I am going to post this here because I want feedback and discussion. It is already on my own blog, but I get little traffic.

This is what Tim Russert explained yesterday on Meet the Press.

“between host Tim Russert and GOP Chairman (and former Rove deputy) Ken Mehlman:

RUSSERT: When one is given classified clearance, they are asked to sign an oath, and they are given a briefing book with form. <u>Standard Form 312</u&gt, it’s called.

And if you read this briefing book, it says this:

<u>”Before…confirming the accuracy of what appears in the public source, the signer of [the] SF 312 must confirm through an authorized official that the information has, in fact, been declassified. If it has not…confirmation of its accuracy is also an unauthorized disclosure.”</u&gt

So by confirming a story from Robert Novak or sharing information with Matt Cooper, no matter where it came from, if, in fact, it was classified information, without seeking to determine whether it was declassified, it is an unauthorized disclosure.”

So even if Karl Rove is not the original source of the information that Valerie Plame is a CIA employee and merely confirmed it to Bob Novak, he still illegally released classified information.

Was Valerie Plame a CIA asset under Non Official Cover? A NOC? Was giving her name and employment to the Press a crime? The CIA seemed to think so when they referred a criminal complaint to the Justice Department for prosecution. The Justice Department appeared to believe that a crime was committed when Ms. Plame’s CIA status was published in Novak’s column when they assigned Fitzgerald as a Special Prosecutor on the case. The federal judges appear to have thought a crime occurred when they subpoenaed notes from Matt Cooper and Judith Miller.

The federal grand jury has been acting on Fitzgerald’s requests for over a year now. The very first thing any prosecutor would have to do to get the grand jury to act is to show that a crime was likely before any further actions would be taken.

Did Karl Rove know that Valerie Plame’s CIA status was classified information when he spoke to Matt Cooper? Here is what he said based on Matt Cooper’s notes provided by Mark Klieman.

“Rove, asked about Wilson’s trip, spontaneously mentioned Wilson’s wife’s job working for the CIA on weapons of mass destruction, said that some information was about to be declassified, and then said “I have already said too much.”

So what do we know? We know that Rove and Libby talked to the press about Valerie Plame’s CIA status. We know that Rove thought he was discussing classified information when he spoke to Matt Cooper about Valerie plame’s status. We know that Bob Novak published it. We know that the CIA, the Justice Department, Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald, three federal judges and a grand jury all believe that it is very likely that a crime was committed that is worth investigating.

Against this is a set of weak and unsubstantial assertions that Rove did not commit any crime. Their best defense now seems to be that no matter how unscrupulous and immoral Karl Rove’s behavior was, he has not been indicted for a crime.

Even George Bush concedes this as he Lowers the bar on White House employment from

“The president has set high standards, the highest of standards, for people in his administration. He’s made it very clear to people in his administration that he expects them to adhere to the highest standards of conduct.”
Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
September 29, 2003″


“I would like this to end as quickly as possible so we know the facts. And if someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration.”
George W. Bush
Remarks to Reporters
July 18, 2005

Rove is in trouble.

The polls reported by Ruy Teixeira indicate that between the failed preemptive war in Iraq, Bush’s failed efforts to destroy Social Security, and the Karl Rove – Valerie Plame scandal at the core of the White House, Bush is himself in real trouble.

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