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July 21, 2005

Tom Maguire: Rove May Be In Trouble?

Not a partisan gunslinger himself, Maguire lays out the case that Rove certainly could have, and likely did, have access to the State Dept. memo mentioning Plame.

A commeter who worked for the CIA says that it not unusual for (S) to mark a paragraph. So, according to this anonymous commenter, Pincus' report may be accurate.

On the other hand, it's been pointed out that real NOC's -- real covert agents -- are not protected by "Secret" classification, which most people working in government are cleared to read. Real NOC's are codeword-clearance.

Still, even if Plame's cover was so thin, so transparent, and so ineffectual that they donwgraded this "secret" to the non-secret "Secret" level, that would still mean the information is classified (barely, but still classified), and that anyone disclosing it, knowing that it was classified (or who reasonably could be said to have ought to have known) would be in violation of the law.

Maybe not the IIPA, which is the law most have focused on, but a more general law about disseminating classified information.

To be honest, I've sort of thought Karl Rove would be pinned on this since Lawrence O'Donnell first hyped it. No particular reason, except my general belief that most rumors are true, or nearly true.

While the right should continue to insist the left prove its claims, and patrol them for going beyond what the evidence actually says, it may be time to consider the possibility that Rove will be caught dirty on this one, and may have to be cut loose at some point.

And, you know, condemned for breaking the law.

I'll give Valerie Plame one thing-- she knows her tradecraft. She and her husband peddled lies and arranged it so that the only way to expose them was to break the law.

On The Other Hand... Joel Mowbray says that Cooper's further statements vindicate Rove and Libby.

I don't know. Mowbray puts a lot of weight on the fact that Rove and Libby weren't "shopping" the story, but merely responding to a reporter's questions.

Okay... but the law doesn't prohibit "shopping" classified information. It prohibits revealing it, whether one pushes the story or merely answers a question.

Mowbray scores points as far as the politics of this go, but not necessarily as far as the legalities of it all.

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posted by Ace at 04:11 PM

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