Thursday, April 01, 2004

Is Rove a crook?

When the story came out a couple of weeks back that Karl Rove had admitted to investigators in the Plame Affair that he disseminated "damaging information" about Valerie Plame to reporters after her identity as a CIA operative had been blown, I remember thinking that the question of whether Rove did this before or after the initial leak should be irrelevant since confirming the leak (assuming that was part of Rove's "damaging information") was essentially just as bad as the initial leak.

Josh Marshal has the scoop on a legal memo (which "fell from the sky") that apparently concurs with that opinion:

The essential argument is that the law, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, does more than simply prohibit a governmental official with access to classified information from divulging the identities of covert operatives. The interpretation of the law contained in the memo holds that a government insider, with access to classified information, such as Rove is also prohibited from confirming or further disseminating the identity of a covert agent even after someone else has leaked it.

Josh asserts that the memo was not the product of either the investigation or any political campaign or organization. Yet Josh is mum on just exactly who did write this memo and how he came into its possession. My best guess would be that it was written by a lawyer or lawyers who don't want their names revealed because to do so might threaten their future professional viability in Washington. I just hope the question of who wrote this memo doesn't interfere with the bigger issues it brings up.

Namely: is George W. Bush's leading political advisor a filthy dirty rotten crook!

Here's the memo (pdf).


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