President George H.W. Bush in a 1999 speech:

We need more human intelligence. That means we need more protection for the methods we use to gather intelligence and more protection for our sources, particularly our human sources, people that are risking their lives for their country.

Even though I'm a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.

Comments

1) Find me a source that says Rove either initiated contact with Cooper or Miller, or that he actually used Plame's name

2) I suppose you are also outraged at Sandy Berger's far more outrageous thefts of documents from the archives?

3) Exactly who is Miller protecting? It's not Rove, so who is it? And why are she and the Times so adamant about keeping that source secret?

Finally, I'll ask this question again: If the Times and Time Magazine had proof that Rove outed Plame - and if they had it in 2003, which would be the case - please explain why they wouldn't have published that at the time, given the (then upcoming) election.

I don't know what Berger was doing, but it was idiotic and illegal, and I'm not going to defend it.

Berger was scheduled to be sentenced on July 8 for removing classified documents from the National Archives, though it apparently was postponed, because I can't find a story on it.

When he became the subject of a criminal investigation for this crime last year, he stepped down as an advisor to presidential candidate John Kerry, and he was no longer considered a serious candidate to be Kerry's prospective Secretary of State.

Since you want Berger and Rove to be held to the same standard, now that Rove's being investigated for a crime, are you calling for him to step down?

1) Find me a source that says Rove either initiated contact with Cooper or Miller, or that he actually used Plame's name

Whether or not Rove initiated the contact with Cooper is irrelevant, both in terms of the statute and in terms of the morality of what he did. Likewise with the "but he didn't use her name" defense. That's Clinton-esque parsing about what the meaning of "is" is. Cooper's email shows that Rove told him Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. That constituted revealing her identity; it was a trivial step at that point (actually, a 5-second Google search) to find out her actual name.

2) I suppose you are also outraged at Sandy Berger's far more outrageous thefts of documents from the archives?

What does Berger's behavior have to do with this? Berger, I note, has been convicted, fined, and had his security clearance suspended. Rove, on the other hand, continues to "enjoy the complete confidence" of President Bush, and, presumably, continues to have access to classified information. I think that tends to skew my outrage-o-meter a bit. Yours may be in need of adjustment.

3) Exactly who is Miller protecting? It's not Rove, so who is it? And why are she and the Times so adamant about keeping that source secret?

Well, Scooter Libby's name has been mentioned a lot. It might be him. They're probably adamant about keeping it secret because they believe they have a professional obligation to do so.

Finally, I'll ask this question again: If the Times and Time Magazine had proof that Rove outed Plame - and if they had it in 2003, which would be the case - please explain why they wouldn't have published that at the time, given the (then upcoming) election.

Presumably because they obtained the information under a promise of anonymity, and they couldn't go public with the information without violating that agreement. And, as amazing as this may be to you, their anti-Bush animus was insufficient to overwhelm their sense of journalistic ethics.

This issue really isn't that complicated -- unless you operate under a worldview that requires you to defend every action carried out by a Republican, no matter how heinous. In that case, yeah, it's a tough one; you've got some major logical and ethical contorting ahead of you. Good luck with that.

I'm not drawing an equivalence - I was curious about where you stood on that.

I had two other questions up there. I have no opinion on Rove's status until I find a source that says he used Plame's name (that has not been demonstrated), and until I find out who Miller is protecting.

"Presumably because they obtained the information under a promise of anonymity, and they couldn't go public with the information without violating that agreement. And, as amazing as this may be to you, their anti-Bush animus was insufficient to overwhelm their sense of journalistic ethics."

Pardon me while I laugh long and loud. While I point at the TANG "memos"

Plame Outed By Ames, Pulled from Field in 1994

I was unaware of this aspect of the story until this morning. If this is true then Valerie Plame falls outside of the "past five years" portion of the law Karl Rove is accused of breaking.

Partisan witch hunt.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is a registered Republican who was appointed by President Bush in 2001 as United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois at the recommendation of a Republican senator from that state.

How'd us Democrats get him to launch a partisan witch hunt -- mind control? A carton of smokes? Buy one get one free abortions?

How'd us Democrats get him to launch a partisan witch hunt -- mind control? A carton of smokes? Buy one get one free abortions?

My apologies, Rogers, I was not referring to the investigation. I believe the investigation should go forward and I also believe it will be closed when it is ascertained that Plame was a desk analyst for the past ten years.

By partisan witchhunt I refer to the media looking for Karl Rove's head on a stick.

The story is only Karl Rove because the media has gotten called on two major screwups in the past year. They are fuming mad and are trying to bring down a man who has all the facts on his side.

The story is who Judith Miller is sitting in prison for and yet no one has asked that question in the "mainstream media."

The implications of Judith Miller's jailing are all over Romenesko, the favorite trade journal of the media biz. Aside from an open bar, there's no better way to get the media's attention than to drag one of us off to the hoosegow.

A friend of mine thinks that Monday's press attack on Scott McClellan was motivated by Miller's situation more than a desire to see Rove frog-marched out of his lair in the cavernous recesses of the White House.

Baldilocks (baldilocks.typepad.com) makes a good point, from the National Security Act of 1947 (assuming it still applies):

(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.

From baldilocks.typepad.com

(Pardon my ignorance of html)

Heh. Even Joseph Wilson says it wasn't a crime.

So much for this ball of mush. Wilson himself, today on CNN:

----

BLITZER: But the other argument that's been made against you is that you've sought to capitalize on this extravaganza, having that photo shoot with your wife, who was a clandestine officer of the CIA, and that you've tried to enrich yourself writing this book and all of that.

What do you make of those accusations, which are serious accusations, as you know, that have been leveled against you.

WILSON: My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity.

BLITZER: But she hadn't been a clandestine officer for some time before that?

WILSON: That's not anything that I can talk about. And, indeed, I'll go back to what I said earlier, the CIA believed that a possible crime had been committed, and that's why they referred it to the Justice Department.

She was not a clandestine officer at the time that that article in Vanity Fair appeared. And I have every right to have the American public know who I am and not to have myself defined by those who would write the sorts of things that are coming out, being spewed out of the mouths of the RNC...

---

Oops. Not a clandestine agent. Which means, no crime. Which means, this is all silly season politics.

Depends on whether anyone committed perjury or obstructed justice.

Rogers,

What was there to obstruct? Clearly, no crime was committed - Wilson made that clear today.

Oh, perhaps you mean Judith Miller, who's in jail. Yes, I suppose obstruction could be a possible charge there.

And before someone gets all rabid about that jailing, let me pose this one:

Suppose I (or Rogers, or anyone else for that matter) got wind of a merger in the technology sector. Suppose we then let it slip that we also knew about inside trading going on, but couldn't reveal our sources on that, as we had promised them anonymity.

Do you think the SEC would cut us any slack? So why does Judith Miller deserve any? What extra rights does she get by having an ID badge that says "NY Times" on it?

Depends on whether anyone committed perjury or obstructed justice.

How about lying to a grand jury to obstruct justice in a sexual harassment case?

I think you might be misunderstanding what Wilson meant, James. When he said "my wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity," he could have meant "my wife stopped being a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity."

I'll be glad when Fitzgerald's work is done and we can stop trying to puzzle through this.

"my wife stopped being a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity."

You looked pretty good in the new Fantastic Four movie, Rogers. I think your character got some of the crappier special effects though.

Do I get to use my powers of elasticity on Jessica Alba?

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