assumed for decades. Rove couldn't have forseen that a judge was going to mount this sort of pressure. Anyone in his place that had been in Washinton a considerable length of time would have come to the same conclusions about the risks, which would have been viewed as negligable.
  15. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    That said, in the above post, I -- like others -- do find that Karl Rove's ignorance of the status of Plame's wife to be a non-issue. If he didn't know, he should have before talking. I would find this behavior only justified if Plame was corrupt and reciving protection such that it is reasonable to believe going to the authorities would not have had her prosecuted (i.e: Deep Throat situation).

    Since none of that applies, my argument is the same as it is for other elements of government when they plead ignorance on these elementry issues. Ignorance is not an excuse. You are either expected to know, or to make a better effort to know.

    If we had some credible evidence that Rove looked and checked to see if Plame was protected before talking, I suppose that would be different. At the very least it shows one important memeber of the Bush administration not taking the precautions with security that his party claims to aspire to -- which of course can cast doubt on those claims and that they're any different from claims from Democrats.
  16. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    Gonk, never in the history of the united states has the federal governmetn recognized the press privilege.
  17. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    That said, in the above post, I -- like others -- do find that Karl Rove's ignorance of the status of Plame's wife to be a non-issue. If he didn't know, he should have before talking.

    Why?

    If he wasn't given the information that she was an employee of the CIA through official access to classified information, then why would he have any reason to even suspect that the information was classified?

    That is the key that everyone seems to be missing here. No one has provided any proof or evidence whatsoever that Rove received the information in a manner covered by the statute. It's all speculation.

    To provide an example, back in the 1980s, Tom Clancy published The Hunt for Red October. That book caused a small fuss in the Pentagon, and they asked Clancy to come in and talk with them. They wanted to know where he was getting access to "classified" information.

    He wasn't. He documented for them where he got his information, and none of it came from classified sources. He had no reason whatsoever to believe that any of the information he'd been given was classified. Should he have checked with the Pentagon before publishing the book? Or did he make a reasonable assumption about the information he had been given?

    Kimball Kinnison
  18. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    Everyone in this thread should watch this video (Type = .wmv; Size = 8mb)

  19. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    On an objective note, I don't think the Bush administration is too pleased at the negative press. Something has clearly changed internally, because they're no longer denying that Rove had some sort of role in the affair.

    Whether it was illegal is a separate question, of course.
  20. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    wow. . .

    An MSNBC story covering a Newsweek story. In an editorial, no less.

    Seems fair and balanced...

    Let it be known that if Karl Rove did leak that info, I believe he should be fired.

    That said, why didn't anyone question why a female CIA agent, who is on record as not liking Bush, can send her own husband on an official fact finding mission? I mean, if she was writing editorials for a newspaper, I think it was the NYT, her own husband would at least be resistant to publicly embarrassing his own wife.

    Could inspection bias have affected the results of his findings?

    Would the appearance of a conflict of intrest at least show an unprofessional conduct?

    All these questions got swept under the rug in favor of "the scandel", which involved a CIA agent that had never been undercover in the first place.
  21. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Gonk, never in the history of the united states has the federal governmetn recognized the press privilege.

    Well I believe

    A) They should, to a particular formal degree and set it in writing

    and

    B) The lax authority in prosocuting leaks or trying to find them has led to a protection that many sources now assume

    If someone like Mark Felt cannot be guarenteed a form of protection in the face of corruption whether at the hands of a Nixon or a poverbial Clinton administration, then there's no mechanism in place to combat that sort of abuse of power.

    Of course, it doesn't particularly matter what I believe.


    Why?

    If he wasn't given the information that she was an employee of the CIA through official access to classified information, then why would he have any reason to even suspect that the information was classified?


    He doesn't, but that means nothing. By having his information and sharing it, he bears responsibility in how the information is used because of who he chose to share it with. He could have given the reporter Bush's birthday card -- presumedly unconfidential information -- that secretly held nuclear codes in its writing and still be responsible for the leaked codes. Ignorance is no excuse.

    If I give you a box of water bottles infected with rat poison for an experiment and you start giving people the water, you're responsible for thier getting poison: the water (like the information) wasn't yours to give. Now, in this case I also share a burden of responsibility because I should have told you about the poison and we're BOTH guilty, but that's not the point because that's not our focus. I had no way of knowing -- and was assuming -- you were NOT going to give away my water. But you did and you should have asked more questions before giving it away.

    The point is not that you can never be sure about what you're doing but that when you're ARE involved in something you shouldn't technically be doing (leaking information, giving away someone else's property), you should be very, very sure about the ramifications, even ones not visible at first glance.


    He had no reason whatsoever to believe that any of the information he'd been given was classified. Should he have checked with the Pentagon before publishing the book? Or did he make a reasonable assumption about the information he had been given?

    This is misleading and flawed. Tom Clancy is not a member of the US government, or serves govenrnment officals. Why did you choose this example?
  22. The_Learner Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2004
    star 1
    This isn't the most productive posting I've seen. How about you simply stay on topic?
  23. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    And that makes it okay because......?

    Ah, moral relativity - a great tool used by the high-and-mighty to downplay the presence of implicitly admitted guilt and hypocracy.

    Hard to play the game when the your opponent keeps changing the rules to suit their fancies.


    Does that qualify as more baiting?
  24. The_Learner Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2004
    star 1
    Enjoy your winnings. You've earned them. :)


  25. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    It could be worse. Try the Episode III spoiler board some time where a mod can lock your topic and mock you until you prove your 'credidentials'.

    Man, I still hate that bugger...
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